8/17 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez discusses quarterbacks, the defensive line, and more.

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* Fall Camp is coming to a close and preparation for BYU will soon begin as Arizona has generally had a successful month.

"I think we have gotten better," Rich Rodriguez said. "I know we have gotten in better shape and still have a ways to go. Every day we do more situational stuff that our guys need to learn and I have been on them pretty hard about understanding the down and distance of where we’re at, so we’re getting there."

* Jalen Cochran and Francisco Nelson may not be physically ready to play yet, but both have bright futures ahead of them.

"They are two long, athletic guys that are kind of a hybrid defensive end type that we need," Rodriguez said. "They have to get stronger, but they both have really good futures. We’ve said we have to get longer and more athletic on defense and they fit that body type."

* If practice is any indication, Arizona's defense will be more aggressive this season.

"I think more than anything you can create turnovers by trying to create some confusion and getting a lot of guys around the ball," Rodriguez said. "When the ball presents itself, whether it is somebody carrying it loosely or quarterback throwing it, you have to attack it."

* Wide receiver Darick Holmes has been more visible this camp and Rodriguez made a point on Thursday to compliment his effort.

"He has gotten better," he said. "We’ve challenged him. He was kind of in the doghouse a little bit and we challenged him to be more productive, more committed, and so far in camp he has done that."

* Aiulua Fanene has moved around on both sides of the ball, but it appears he has found his final landing spot on the defensive line.

"We need big bodies and he is every bit of that," Rodriguez said. "He has worked hard. He wasn’t in the mix on the offensive line and really wasn’t in the mix on the defensive line, but he has worked hard and is a big, tough guy. I think he can help us there"

* On Wednesday, Brian Kelly made the announcement that Notre Dame will play two quarterbacks in the season opener. Could Arizona do the same?

"I would play both guys," Rodriguez said. "If we have two guys ready, we will play two. If we have three, we’ll play three. It’s pretty simple."

* One player that is in line to play heavily once again is defensive lineman Parker Zellers.

"He is a great competitor, loves the game," Rodriguez said. "He hasn’t grown any, but I think we are past that deal. He still plays with a chip on his shoulder. It’s a good example of a guy that came as a walk-on and earned a scholarship, but is still trying to prove himself."


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