Shannon updates team's progress

Coach Shannon talked about the progress of the team, following an off week, as they continue preparing for Saturday's game against Texas A&M. Read on to see what Shannon said about a number of topics.

Opening Statement:
"We just came off a real good week of practice; we put a big emphasis on special teams, the receivers and quarterback connections and also creating turnovers on defense. That was the main emphasis, and improving on things from last week's game."

Q: Why did you decide to switch Dwayne Hendricks and Antonio Dixon on the depth chart?
A: All the tackles are going to play. It doesn't make a difference who starts. We are always rotating the guys on the defensive line."

Q: Why did you decide to play Chris Rutledge at guard in addition to tackle?
A: He played guard in the last game and did well for us. Not taking away from Joel and Orlando those guys are going to still play. Chris will play guard at first in the game and then he'll slide over to tackle some.

Q: Why did you shake up the wide receivers?
A: We moved Leonard Hankerson from one side to the other and now Khalil is at both X and Z. You will see Sam, Hank and Khalil at the Z and you'll see Aldarius and Laron Byrd and Khalil at the X. We were trying to separate some of the guys and Khalil is the veteran that can play both sides. We are going to play 7 guys at receiver in this game instead of 8.

Q: Is Jermaine McKenzie in the mix at WR?
A: Whenever Jermaine is ready to crack that rotation he will. Jermaine is like any other receiver. We don't play favorites. Whoever is good to play we're going to play. One thing is we're not going to put anyone in who is not ready to play. We are not going to play anyone just because others think he is ready. Guys have to prove it to us in practice. Is Jermaine doing great? He's doing wonderful. We think he's going to help us out this season and in the future. He's been nicked up, now he's back and we'll see what he can do.

Q: How do you think Matt Bosher is doing?
A: He's improving what he's doing. He had a 50 yard field goal in that game. Mentally, shanking the first snap and coming back and punting as well as he did was tremendous for him. I am really pleased with the way he has handled all three duties. He knows he has to be more consistent with everything he does.

Q: What do you know about the environment at Texas A&M? Did you ever play there?
A: Never. Coach McGriff, coach Robinson and coach Young have all experienced that field. It's tradition there that's been there a long time. It's an opportunity to go into another great football environment, what college football is all about, and play a good team.

Q: Is it similar to playing at UF as far as fans and things like that?
A: They have very devoted fans.

Q: How does it change things not knowing which quarterback they are going to start?
A: You have to look for what they do on offense. Both quarterbacks run the same offense, so you don't change what you prepare for. You don't know who is going to start coming off an bye week. You have to play what you see on field. They're the same quarterback excpet one can probably run better than the other. They run the offense, they don't change the offense because of the quarterback.

Q: How do you do about stopping their running game?
A: They have a more pro-style offense now, are going to run the power game, the toss sweep, do a lot of play action deep balls. You have to run your keys, play your keys. You have to try to contain and control the running back, what he's doing and what they're running on offense. It is a totally different look than last year.

Q: How is Eric Moncur coming along?
A: He is doing well.

Q: Are you impressed with how Sean Spence is doing?
A: He's doing a great job. We're pleased with his progress like we are with the quarterbacks. We've got some guys that are young that are doing a great job for us. Sean is making a lot of plays in key situations for us.

Q: How is he able to make such big hits despite his size?
A: It's almost like Jon Vilma. Jon wasn't very big. It's just guys that can tackle, use leverage, and that's what Sean is very good at. His size does not affect his ability to hit.

Q: Will the hurricane have any effect on those guys?
A: I don't think College Station got hit. There are players on that team from Houston . As a coach you don't want to see anything happen to anybody's family that you're playing, but they are still going to come out ready to play.

Q: Reggie Youngblood is from Houston . How is his family?
A: He was fine. Everyone from the team with Texas families is fine.

Q: Is there a recruiting impact to this game?
A: I don't know if it ever affects recruiting. We go and recruit certain players out of Texas regardless of whether we play there or not/

Q: How has Orlando Franklin been playing?
A: Okay, not great, but he's a true sophomore. Normally an offensive lineman that is doing a good job starts as a junior, but that is the situation we have. That's the hand we got dealt. Orlando knows he needs to get better at it all the time. We talked the other day and he understands he has to get better for us to be successful. Just be consistent. Consistency is the one biggest thing. We're happy and pleased with him, but he has to be more consistent.

Q: Tyrone Byrd had a solid game versus Florida. How is he doing?
A: He is doing well. We are going to rotate at that position. Everyone is going to play.

Q: How is Arthur Brown?
A: He is doing okay. He's been nicked here and there with an ankle injury that has been slowing him down but he's doing fine. He's on special teams so he should play.

Q: Talk about the importance of creating turnovers.
A: Turnovers is a change if momentum and they comes in bunches sometimes. You may not have a turnover for two or three games, but you may have one the next five or six games. We stress it in practice and in games guys will understand what it takes. We need to create some.

Q: With the ACC schedule around the corner, so how important is this game?
A: It's a big challenge for us. Every time we step on the field we have to improve, can't stay the same way. So each time we try to improve on all phases.

Q: What would you like to see out of your offense?
A: I want to see the whole team improve, not just the offense.

Q: With Javarris James out what happens?
A: He's our big back, now we have to depend on Lee Chambers and Derron and Shawnbrey . Those guys have to step up. Lee had tremendous practices last week. He is looking very good and Shawnbrey is also. Those guys are starting to come around. They didn't play last year. Those are big additions to the program, and they build depth at running back.

Q: Do you worry about a letdown after the UF game?
A: We don't even talk about that game anymore. We went onto Texas A&M last Sunday. That's all we've been talking about is Texas A&M.

Q: How did things go in practice last week?
A: We came back out and practiced well. We came out with a mentality of trying to create turnovers, score points in practice. When we get to that 50-yard line we have to have that edge on offense to score. And on defense that edge of keeping people pinned down but also create turnovers. It's been going both ways in practice.

Q: Will Jacory Harris play this week?
A: Yes he will. He will get some time in the first and second half.


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