8/19 Practice Notes

Rich Rodriguez discusses numerous topics after Monday's practice. Read on for an update on the quarterbacks, an injured defensive lineman, special teams, and more.

Rich Rodriguez met with the media after Monday's practices and here are notes on what he had to say.

  • Rodriguez says that there won't be much different this week in terms of how practice is handled.

    "Not much because there is no school, so it is really going to be the same as last week," he said. "There is no clutter, it is all football. I just told the team that there is no reason for them not to improve a lot this week because there's nothing but football in their minds."

    Although there won't be a big difference, Rodriguez does admit that there will be some focus this week on Arizona's first opponent, NAU.

    "Little bit and we will talk more tomorrow," Rodriguez said of NAU. "Tomorrow will be the first true introduction to NAU and some of the game plan and scheme in all three phases."

  • With the new rule changes and some worrying about injury, Rodriguez says that Arizona's practice habits have been unique to him.

    "This is the least hitting I have done in coaching 20 years of coaching college football," he said. "You have to be extra cautious and you have to be able to teach a different way and coach a different way than you ever have because you have less live contact.

    "I have never had this less live contact ever and I think most of my colleagues are the same way just because of concussions and what have you. You have to get guys ready to play. This isn't the pros. Our guys still have to learn how to tackle and block and all that. You have to play the fine line of how to do enough to get them taught and not beat up your team."

  • Throughout practice, it has seemed that Arizona has been opening up the playbook more than it did at this point last season. Rodriguez confirmed that on Monday, at least on one side of the ball.

    "I think we are further ahead defensively," Rodriguez said. "Offensively we are probably about the same and I think that is simply because of the quarterback situation. We are trying to rep so many guys and actually we will probably pare things down even simpler in the next couple days."

  • The special teams competition continues and Rodriguez is not ready to name any starters yet in terms of specialists.

    "Drew Riggleman has done the best job so far as the punter, but that is still ongoing," he said. "The kicking, Jake Smith has had a real good camp, but today wasn't his best day. Then Casey Skowron had a really good camp, but Saturday wasn't his best day. There's those two and then I think the freshmen, Bret Miller and Jack Flatau are pretty talented guys, so we have four we are pretty confident in."

  • Rodriguez wants to narrow the quarterback race by the middle of the week and is unsure of where Anu Solomon stands, although he says it is possible he will be getting less reps in a matter of days.

    "No, maybe less," Rodriguez said of Solomon's reps. "It is kind of one or two days. We can't rep six quarterbacks or seven quarterbacks. We're going to go down to maybe three or four starting on Wednesday and I don't know if he is going to be one of those three or four yet."

  • Dan Pettinato continues to rehab from his injury and looks to be getting close to being able to contribute.

    "I think he is probably ahead of track," Rodriguez said. "I don't know if he will be able to play in the first couple games, but we hope to get him by the third or fourth game."

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