Al Borges: "We threw some bad balls and probably made a few bad decisions, which is really typically because up to this point we had been making pretty good progress. A couple of balls got away from those guys. We're still learning how to use the pocket. We haven't…at times we're great and at other times we're not as good and to run the style of offense that we want to run we have to learn how to use the pocket better. We'll get that. We've made incredible headway in that capacity but it will affect everything he does here. It will affect his passing accuracy, it will affect his running and it will affect everything."
Question: We saw a few designed quarterback runs, a lot of power runs in the middle, do you like the balance there?
Al Borges: "Yeah that's what we're going to be. We didn't run Denard (Robinson) very much but in the real world we'll probably run more than you saw today. I don't really know, we'll see how that goes. We're making a transformation here and we're not going to learn about this transformation by quarterback running every play. When we did a few nice things in terms of moving the line of scrimmage and a few power plays and such, we've made some headway that way, but we're still a little rough around the edges, we've got a ways to go."
Question: How do you talk to Denard about that and do you say we're going to do more traditional passing for now because we need improvement in that area, we know you can do the running.
Al Borges: "Absolutely and he understands he that. You saw what he can do when he runs. The first play, I wanted to get him into the flow a little bit, so we called a quarterback run the first play and you see what he can do. That's no secret, everybody knows he can do that. So what we've got do is because we can facilitate that within our offense, we are trying to develop the other phases of our offense that are going to make us a better football team and one of them is power running and there was an emphasis on that today."
Question: If you can establish that running what can play action do for Denard?
Al Borges: "It is limitless for what you can, but you've got to establish the run to make it work. The people have got to respect your ability to run the ball tackle to tackle and outside with your tailback, not always your quarterback and that sets up everything. You can see some glimpses today and throughout this spring we've done a pretty good job of it. We were dropping too many passes, fumbles. We looked like a spring game. We'll fix all that."
Question: Speaking of play-action, in terms of mesh points do you think it is convincing to the defense or is dependent on the running game being more established?
Al Borges: "Both. Your mesh points have got to be meticulous. You've got to look like exchanges are being made whether you run the ball well or not, because if the defense is convinced there is a possibility that the ball can be exchanged, you're going to get bites and hence you're going to get more people open down the field."
Question: Coming out of the spring, what is the hierarchy of the running backs?
Al Borges: "I got to talk to Fred (Jackson) about that, I don't really know. The good part of it, I think we've got more than one. Michael Cox ran the ball well but last Thursday, (Fitzgerald) Toussaint ran the ball very well and Michael Shaw has shown some flashes and Stephen Hopkins has really been a good tackle-to-tackle back. I don't know. We haven't made that decision yet, but we are seeing some flashes of brilliance from all all of them."
Question: How much of a playbook did you feel like you were able to end up with?
Al Borges: "About 60% and in this game we showed only about 40%. So we pulled back, we put very few people in motion. We had a few formations but because people don't really know exactly what we're going to do offensively. I'm sure they are going to study San Diego State and take pieces of what they see here, but we were not going to empty the drawer in the spring game. I just think there is something to holding your stuff until the fall."
Question: What is like going against a Greg Mattison defense?
Al Borges: "This is not my first rodeo with Greg. He does a good job of mixing coverages, mixing fronts, showing blitzes and then showing blitzes and not blitzing. He does a great job. You better know what you're doing when you're playing against Greg and you'd better cross all your Ts and dot all your Is."
Question: You talk about your first rodeo with Greg, do you remember it?
Al Borges: "Oh yeah absolutely. I've had a couple of rodeos. We played them in Auburn, I think it was 2006 or 2005, I can't remember and then we played them in the Swamp the next year. In that conference you play the other side two years in a row once in a while, depends on how it goes. We were not on the same side, but we have met a couple of times."
Question: Hopkins is always a good short yardage runner, can he be more than that, can he be the guy?
Al Borges: "Sure he can. He can be the guy. He's a big guy, but he's got soft feet. He can get in and out of cuts pretty good and most of his runs finish with his shoulders moving forward, sure he could be the guy. I think any one of those guys could be the guy. We just really haven't had a guy where we can say that's him. In most instances and in most places that I've been that bears itself out eventually."
Question: On Devin Gardner…
Al Borges: "Devin (Gardner) is a very, very talented guy and he like Denard is still learning on what it takes to run this offense. When he picks that up and he is solid under center and he is comfortable with putting his screws in the ground and letting it rip and using his athletic ability when it is needed, he is going to be a really good quarterback, I'm convinced of that."
Question: Talk about the wide receivers and who emerged in your opinion?
Al Borges: "We had some good performances by a lot of guys, not so much today but through the spring all the guys that you know well. Junior Hemingway had a nice spring. Roy Roundtree was as productive as anybody the entire spring. Martavious Odoms did some really nice things, Daryl Stonum. All the guys who caught balls last year have been productive through the whole spring. Today, we were not…either we were missing throws or dropping passes. We never really got into rhythm. We've had a few scrimmages where I felt like we were that way. In offense is it all about inertia, you got to hit one and hit another one and start feeling good about themselves, get another one and before you know it, the defense starts losing a little confidence as you gain it and you've scored 40 points before they know what hit them. We never really today and it is our situation with the way it was set up. It doesn't matter. You still have opportunity to move the ball and you got to take advantage of those opportunities."
Question: What about your tight ends and what can you get out of those guys this year.
Al Borges: "We're trying to get up the profile if that makes any sense for our tight ends. We had a scrimmage the other day they caught nine balls in the scrimmage, so we want to get them more involved, we want to get them involved in the run game too because you cannot run the ball the way we want to run the ball without a tight end that is a typical type. We're fortunate in that I think we've got a couple."
Question: When you say you were put in situations here, was it really not beneficial to the offense the situations you were in?
Al Borges: "It was fine. You get the ball, this is football, losers out. They score, you ge the ball back there is your chance and you take advantage of it. There are no excuses for that."
Question: When you get all your guys back do you have a sense for how good the offensive line can be?
Al Borges: "Yeah. I think when they can play together every day. That is so critical and I use the exam, a year ago when we were at San Diego State and this happened a couple of times, it was the same five guys who started all 13 games. You have no ideal what a difference that makes, because they gain some chemistry, communication is clean. They know how to work together, they know exactly what the guy next to him is going to do. Spring football is a difficult thing for that. You're shuffling guys in and out. You never real gain that chemistry that you need."
Question: Who is the leader of the line?
Al Borges: "I don't know. I think David Molk when he is practicing every day. He was out a lot of spring but when he is practicing every day I think he can be one."
Question: On if that's a position would like the leadership to come from…
Al Borges: "Oh sure. You would love your center to be the guy. He is kind of the quarterback of the offensive line."
Full Transcript: Al Borges Postgame
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