Q&A with Jeff Grimes

Inside, offensive line coach Jeff Grimes talks about where Ryan Miller has been practicing, his timeline for naming starters and the players who missed the first week of camp finishing up schoolwork.

BSN: Ryan Miller — he played guard in the scrimmage, and it seems like that's mostly where he's been practicing. Have you got him slotted for guard this year, or are you still going to work him some at tackle?
Jeff Grimes
: No, I still think he's going to be a swing guy this year. Even if he ends up playing guard, he's going to have to be ready to be a backup tackle. But I'm trying to get him to where he's comfortable doing one thing. So I'm not moving him around so much.

If he gets a little bit more comfortable there, then I can move him around a little bit more. If he's moving around all the time in practice, then he's never going to get a handle on the offense.

BSN: Do you have a D-Day for naming a starting five?
Grimes
: No. I feel like, honestly, that's something that could change right up until the last week. Even then, it could change. I've had several years where one guy beat out another guy during the season. One guy is struggling in a game, I'll put another guy in and he plays better. That could still happen.

But in terms of an initial starting group. After this (Saturday's) scrimmage, I'll narrow it down to who's in the mix. But I won't necessarily say these are the starting five. And then probably with a week or 10 days to go, I think we'll have a pretty good idea of who it will be.

But if there's still a couple guys close, I have no problem with alternating some guys. I could see that being a reasonable scenario this year. We have enough guys competing at certain positions, where I could see us going into the season with a starting six or seven, meaning one or two guys are alternating series.

BSN: Erick Faatagi, Keenan Stevens and Wes Palazzi were out much of the first week (schoolwork). How much are they in the mix now?
Grimes
: Honestly, they were a little further along today than I thought they would be. Without having gotten very many reps, and without having done very much, they stepped in and showed that they knew what was going on most of the time. They at least put their hat on the right guy, and did it with aggression. It's more competition.


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