Media Day: News and Notes

InsideTheVille.com's Media Day notebook is jampacked with team news and notes from head coach Steve Kragthorpe, defensive coordinator Brent Guy and several players, including Scott Long, Adam Froman and Justin Burke.

--Kragthorpe said they're ‘easing' Scott Long back to 100 percent. The goal is to get Long to peak at the start of the season, not in the next practice or two.

--Kragthorpe wants to name a starting quarterback 10 days before the opener. Kragthorpe said both Justin Burke and Adam Froman are throwing the ball well right now.

--Kragthorpe on Burke: "He's a very bright guy and will graduate in three days. He's a very cerebral guy. He has god information for you after a play. He has good vision and timing in the passing game and managing the huddle."

--Kragthorpe on Froman: "He's very bright. He can get us in and out of plays and change protections. He also does a good job being athletic and making plays with his feet. I think he brings a lot of things to the table."

--Kragthorpe said he'll design the offense to fit the strengths of whichever quarterback wins the starting job. Kragthorpe said he'll give them two or three plays in the huddle and let them pick which one they like.

--Kragthorpe praised the performance of running back Darius Ashley and is pleased with the depth at running back.

--Kragthorpe said that Victor Anderson has gotten bigger to withstand the punishment but maintained his speed. Kragthorpe also talked with Anderson about being a team leader and that the sophomore has responded well to the challenge. "He's done everything I've asked of him," Kragthorpe said.


--Kragthorpe said the offensive line is coming together and that they're moving some guys around to get the five best linemen on the field together. Jeff Adams moved from right to left tackle. Kragthorpe said the guards are interchangeable and that he feels good about six or seven or eight guys but would like to have nine guys ready to play up front. Alex Kupper is the backup center behind Mario Benavides.

--Kraghorpe said there are several candidates to return kicks – Trent Guy, Doug Beaumont, Victor Anderson, Preston Pace, Johnny Patrick. Punt return – Guy, Beaumont, Andrew Robinson and Scott Radcliff.

--Kicking-wise Kragthorpe talked up Chris Philpot. "If the ball goes inside the 30 yard line 75 percent of the time we've got to get points," Kragthorpe said. "That's what I've talked to the kickers about and they've been more consistent. I thought Chris really had a good spring and he's been accurate."

--Kragthorpe mentioned defensive backs Shenard Holton and Zed Evans, wide receivers Andrell Smith and Damian Copeland and offensive lineman Kamran Joyer as true freshman who might play this season.

--Kragthorpe: "We're building facility-wise and program-wise."

--Brent Guy said the newcomers are struggling to catch up and that's been the hardest thing. Guy said he was pleased with the retention from the spring by the returning players.

--Guy said he prefers the 4-3 structure which is different than last year's defense. Guy said the biggest change has been for the linebackers. He also said that many of the coverage packages carried over.

--Guy said he's trying to find ways to get linebackers Brandon Heath and Chris Campa on the field at the same time in certain situations because of their ability to pressure and cover. He thinks both will make a lot of plays this season.

--Guy said the top three corners are Johnny Patrick, Kardell Dunning and Preston Pace.

--Guy: "We always say we have to stop the run by being gap sound. We want to be in position to stop whoever is running the ball. We have to find ways to create lost yardage plays. And then we have to eliminate the big plays and force turnovers to give our offense scoring opportunities."

--L.T. Walker said there's been more emphasis on pass rush and getting to the quarterback. Walker said Rodney Gnat has a great ‘get-off.'

--Walker said he thinks Tim High could be like a ‘Ted Washington' out there. "He's a road block," Walker said.

--Long said the team is internally motivated and is motivated because they haven't reached their goals the past two years. Long said the goals this season are to win the Big East and reach a BCS bowl.

--Long isn't 100 percent and couldn't put a percentage on his knee. He said he still get a little fluid on the knee after practice. Long said the plan is to pace himself through fall camp to be ready for the season.

--Adam Froman said he brings mobility and leadership to the team.

--Justin Burke: "It's going to take a guy that can make the right decisions and lead the team and show that he'll be there on every snap. It's about consistency..showing up for every practice and every play the do it the right way. I think that's the biggest aspect of who's going to win it."


Cardinal Authority Top Stories