Golden goes in-depth Friday

Read on to see what Al Golden is saying about a couple position changes, the quarterback competition, why he believes the defense will be improved, and more.

On David Njoku playing LB today:
David is a hybrid for us. He’s 230 pounds so he can be an X, he can run or is an H-Back or is he a sam? We’ll look at the film and talk to the coaches about it. He has length and size. We are just trying to look at guys at different spots.

On the relationship between the QBs:
Number one, they respect each other immensely. They’re competing and setting a good example. We will evaluate them in the classroom, their preparation,, and on the field. From a team standpoint, everyone is still getting reps with the ones and twos. I’m pleased with that position right now, and Ryan is getting stronger too.

On the upgrades around the campus:
Since January 11, we spent the better part of the first two years of raising money and putting a plan together. We have what we need to be successful.. We have caught up in many areas.

On the overall depth and conditioning:
We’re in very good conditioning. We will struggle with that a bit with depth but we have confidence in the two deep. The offensive line has been good, and that was my biggest concern coming in. We have to push them but you have to be conditioned.

On Dallas Crawford since the spring:
No comparison, starting with his body. Playing safety in college now is almost as difficult as playing corner. We’ll see it all. Dallas has made a commitment to his body and it’s paid off, and he’s playing well.

On the defensive improvements:
We have to get better in all three phases, and it starts with me. We threw four interceptions at North Carolina and we had four redzone stops. The defense was on the field most of the time fighting their tails off. That’s one example. But there were times we didn’t play well. We have to tackle better, get better on third down, and continue to develop our pass rusher. I think we have made a lot of progress with that.

On Chad Thomas:
He came in at 250 and now he’s over 260. He’s a competitor and isn’t afraid to stand up for what’s right. It’s easy to bow down as a freshman but he comes out of a championship program. He has a certain standard and he’s done well. He’s in the mix now with first and second down. That’s realistic. A lot of these guys who joined us in May, its hard to imagine them as freshmen now. Look at Joe Yearby. Could he have done that if he arrived two weeks ago? No. Chad is humble and hungry and has a chip on his shoulder.

On Walter Tucker going both ways:
I’ll be honest, if I didn’t lose sleep wondering if we put too much on him. He’s 230 and explosive. He’s fast for a fullback and for a mike linebacker.

On Brad Kaaya:
He came in at 220 and he’s 206 now. He’s leaner. He loves the game. He devotes a lot of time to it. Everyone is motivated. He’s given up a lot in terms of seeing the area. He’s blessed with his ability to see and his arm to get it down the field. He has confidence that you normally don’t see. His coordinator was able to work with him two hours a week for eight weeks. He’s been able to learn the system.

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