Golden updates Yearby, Knighton, & more

Read on to see what head coach Al Golden was saying following the first practice of fall camp on Thursday.

On the first day:
It was a good start. We got a lot done and it showed what they’ve done over the summer. It was great.

On how the players felt:
They enjoy it. It’s a big difference than being out here over the summer. They enjoy being around the building and around each other.

On anyone being held out:
We have a couple guys who are working on little things like (Ryan) Mayes and Quan Johnson. They were here but they were just held out of some things.

On the expectations on Brad Kaaya:
I’m not worried about Brad. He’s too busy doing what he’s supposed to do to be worried about what’s on the outside. He’s leading by example every day. He’s made a lot of progress with his body and the command over the offense from last year.

On the wide receivers:
Brax looks great. He’s a year and a half removed from an ACL. He looks leaner. Herb is 197, as fast as he’s ever been. Rashawn is 205. Stacy is in the 190s. It’s an exciting group. We’ll see who steps up. I’m sure Stan and Jake and those guys feel the same way at tight end.

On the competition level:
There is so much competition. Guy gets an ankle, guy gets a pull, a guy is one one day and two the next day. These guys will be tested, and they have to pull through.

On Hunter Knighton’s return:
Hunter is representiative of who we want to be. He’s smart, tough, and a hard worker. It’s been such a long road. He went from being a starter to being out for 18 months. He’ll get a lot of opportuntiies here.

On Kaaya’s impact:
No comparison. He elevates the whole building – not only his confidence but the confidence everyone has in him. His body, his quickness, all those things are better than a year ago.

On Joe Yearby:
He missed the workouts with the team but he didn’t miss the voluntary workouts. He passed the conditioning test which speaks volumes. He had to take some classes over the summer and had some personal things to take care of.

On the improvements they need to make:
There’s so many, but if we don’t become a smarter and more disciplined team we’re going to continue to have the same results. We finished last in penalties. We went 825 yards in the wrong direction. We didn’t operate really well on third down and we have to do better there by being a smarter team. It’s hard to win like that and that’s been the challenge since January 12. I’m hopeful that these guys understand what they need to do to play good ball.

On any major changes:
I don’t know if there’s ever been a year when we didn’t change something. I don’t think there’s a coach in America who doesn’t do know. We have to keep distractions to a minimum. It’s by far the least amount of distractions we’ve had going into the season. I’m grateful to them for the job they’ve been doing.

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