Post Scrimmage Comments: Whitehurst

We caught up with Charlie Whitehurst after today's scrimmage to get his thoughts on a number of topics, including the running game, and also on why his numbers have been somewhat down through the first two scrimmages.

With Duane Coleman out for at least the first few games, have you seen anything out of Reggie Merriweather or Yusef Kelly that makes you think that one of them has a better opportunity to start than the other one?
Whitehurst: You know I don't know. Yusef is getting the first look because he's the older guy and I think he does a little better with pass protection but they are both guys that can run the football and they showed that today. The last scrimmage Yusef had the long run and that was good to see. On the goal line he was getting pretty physical.

Are you throwing less swing passes now with those two guys than you would with Coleman?
Whitehurst: Yeah I think it's tough to do in practice. In third and four in the first game of the year maybe that makes a difference, but you'd like to think not. Reggie and Yusef- those guys aren't bad receivers themselves, and really Kyle Browning, he's a heckuva receiver. I think they are good enough to have faith in them, maybe they aren't as good as Duane, but they can get the job done.

How important is it to you as a quarterback to have a good running game this season?
Whitehurst: Well the running game bails you out. It's tough to do in third and 12 and third and 8, but if I can get into 3rd and four it becomes to easier to execute. It makes my job a lot easier, and it eats the clock up too. So it's very important.

Your numbers haven't exactly been sparkling through the first two scrimmages, is that because the coaches are giving the second team guys more of a look or because you are struggling somewhat?
Whitehurst: I could be throwing the ball better, but I'm not worried about that. Our biggest priority is seeing if we can run the ball better. We know we are going to throw the ball because we did it last year. You don't take it for granted, but we know we can do it. I know we are going to throw the ball but I think we struggled a little bit in running ball consistently last season, so that's something we are trying to work on a lot right now.

Coach O'Cain told me a while back that the one thing he wanted you to work on really this season was the deep ball. Has that been a focus for you during practice up to this point?
Whitehurst: Yeah, I think we are coming along. It's hard to ask those receivers to run full speed 50-yards in practice. It's something you either kind of got or you don't. It's something we are working on though and I think we are getting better in that department.

CUTigers.com Top Stories