10/29 Football Notebook

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Tuesday. Read on for an injury update, his thoughts on Cal's offense, and more.

  • With no bye weeks the rest of the season, Arizona has shortened practices a bit in order to keep the team fresh.

    "It was a normal Tuesday," Rich Rodriguez said. "It was okay. Practices are getting a little shorter now. Heck, we were out here an hour and a half and we're done. They have been pretty business like."

  • In addition, the amount of hitting in practice has decreased as the season has gone on.

    "We put pads on, but we really don't hit much," Rodriguez said. "Now I don't know how many teams are really banging. We go full pads on Tuesday and bang a little bit. Wednesday we go half pads for half the practice and that's it.

    "It's really cut down. I worry about some of our fundamentals, but it hasn't been too bad so far."

  • Cal has put up big yardage this season, but tends to struggle in the red zone. Rodriguez attributes this to numerous factors.

    "They have made a lot of big plays," he said. "I think they have had some turnovers that have hurt them in certain games. The Oregon game was like our Washington game, you talk about the worst conditions possible. It was miserable for them just like it was for us up there."

  • Samajie Grant may not put up the number of some of Arizona's other receivers, but he also is one of the more reliable ones.

    "He knows all of the receiver positions, which is pretty remarkable for a freshman," Rodriguez said. "He will make a mistake here and there, but he is a real competitive guy, it is important to him.

    "To learn as much as he did as a true freshman is remarkable, so he is in the right spot most of the time and has good ball skills."

  • It appears that Arizona could add Tra'Mayne Bondurant and Jared Tevis back into the equation if Tuesday's practice is any indication.

    "I think they did just about everything today, but I don't know how they felt afterwards," Rodriguez said. "I saw them out there in the green shirts, so they did not have any hitting, but I think they were doing most of the stuff today."

  • When Sonny Dykes arrived at Cal, there were numerous questions surrounding the quarterbacks. Although Rodriguez had some questions as well, there was more stablity as the positions.

    "When you are unsure about who your quarterback is, I always felt that as long as they are productive and getting better, you are going to be okay," he said. "We were unsure. I didn't think our performance at quarterback in August was what it needed to be, so we were on them pretty hard, but they got better.

    "I feel better about it now, but at the time I was really nervous about it. They had no experience, but they weren't playing in practice as well as I think they needed to and thankfully we have gotten better at it."

  • Rodriguez also touched on the fact that some players may not fit the system of a new system and coaches approach that in different ways.

    "People say, well when you get all of your guys in there, but they were my guys as soon as I took over the team," Rodriguez said. "The difference is that until you play a game with them, you can watch film on what they did in the past, but you truly don't know what you have until you play games with them and until you see how they react in adverse situations.

    "We were learning our guys as the season went along. By the second year, obviously you know what your returners can do a little bit, now you don't know what your new guys are."


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