Rodriguez ready for start of spring practice

Rich Rodriguez is ready for the start of spring practice. Read on for his thoughts on how he will approach it, if he reflects on the past, and more.

Arizona is set to kick off spring football on Saturday and head coach Rich Rodriguez is ready to see what personnel he has to work with.

"Our strength and conditioning coaches feel the objectives they wanted have been accomplished," Rodriguez said. "I haven't seen the results yet from the testing we've been doing this week, but I'll see that by Friday. Now our coaches are getting ready for practice starting Saturday."

Rodriguez does not like to compare last year's team to this year's because he feels that teams change with each passing year.

"Every team is different," Rodriguez said. "I don't think the program changes, but the team changes from a personality standpoint. I've said many times, I thought we had really good senior leadership last year, so I'm waiting to see how that develops this year.

"I think a lot of the guys who were here with us last year understand how we're supposed to work and how we approach things. We expect anywhere from 35-40 new guys on the team this fall, so there's going to competition just to have a roster spot and we want it that way."

Rodriguez is choosing to approach this spring a bit differently, as he wants Arizona to work more on fundamentals as opposed to actual schemes.

"I felt really comfortable last spring as far as the surroundings, the environment and what we were putting in," he said. "The biggest difference is we know our guys. We know what we have and we know what we need to work on. Last spring, we focused on fundamentals, but we also introduced our schemes.

"This spring will be a lot more about fundamentals than it is schemes. There will be some practices where we won't do a single team period at all. It'll be 7-on-7, some inside stuff and a lot of individual work for two reasons, because of our numbers and what we're trying to accomplish."

There has been some reflection on last season, but Rodriguez is choosing to look ahead more than look back.

"You reflect back, but maybe not as much as learn from," he said. "Schemes or methods or ways, I think it's important as a coach to look back at the good and the bad. There were a lot of positives, but we also have a lot of things to improve on.

"Once recruiting and signing day are over, you take about a month and our coaches have been looking at last year's film. We'll continue to do that throughout the spring and in the summer."


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