"We had another good scrimmage. I thought we improved. I missed about half of the practice – I had to go to Maxwell Air Force Base up in Montgomery and speak to about 100 officers up there. I got back a little bit late, but I caught a little over half of the scrimmage. The offense moved the ball pretty good – of course, we got a couple of guys hurt today. This has not been the defensive tackles' year. Brian Ross hurt his leg – I think it's broken, but I'm not sure. Then (Lorenzo) Booker sprained his ankle. He was running good again, until he got hurt. Ol' number 30 (walk-on Marlon Napier) had a day, though. 30 was the star. They let him lead the cheer (at the end of practice).
"It was a pretty good scrimmage. I don't think the defense played as good as they wanted to play. It usually goes that way – if the defense wins one scrimmage, the next week the offense is mad and the defense ain't. The scrimmage was not bad."
Q: What did you see from Fabian Walker?
A: "Fabian threw some, and didn't throw bad. You can tell he was a little rusty. The good thing was, I don't think he hurt. I think his arm felt good, and it's just a matter of getting some reps, to get your timing."
Q: He had a nice touchdown pass to Dominic Robinson. How encouraging is it to see him throw a pass 45 yards through the air?
A: "The biggest difference I see in this football team – and there's probably a lot of differences, because it's a different team – is the fact that you've got some quarterbacks now that know what they're doing. It's not ‘I wonder if…' They're making some plays, and they know what they're doing – that's the most encouraging thing to me, is going into next season with a better quarterback and better backups."
Q: Chris seemed to have a pretty good day.
A: "Yes, he did. He made one great throw, when he was scrambling. Running to his left, threw back to his right, which most people can't do. I don't know how he does it. Threw it right on the button – for a touchdown, I believe, to (Craphonso) Thorpe. The receivers are a little reluctant to catch the inside cuts. I don't mind you mentioning that. We culled a couple of inside throws – they can't do that. They've got to go get it. We don't ask them to go in there very often. When they do, they've got to go get it.
"Some good hitting on defense. I saw some good tackles out there. 54 (A.J. Nicholson) continues to do well. I saw (Marcello) Church make some nice plays. I saw 44 (Sam McGrew) make some nice plays. The linebackers have got some ability."
Q: In the last few practices, you've seemed upbeat. Are you optimistic about the season?
A: "I see – you know, losing Anquan (Boldin), losing Talman (Gardner), losing some of the guys we lost last year, you come out here and you wonder, well, who's going to take their places? How far are we behind? As I look at the skill, I'm really happy about the skill. The catchers, the runners, the fullbacks blocking, the quarterbacks – from an offensive standpoint, I feel so much better. I see so much potential, if we can really build a solid offensive line and keep them healthy. So far we've been able to keep them healthy. I really hate to lose Ross, though. He's really coming along really well."
Q: Were you planning to put him on scholarship for the fall?
A: "Yes. Despite his injury, he'll still go on (scholarship)."
Q: Losing Brian Ross is a tough blow for you, right?
A: "It is. The kid was playing good football. It showed the difference, when he went out. I hate it for Ross. It's killing me on the inside. They say you can separate football and all that – but no. He's one of my kids. I love him."
Q: How many years of eligibility does he have left?
A: "Two years."
Q: So he could be forced to sit out this year?
A: "I don't know yet, because Randy (head trainer Randy Oravetz) hasn't talked to me yet. I know something happened, and I know it was bad, but I really don't know. Maybe we can get a medical (redshirt). I hope so."
Q: Coach Bowden said you were going to put Brian on scholarship.
A: " Oh, yeah. Shoot, yeah. He was playing good football. You look at the scrimmages we've been having, with him in there, he's been playing pretty good. Beating people."
Q: Brian was a first-teamer this spring, right?
A: "Oh, yeah. First-team noseguard. Doing well. Causing penetration, all that. There's nothing I can say, right now. I'm going to tell him I love him."