Wednesday's Post-Practice Erickson Quotes

Wednesday night's practice was the last scrimmage until the opening game. Afterwards Coach Erickson shared what he believes are the team's strong points and what areas still needing improvement.

Erickson's general thoughts after practice:

"We had to find out where we are at before Saturday's game. We probably ran twenty plays with the one's and two's. Overall I thought we executed better. It wasn't what we we're doing or the execution, but we were dropping balls and we lost some drives because of that. I thought it was better offensively, and we blocked better up front. Defensively we ran like we have been doing all fall. It was good to get a chance to see our two's and three's for the last time. I think Samson (Szakacsy) has really come a long way since he has come here. He's learning things, throwing really well and getting better so I am happy with that just in case we have to use him as a third (string QB)."

On Thomas Altieri's injury:

"The only injury we had was Thomas Altieri, which was an MCL. sprain. They will MRI. it tomorrow but they said it will probably be a couple of weeks. It's not as bad as I thought, but he will probably miss the first game."

On replacing Altieri for the first game:

"Well (Garth) Gerhart is there now. We've got some guys that have played there on our line. Robert Gustavis plays center and we can move some guys around. I'm just happy that knee brace saved him. He'll be back, but whether it's two weeks or three weeks I don't know."

On improvements on the line since the last scrimmage:

"They did a good job. I thought the front of the running game, the pass protection and all that stuff was very good. The problem was dropping balls. I thought we ran the football a lot better and with a lot more consistency. Torain and Keegan (Herring) ran pretty well. I'm glad we did it. We needed to do that for ourselves."

On Torain's impressive running:

"He's special. There is no question about it. He can make a lot of things happen. We've got to help him by throwing him the football. If they start putting seven in the box to stop the running game we've got to be able to swing it, and catch it, run routes and do the things we're capable of doing because that's how they're going to play us. They are going to put us one-on-one outside, but we still have to make plays. That's where we have to get the consistency; it's not Ryan, it's not the offensive front- we've got to throw it and catch it, which we're doing pretty well."

On limiting the carries of Torain at practice:

"We have to be careful, but he's got to run enough plays to keep his condition."

On comparing Ryan Torain to Steven Jackson (who played for Erickson at Oregon State) when he was in college:

"They're similar, but it's hard to compare them. Jackson may be the best running back in the NFL other than Tomlinson. They're a little different but similar in a lot of ways. I wouldn't try to compare him to anyone right now other than himself. He's got thirteen games to prove who Ryan Torain is. I think that will be special."

On Omar Bolden recovering his groin injury:

"He's good, but he's not totally healthy."

On kicking and punt coverage:

"I think Thomas (Weber) is kicking the ball off really well. I wasn't at that end, but it looked like he was kicking it down in the end zone. That's pretty special if you can do that. I think our kick-off return is going to be fine. The biggest concern is punt protection. That has more influence on a football game than anything."

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