Monday Rich Rodriguez press conference notes

Rich Rodriguez met with the media on Monday to discuss Colorado, personnel changes, and more.

* Even though the record may not indicate it, Rich Rodriguez believes Colorado is a much better team than last season.

"They are more athletic on both sides of the ball," Rodriguez said. "They play extremely hard and their staff does a great job. They have been really close against some really good teams, especially at home. Our guys will understand that and we know what the challenge is."

* One of the main reasons Arizona's defense played well against Oregon State is Paul Magloire's move to linebacker.

"Last Sunday we were hurting at linebacker and need some athleticism there and Paul is a big safety," Rodriguez said. "The concern was that he is a new player and still learning safety, so to put him a new position, we were a little weary there.

"I thought our staff did a good job in just a couple of practices getting him ready to play. He’s still learning, but he learned the little we put on him pretty well."

* There was also a personnel change on offense, as Freddie Tagaloa moved to left guard.

"Toward the end of camp Layth got more comfortable with what we were doing," Rodriguez said. "It wasn’t just the way he played in camp, but in the action in early games and looking at Freddie, thinking he might be more of a natural guard than a tackle.

"We still consider Zach Hemmila a starter, but Layth had his best game Saturday and we are confident he has earned a starting role."

* Linebacker Jake Matthews is another player that has come a long way since last season.

"He’s bigger and stronger," Rodriguez said. "He is very intelligent and has built himself up. With our Mike linebacker situation, we are just trying to get our healthy bodies that can play multiple defenses out there.

"It is hard for us defensively to do some of the things we want to do package wise because when you are moving guys you are going to limit some of the things you are doing because you don’t want to confuse them."

* Jamardre Cobb's future position may be undecided, but he has been successful on offense so far this season.

"He's just a physical presence," Rodriguez said. "In our highlight film we showed the team, other than Will Parks, his were the next three highlights.

"There were three plays in a row of a fullback being a fullback. Whatever he weighs, I call him pork chop for a variety of reasons, but when he brings that full load with good pad level, it can lead to some pretty good collisions.

"What we were doing with him is just a couple plays and every week we are adding more and more to him, so now there are half a dozen he does within our offense."

* Arizona used three running backs last game and the overall strategy comes down to what the opposing defense is giving to the Wildcats.

"Every offense would like to have balance, but we don’t want to force the balance," Rodriguez said. "We always think you have to have three running backs available. We’re going to have at least three or four running backs ready at all times.

"If you have that balance and it’s not forced balance, it’s a good thing, but if somebody loads the box and forces us to throw it 70 times, we have to be ready to do that too."

* Due to his performance last week, you can expect Orlando Bradford to get more carries.

"We have been trying to get him more reps recently," Rodriguez said. "He is a physical runner, has a great feel for the game, and is faster than you think.

"He is going to keep getting better. He kind of reminds me what Nick was last year. Orlando will be part of the regular rotation, as will Jared and Nick."


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