ROBB AKEY: Silver & Gold Game Quotes

Spring Camp 2009 is finished and the team now sets its focus on preparing for the season opener at New Mexico State in just a few months. Quarterback Nathan Enderle battled newcomer Brian Reader to retain his starting job going into fall, wide receiver Eric Greenwood was impressive, and third year head coach ROBB AKEY provides his thoughts on the progress the Vandals made during camp.

Summarizing thoughts of Silver and Gold Spring Game and spring camp: "We saw some big throws out here today. I've seen our running game work well throughout the course of spring; so for our offense I think that that was a very good thing. We've shown some ability to put pressure on the quarterback with our defense. Our defensive run stopping needs to improve, and it will improve as we get into fall camp.

I think we've got a good part of the base started there -- the fact that there are three receivers that I think are doing some good things, a few running backs doing some good things. Both quarterbacks -- two quarterbacks -- I see competing very well with each other. Nathan Enderle has been a better quarterback this spring. He's throwing the ball better. He's running the offense very, very, very well. He's handling it at the line of scrimmage fantastic. Brian Reader is throwing the ball great, and he's getting a lot better running the offense, too. I mean, this is his third offense in three years right now, and that's gonna continue to grow for him. I think the presence of competition around each other, that's been a good thing too -- that competition. Those are the things that get me fired up.

And I see some guys like Matt Cleveland -- we had high hopes for him in the fall, and he breaks his leg. Who knew what he was going to look like when we got into spring ball. He's had a very, very, very good spring; so there are some guys like that, that I think some good things are coming about with."

About the performance of Eric Greenwood and other wide receivers this spring: "Yeah, Eric Greenwood did a nice job in the weight room this winter. He can just about cast a shadow out here. I don't know if y'all noticed that today or not, but he has had a very, very good spring. He's doing a great job going up and catching the ball. He's doing a great job with the fade ball which a 6-6 receiver should, and he's running his routes better. He's doing things better. I think, yeah, he is one of those guys that I think has done a good job at receiver for us.

Max Komar has had a good spring. He's been more consistent. There are one or two I think he'd like to have back tonight, but the prior parts of the spring he's done a fantastic job for us there.

And Dewey Hale is a young guy that has shown up. We're seeing his athleticism help make some plays, and I think we've got a couple three more guys that are going to fall into that mix as well."

About what the team can take away from this spring and continue to work on going into fall camp: "Well, taking where they started the spring and where they ended spring, [they need to ask] 'What do I need to improve in regards to technique?' 'What do I need to improve in regards to assignment?' 'How can I set my goals over the course of the summer so I'm best prepared to be able to make that happen in August?' Get in the weight room every day. Get into the video room and those types of things. 'How can I take the role that I'm in right now, whether that be a starter or a guy that's in the corps, or a guy that's still trying to work himself into the corps, take that assessment of where I'm at right now and do everything I can to improve it by the time we come to camp August 7.'"

Final thoughts on the scrimmage and spring camp: "Well, I'm sad that it's the final scrimmage of spring. I'd like to keep going. I liked what I saw out here tonight, and I hope the fans kinda enjoyed what we did. We wanted to change it up a little bit. I mean, spring game – you can always go watch a spring game and things happen; so I hope that they enjoyed the competitive things that we had going out here tonight. That's one of the things that I wanted to leave spring ball with, was that we kept the competition going. We really worked hard with our winter conditioning to increase the competitiveness of this football team, and that carried into spring practice, and that's why I wanted to do some of those things that we did tonight, where we had a drill -- the Vandal drill -- the callout drill, and taking that last situation there with the offense vs. defense, It's all third downs. That's the most important down in football. On offense you've got to keep a drive alive or go score points. Defensively you've got stop ‘em and get the ball back for your offense; so I like the competitiveness that we closed things with tonight, and I hope the fans enjoyed that show a little bit also.

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