Coach Tedford's Post-Practice Comments

Memorial Stadium - After practice Thursday Coach Tedford took a few minutes to answer questions from the press and to comment on team progress.

He began by noting with pleasure the two scoring drives that led off the scrimmage section of practice today, the first quarterbacked by Nate Longshore with first unit, the "ones", the second led by Kyle Reed working with the "twos".

"The first few drives were good. We had the starters in first and they made a nice drive, taking the ball down the field. The first two drives were real nice using both the ones and twos.

"Then we started substituting guys in so it was a good learning day for us. Some of the younger guys got experience with game tempo, and it was a good day for our backup quarterbacks to get some experience running the huddle. We made some mistakes there, so that was good - that's what practices are for."

Several delay-of-game penalties were called by the referees, and as many more times the quarterbacks called time outs as the play clock wound down toward zero.

Nevertheless Tedford said, "I was really pleased with the effort - guys were making plays."

A leading question remains open - which of the two backup quarterbacks will be named to the number two slot behind Nate Longshore.

Tedford equivocated today, saying that he is still evaluating that decision - but added that a decision could be expected by mid-next-week.

"They both do things really well, so it comes down to who can control the offense the best, keep us in good situations, utilize the clock well, run the huddle, all that type of thing."

Several nice runs by members of the tailback corps occurred today, with all of Forsett, Best, Montgomery, Slocum, and Vereen making nice contributions.

"We're real fortunate again," said Tedford, "that the young kids are everything as advertised. Shane and Jahvid are both not only great talents, but they're also great kids, they're really hard workers, and learn very very well. We'll need to utilize both those guys this year."

Syd'Quan Thompson was held out of practice today and Coach Tedford was asked about that.

"He's got a little tweak in his ankle, not bad, but we felt like Syd has shown enough in camp that he didn't need the work today."

Elaborating on the defensive backfield situation, Tedford noted the emergence of Chris Conte.

"Conte has been working a lot with the ones and the twos, he's really done a great job. He's a big, tall, physical corner who can run and has nice cover skills, so he is really making a move to be a guy who is going to contribute for us. I don't know if he has actually moved past any of the redshirt freshmen, but he's right there with them.

"Bernard Hicks was flying around today, made a couple of nice tackles. Unfortunately, one of those was on a fullback so we'll have to wait and see how his knee is feeling. We'll get an MRI on his left knee to see if he's OK."

Tedford also commented that Robert Peele has done pretty well in spite of having some nagging injuries in camp. Peele has been playing more safety recently and has become part of the rotation. Tedford is hopeful that he can get fully healthy and help the team.

"Kickoffs were nice to see ... (two of them were) a yard deep in the end zone, so that was good. I was real anxious to see how that was going to be in a game situation. And we covered the kickoffs well too - the kickoff coverage got down there and got them on the fifteen yard line, so that was good."

A lot of videotape review is in store for Tedford as he works toward decisions on who will get playing time when real games are on the line.

Tomorrow: an interview with Kyle Reed. Top Stories