There’s no question that many anticipated Arizona to have its strongest core group of receivers in quite some time, but receivers coach Tony Dews feels the unit is still a work in progress.
“We’re still growing each and every week,” Dews said. “I see progress in a lot of areas but I think we’re getting better and we’re understanding the offense more so than before. That’s really what you want to see at this point.
“Obviously things haven’t gone to way we wanted them to at times but I always tell our group to worry about the things we can control. That’s playing fundamentally sound and making sure we’re running our routes right and doing the things that we’re supposed to do as receivers.”
Shun Brown continues to be a pleasant surprise this season leading the team in receiving yards, which Dews attributes to the work ethic Brown puts in on a daily basis.
“Shun’s a great kid,” he said. “He’s a coach’s kid and he’s one of the guys that honestly tries to do everything that our coaching staff asks of him. Not only that but he’s always doing it to the best of his ability. He doesn’t complain or gripe he just goes out there and puts in the work every day. It’s great to see those things pay off for kids like that.”
Despite injuries, Dews and the coaching staff want the best chance the win the remainder of the games left on the schedule, which means having the best receivers out on the field at all times.
“We need guys out there who are going to help us,” Dews said. “Heck you never know, with injuries you really don’t know who is gonna have to go out there and play. We’re trying to win games so no one is redshirting per say.
“If we need someone to help us win the remainder of our games, they’re going to sacrifice for the team and go out there to play.”
With Arizona in its bye week, Dews is making it a point of emphasis to make sure the receivers are refocused on the fundamentals of play moving forward.
“I can’t say enough how much it has been about fundamentals for us,” Dews said. “We’re always learning our assignments and how to play better. We need to improve from a fundamental standpoint and focus on the things we’ve struggled with thus far through the season.
“That’s in terms of press coverages, reading coverages, going in and out of breaks, top of routes and so lots of other things. It’s been great to get on the field this week and be able to have that time to work on the fundamental part of our game.”