Arizona Football Weekly Presser Notebook

Read on for notes from Rich Rodriguez's weekly press conference.

* Rich Rodriguez chose not to name a starting quarterback on Monday and did not give any hints as well.

“Anu and Brandon have separated from the other guys,” Rodriguez said. “Certainly Anu is a starter and he has been a starter for the past couple of years, but Brandon has progressed to the point where we consider him as a starter as well. Right now we haven’t even talked about it as a staff, but I wouldn’t hesitate to play both of them. Both of them probably will play.”

* The reason why there is no rush to name a starter is because Rodriguez has confidence in both.

“I’m not playing a game or being coy,” he said. “I’m not worried about it. Everybody else seems to be worried about it. I will let Brandon and Anu know. Brandon and Anu do the same things. We don’t call one set of plays for one guy and another set of plays for the other guy. 

“They have to run the whole offense. If there was completely different plays called for different quarterbacks, you would need to settle down a little bit. For us and what we run, both guys are expected to and capable of running everything.”

* Shun Brown was listed as a starter on the depth chart released Sunday and Rodriguez gave some insight as to why.

“He did well the same things he did during spring and as he progressed last year,” Rodriguez said. “He is a competitive kid. He loves football, works his tail off, and is intelligent. He will help us in the return game and he will help us at wideout. We have four different receiver positions and I know he can play at least three of them.”

* Cam Denson was not listed as a starter in the slot, but it doesn’t seem to matter much.

“He has had a good camp and he is at the position he needs to be at,” Rodriguez said. “He has played mostly in the slot, but he has played outside some and he has had some really good days in camp. Cam Denson is considered a starter along with Nate, Samajie, Trey, Shun, and probably Tyrell. 

“He is a really good athlete. He is average size and has good speed, but he has good ball skills and is quietly competitive. I think he has settled into his position and can certainly help us.”

* Rodriguez isn’t ready to say how good he thinks his team is, but remains happy with the overall attitude.

“I like where we’re at attitude wise,” he said. “I like the enthusiasm we have seen in practice on a consistent basis. In the last three weeks, it has been as good as I have seen anywhere since I have been here and really anywhere I have been. 

“I think that has to help us. We coach them pretty hard and we’re pretty demanding, but judging by the last couple of practices, their attentiveness and learning curve has gotten really good.”

* Arizona’s depth isn’t where any of the coaches would like it to be, but the staff believes they are close.

“I think eventually my goal and every coach’s goal is to have true competition at every position,” Rodriguez said. “If you have two or three guys you can win with at every position, you’re going to win a lot of games. We have not been there and we’re not there right now, but we’re going to get there.”

* It may go against what Rodriguez ideally wants, but it appears one player will handle both the kicking and punting duties on Saturday.

“Ask me Saturday night at about 11,” Rodriguez said when asked about the kickers. “I like how they work, but that’s a deal where you have to see it under the lights. 

“Josh Pollack has kicked better when we have gone under the lights at the stadium than he has on the practice field, so maybe he is a stadium guy. He has a strong leg and very capable. Right now he is probably there starter at field goal and the starter at punt. Edgar probably has the strongest leg. Our punting is still wide open. You have to wait and see how they do in games.”

* One player that has put together a solid camp at a position of need is defensive lineman Aiulua Fanene.

“I consider him a co-starter on defense,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve had injuries and have not been able to play a lot of guys in the front seven rotation. We have to force ourselves to do that because it is a long season and such a physical game now. Fish is a big, physical guy. He has had a really good camp and a really good spring.”

* Rodriguez knows that J.J. Taylor is too good to redshirt, but is unsure how many touches he will be getting.

“We haven’t talked about that yet,” he said. “Sometimes you do that with certain guys, but we haven’t talked about that yet with him because he is so young. We know we have to get him in the game. He is a true freshman that has shown a lot. J.J. is an explosive player and he will play.”

* Attention has already turned to BYU and Rodriguez’s initial impression has to do with the Cougars’ overall size.

“They are a big, physical team and play extremely hard,” he said. “We’re actually not bad size wise offensively, but they are a big team up front. They are very active and we expect them to challenge us and bring a lot of pressure. Even their defensive backs are big guys, so we’re going to have to play physical in this one.”

Wildcat Authority Top Stories