Erickson Likes Flexibility at WR, DL

Friday marked the first practice of the year moved to the bubble, which created a lot of excitement from all of the players, but it was the defense that seemed more comfortable in the controlled conditions than their offensive counterparts.

"They've been good. Yesterday was a little better than today," Erickson said. "The enthusiasm obviously was there. I though offensively we weren't near as sharp as we were yesterday.

The defense routinely jumped on the quarterback's mistakes and was very impressive; they even returned a few interceptions for what would've been touchdowns. With that being said, Erickson knows he must get his best offensive group on the field as much as possible.

"He (Chris McGaha) might be on the inside when we go three-wide," Erickson mentioned. "We felt that position gets a lot of footballs, and for us to play our best guys right now it's easier to move Chris inside and be the backup inside and play Gerell Robinson or T.J. or whatever. So it's more to get the top four or five guys out there."

When asked if any one quarterback stood out Erickson replied, "Not really. Like I said, we weren't as sharp on offense today as we were yesterday. The thing we're trying to do is repeat things, so we didn't add a lot of things, so we have to continue to get better. We're a long way from where we need to be."

Though the offense didn't perform up to snuff in the bubble on the first day, Erickson believes occasionally practicing in the bubble will help the whole team in the long run.

"That's the whole idea of the bubble," Erickson noted. "I'm a firm believer that if you're in this hot sun everyday it wears on you a little bit, so we're able to do that to try to get more out of them.

"I don't know if it's to keep them cool, but to get more out of them. If you alternate back and forth they don't get quite as tired."

The defense caught the eye of everyone today, and Erickson knows the success of his defense starts with the line, and it's leader, Sr. Dexter Davis.

"I encourage people to be what they want to be. Dexter has been a leader by how he has performed and he is a senior, he's been here, he's proven guys listen to him and he'll have a great influence on those young guys."

When asked if he has noticed Davis be more vocal this year Erickson commented, "Vocal for him (Dexter), is not Omar Bolden, it's a little different."

Erickson knows that he can't just count on Davis. He will need the versatility of the whole group to make this season successful.

"Well we're doing it (moving guys around) because we have guys that can play. For example to the weak side you got Dexter and DeLeone who are quicker and on the other side you got a guy that is going to play a seven technique that has got to be a little bit stronger," Erickson pointed out.

"Now we'll do that some. We're not going to do that all the time. It's the same thing with the three (technique) and the one (technique). The one is kind of a nose guard, the other one isn't.

"Eventually what people do is they switch tight ends on you, so you end up having to play both anyway. You know they'll line up, you line up, they switch the tight end and you got to sit there and play, you can't switch anymore."

The interior guys will be key this year for the group, and Erickson likes the mix of talent and experience his group has.

"With a guy like Saia (Falahola) nose guard type, and Lawrence who would be a three technique athletically," Erickson referenced. "I see Corey (Adams) as a three (technique), I see (Will) Sutton as a one (technique), and that's what we got right now."

Coach Erickson has liked what he has seen from the young guys.

"From what I saw on tape yesterday, pretty good," Erickson remarked. "Again, without pads on it's hard to tell. I know they're active and physical, and so forth. We thought so when we recruited them, so we'll see.


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