3/10 Football Notebook

On Monday, Rich Rodriguez discusses his usage of slot receivers, working with other coaches, and more. Read on for all the latest.

  • Monday was Arizona's first practice of the spring in pads and Rich Rodriguez was happy with the effort.

    "I think the intensity was pretty good," Rodriguez said. "It is a pretty competitive group of guys, which is what you want in the first day of pads.

    "I think there will be some good competition this spring. There are enough guys back on offense and defense to make it pretty competitive."

  • In the last three seasons, no team in the country has won more games with fewer draft picks than Arizona.

    "I would like to not have that stat," Rodriguez said. "I would like to have a bunch of draft picks and I think we will. I think our guys believe in each other and we have some players where maybe if they don’t get drafted, they are still NFL type guys."

  • When looking for slot receivers, Rodriguez wants a player with some versatility.

    "Guys like Samajie and Tyrell are slot receivers, but they can also play running back," he said. "Jonathan Haden is playing more running back this spring, but he can also play wide receiver.

    "You just want guys that can make plays in space. We can get by with a little smaller guys, but they still have to be tough and block on the perimeter as well as be able to run the football."

  • Rodriguez recently worked with other college football coaches, including two that visited campus.

    "I went on a little apparel trip with about 20 other coaches," Rodriguez said. "Urban Meyer has been a long time friend and we have always traded ideas. Kevin Sumlin came down and we visited. Kevin Wilson from Indiana visited.

    "We trade ideas a little bit and sometimes I will send coaches out, but I think they would rather come here because a lot of the places they’re at are cold and not very nice weather.

    "There’s no patents on schemes. People ask why I would talk about it, but if they study film enough they can figure that out on their own."

  • One of the more intriguing position battles is at outside linebacker.

    "We have to have some of those freshmen learn what they are doing and get in better shape," Rodriguez said. "Right now I’m not overly concerned we’re not in shape like we will be in August because we don’t play a game for several months, but when we go fast at times during practice, you can see where conditioning is a big deal, especially for the younger guys."

  • Sharif Williams continues to work to get into shape in hopes of playing his freshman year.

    "He is a big, strong kid," Rodriguez said. "He has a long way to go just with conditioning and getting used to the intensity in college.

    "He’s overcoming a serious knee injury, but he’s a tough guy and he’s got mass. He’s got one thing we haven’t had a lot of, so Coach Kirelawich will work like crazy to get him ready for the fall."

  • Another big player that is expected to make an immediate impact is Freddie Tagaloa.

    "He blocks out the sun," Rodriguez said. "He should be the first guy off the bus whoever we play because he will look impressive in a warmup.

    "He’s a hard worker and it’s very important to him. He has experience and we are expecting big things from Freddie."


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