8/20 Practice notebook

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the play of the freshmen, injuries, and more. Read on for all of the latest.

There was plenty of news coming out of Arizona's practice on Tuesday, including one member of the team leaving, injuries, and more.

  • Michael Cooper has chosen to leave the team to explore his options and there seems to be a good chance he will wind up somewhere else to play football.

    "He is exploring his options," Rich Rodriguez said. "He may stay in school here and not play football, he may transfer somewhere else. He is a great young man, good student and whatever he wants to do we are going to support him and wish him the best."

  • Tuesday morning's practice was more vocal than usual with the coaches really getting on the players, but it seems it was planned from the start.

    "I come out here fired up because I want to be ready to go from day one," Rodriguez said. "I was probably going to get on them no matter what happened just to get the juices flowing because I had an idea that we weren't going to practice tonight."

  • Often times you will see a practice or a scrimmage in which everything comes together, but Rodriguez says that may be a little slow for Arizona because of the amount of younger players.

    "You would hope a veteran team is ready to click maybe not in the first practice, but very soon thereafter," he said. "We are not a veteran team in some respects because we have 44, or whatever it is, of our new guys that are freshman.

    "The freshmen have done a good job of adapting. That's the thing. Sometimes you forget they are freshmen and you try to coach them like upperclassmen because so many of them are going to play this year."

  • Rodriguez says that the paring down of the roster is not just for quarterbacks and the coaching staff will soon look at the other players as well.

    "We are probably going to sit down after tomorrow and look at exactly how many of those freshmen we think may play and how many may redshirt," he said. "We don't have to make that decision right now. I thought a bunch of them would help and it looks like a lot of them will."

  • Mickey Baucus was forced to sit out practice on Tuesday and it yet again helped highlight the versatility of Chris Putton.

    "Yes, and he has in practice," Rodriguez said when asked if Putton can play any position on the line. "With Mickey Baucus having a sore ankle and sitting out today, he (Chris) played tackle. Chris is invaluable because he can play them all."

  • David Richards continues to progress from his injury and Rodriguez had a positive outlook when discussion if he would be back this season.

    "It is going to be a couple weeks I think, but he is right on track," Rodriguez said. "We are hoping he can start running around here next week or the week after. The first game would be doubtful because it is ten days away. I don't know when he is going to get out of crutches, but I hope it is sometime soon."

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