Gene Chizik Q&A

Missed the audio of Coach Chizik following Saturday's scrimmage? Here's the transcript.

Q: Coach, I know that the first practice of the year you started over after 15 minutes. What was the point of that and what did players learn from that as the summer has gone on?

Chizik: I just think they have to understand the tempo that we want to practice every day…and that's not a slow tempo. You start practice and you play it one speed all the time and that's full speed. If you don't give us that…anytime during practice we'll do it over. I think that message got to them pretty quick.

Q: Are there benefits of having a night practice and doing it under the lights?

Chizik: Lot of benefits. It was a dry run for game day and where everyone will be for pre-game warm ups and how the different units and going to sub in and out and all your different substitution packages in offense and defense and your special teams in there with it. It's really invaluable and playing at this time at night they got an idea of where the sun's going to be and stuff like that that you don't know until you practice at that time.

Q: You guys did some of that running on the field and subbing in. Some things these freshmen probably don't know how to do.

Chizik: They really don't. Until you go out there and have a dry run…and we'll have a couple more dry runs…we just want things to go smooth and see where our problems are and iron out the wrinkles. Two more times should get us where we need to be.

Q: Have you gotten a chance to work on special teams in terms of the five-yard rule?

Chizik: We have. That's obviously an important change to the rules and will affect a lot of things on offense and defense. That becomes a huge part of what we've been working since day one.

Q: Do you focus on that more than you would have a year ago and the field position that can give you?

Chizik: I'd like to say that we always focus on it and always work on it, but now that's going to put the ball in play so many more times than the previous years. If you go in the NFL and look at it, in 16 games there are some teams that only kicked an unreturnable kick 8-9 times in a 16 game season and those are NFL kickers. The ball will be in play more so you have to be better at both coverage and returns.

Q: Non-football question…very family-oriented environment here. Did you and your family and the other coaches' families get a chance to get down to the state fair? If so, what was the impression?

Chizik: I can't speak for all the coaches' families, but mine did and they said that there was everything imaginable that you could eat on a stick. They said it was really fun and really neat and it was a great experience.

Q: Is there a depth chart beginning to form and if so, who are some of the players that have solidified their positions?

Chizik: We're still 10-11 days out…I've lost count…I'm not sure where we're at. The depth chart has not been solidified at all. We'll be battling it right down to the last day and the last 2-3 days before the game. There's some guys still challenging. We're just going to wait and play it by ear and see who comes to the forefront.

Q: Looking at this as kind-of the close of camp, is this where you wanted to be and are you comfortable with that?

Chizik: I don't know if I'm comfortable with it or not because we haven't played anybody but ourselves. It's really hard for me to tell until we get these guys out there and adverse situations and trying to overcome negative plays. I don't know where our football team's going to be. I'll have a great idea after our first game, but right now it's an enigma to me because I don't know what our football team is like on game day and how they'll respond.


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