Full Transcript: Coach Rod Presser

Coach Rod goes all around the horn in this long transcript: on the game Saturday, on injuries, on who's playing well ... and the future as well.

QUESTION: What is your feeling between Tate and Denard?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Well, they compete every day. Obviously, Tate played very well. He made a lot of mistakes, but he certainly played well for us to have him take the first snap again. But Denard, I think we're still, Denard didn't play a whole lot start, but every day he gets a little bit better. And as he continues to progress on the offense, he's going to be more and more of a factor, and Nick's there as well. But the two freshmen are the guys that you see every day getting a little bit better. And Tate, obviously, his performance in the last game was pretty solid. But I think if you ask him even he'd tell you there are a lot of plays still out there that he can make.

QUESTION: Was there comments that maybe you should move to Robinson the wide receiver?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Robinson's a quarterback. And he's going to play a big role for us at quarterback this year and probably for several years to come. But again, you've got to give everybody wants to anoint someone after two weeks and Tate played well, but Denard's played well, too, and he's had a chance. And he's still learning, and Tate had a head start because he was there earlier. But I like the progress Denard's making, and he has all the skill sets he can throw, he can run, he has all the skill sets that you need, he's just got to learn the offense and he will.

QUESTION: What about on punting? Have you had him back there at all in practice?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: No, he's been playing quarterback. And we have other guys that feel pretty good about the guys we have back there. Obviously, Darryl made a big return. But our pool of returners is deeper now than it was a year ago, and it will continue to get deeper. We think there are always some position moves, and we'll juggle the offensive line a little bit for injuries and maybe a defensive guy here and there, but for the most part, I think we've at least identified all the positions for our guys at this time.

QUESTION: What is your strength in that secondary? How important is it over these next few weeks to try to develop some more depth?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, Boubacar is a little bit banged up, but he's not on the injury list. He should be fine. J.T. Floyd's the guy that we've got to -- had an outstanding camp and we've got to continue to progress him and get him in the rotation a little bit. Then a couple of the freshmen in Teric Jones and Justin Turner are two guys that you'd like to be able to red shirt, but I don't know if we will. We've got to see where they come along. We didn't have the best of games secondary-wise as a whole, obviously, Saturday. But they were going against some pretty talented folks in Notre Dame who they had there.

QUESTION: Is the plan then to try to get those guys in a little bit more early?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: No. The position coaches have a good idea of who is ready and in particular plays or schemes or situations. And, you know, I will make a few suggestions here and there more offensively than defensively. But the defensive staff has got a good plan, and they'll get them in there when they're ready.

QUESTION: Talk about how Moosman is doing?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: He is the most questionable. He may be out this ballgame one or two weeks. Again, I saw him yesterday, I've not seen him yet today. I'm sure he's in getting treatments. But if he can't go, then we've got a couple of ways to go. We have behind him, you know, John Ferrara can play there, and we've got Elliot Mealer and Ricky Barnum, and we can move Mark Huyge down to guard, and put Patrick Omameh at tackle, and we could put Patrick at guard. We played a lot of those guys in camp in different positions and we'll work that in the next few days and see what's best.

QUESTION: Is that an arm injury?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, his shoulder popped out. I think he did it in high school, and they obviously got it back in and all that. But when the swelling goes down and what have you. We'll give you a full injury report Thursday. Other than Moose, who was the most serious one, I don't think we had anybody that got an injury that may keep them out from Saturday.

QUESTION: Except Williams?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, Mike was just cram ps. And they couldn't get the fluids back in him to get that alleviated.

QUESTION: Talk about the injury report. You said that you want everybody in the league, every coach in the league to release one?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: You know what we did, the ACC adopted a policy a year ago, which I thought was a pretty good idea. Like the NFL, instead of having questions all week -- because everybody wants to know, I understand why everybody wants to know who is healthy and what their status is -- but instead of answering the same questions every day and getting daily updates. Do like the NFL and release a statement on Thursday of who is probable, doubtful, out, whatever. The whole league adopted that same policy. So I proposed it to the big 10, but for some reason it did not pass. I didn't stand on the table and pound my fists or anything. I just thought it was a good idea, and most of my colleagues did at the same time. Why it didn't go as a policy in the league, but you can adopt it as an individual policy. And we have, whether the other teams have or not on, I don't know.

QUESTION: In addition to asking questions about it, isn't it obvious it cuts out who is in?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: That's a good point. And we've talked quite a bit about that. That's a great fear for all of us coaches is people that don't have the best interest of the young men at heart, maybe they'll ask somebody, hey, how's so and so doing? And we've told our team, if it's outside our team and your family, outside your family asking about you, you don't talk about that, because of that very same reason. You have to be very, very careful out there. Unfortunately, that element is out there, and it's out there across the country. He we do quite a bit of rules education with our compliance and amongst ourselves because of that.

QUESTION: When did you make the proposal?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: This is in the past spring. Again, I don't want to judge anybody else, but I thought it was a good idea. You know, you all may want it daily, maybe people ask you more. But I think the policy protects the young men, it protects the program, and to me there's not much you can do about it anyways. The guy's shoulder is dislocated. It's dislocated. It's not going to change from tomorrow to today. I'd rather ask questions about this is what we're doing to prepare for Eastern Michigan. This is on what our practice plan is. And the depth chart situation, I understand everybody wants to know about that, but I prefer talking about team situations.

QUESTION: Speaking of Eastern Michigan, Ronnie was on staff. Did you consider keeping him in that role?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: I interviewed all the coaches. I interviewed the entire staff at Schembechler Hall. It took a few hours, but they were gracious enough to wait. I retained Fred Jackson. He's been a great fit for us. Rehiring a lot of the support staff at Schembechler Hall. And Ron did an outstanding job as defensive coordinator, and we talked briefly. But I had an idea in mind defensively, and we made a change after last year and I'm happy where we're at. But I know he's got a lot of friends here, and as you would expect he spent a couple of years at a neat place you're going to make a lot of friends. He's been fortunate. He got a head coaching job, and I'm sure he's going to make the most of it.

QUESTION: In the time that you talked to Ron, what struck you about his personality maybe in the way he's wired as a coach?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Oh, I don't know if he did a whole lot in our short conversation. But we talked a couple of times. I called him after he got the job and congratulated him. And we talked briefly about a few things there. But he's got an outstanding reputation as a defensive coach, and, again, I think he'll do a great job at Eastern.

QUESTION: Charlie Weis yesterday in his press conference said he's sending a bunch of tapes to the Big Ten, including he mentioned seeing players getting punched in the face after plays. Did you see any of that?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: No. Did you? You all got DVRs? We've got our tape on DVR. I think if the officials would have seen anything, they would have called it. So I have no idea what you're talking about.

QUESTION: Do you see your team having a let down after such a big win?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: They all count as one. This is a good one, a big one. Normally after 24 hours we have to move on. But because we watch tape today, Monday, after 48 hours we move on. So we'll watch the tape. There are a lot of things to get corrected. And, again, we're not -- there may be a few folks that maybe doubted you a couple of weeks ago that are back on you. But it just takes one bad performance for all that positive vibe to go away. So we'll talk quite a bit about this week. Playing to our capabilities and playing with the same intensity all the time.

QUESTION: Does it help that they played Northwestern so tough?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, that helped. Northwestern had to kick a 50-yard field goal to win it. And Northwestern I think has a very good ballclub. Up in Northwestern's place, Eastern didn't quit, and obviously came back and had a great chance to win the game.

QUESTION: How do you think Darryl stepped up?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, Darryl played really well. Is a invoice made a few plays at the end. But was really proud of Darryl. He's been really consistent. Had the big return as well. I think, hopefully, Junior will be back this week, we'll know more later today.

QUESTION: How important are those guys in the return game against Notre Dame?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Last year we couldn't even catch the kick from what I remember. We were happy to catch a kick and fall down, it seemed like. This year on our other returns, we were close on a couple other returns, I wish we would have been able to execute better. But the other one was certainly bigger. We put the time in, it was just a matter of executing and guys making the play.

QUESTION: Can you talk about the difference the two games have made?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: I think I probably told you all, the two biggest stats that we talk about offensively is turnovers and negative yardage plays. We've cut down on turnovers, and the negative yardage plays is the other stat we've cut down. Some of the penalties, I know coach may send their -- I've got a handful of plays, too, that I'm going to send in and say I'm not sure we agree on this or that. There are a couple out there that I thought 100 some thousand may have agreed with me on a play or two. But those guys by and large do a terrific job. The ones that can be reviewed, they review, and they generally get them right.

QUESTION: The quick kick, the tape?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, we practiced that. I don't know, was that the first time we used it this year?

QUESTION: Yeah.
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Well, we've practiced it quite a bit. All of our quarterbacks, Tate, Denard, and Nick all are pretty good punters. And they've been punting a little bit in practice every day since camp started.

QUESTION: Do they come in with that?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Now, Tate did it in high school, and I don't know if Denard did, but he's done it well in practice. And I think Nick has done it before. Nick has done it with us in practice for last year and this year. But Tate was, I think, their punter in high school as well. So he's very good at it.

QUESTION: Can you talk about the situation and why you maintain field position and so many great plays?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Oh, I won't give you all the reasons why, but, you know, just the situation with fourth down, you don't really want to go for it. And sometimes you can kind of quick kick it before they're ready. If we do it on third down, you better check my pulse. We never do it on third down. But on fourth down, that's something that's in our package.

QUESTION: On if he thought about going for it on 4th down on Michigan's second to last drive.
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, I thought about it for a second, going for it, but it was just like one second. And then my better judgment said, listen, it's 14-12, whatever it was. If it was 4th and 2 or 3, it would have been a different deal. And he we had three timeouts left. But the way they were moving the ball made me think do I want to give this ball up? Generally, that's not in our nature to give it up, I'd rather control it ourselves, but had confidence in our defense. Thought we could get them backed up you a little bit, and thankfully we had just enough time.

QUESTION: Do you ever see a change when a coach could have a challenge?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, we do have a challenge, and what had happened, I was waiting for the time, usually after the touchdown, you get a little time for the replay official to review the same thing that I see. When it was apparent they lined up the kick, and they wouldn't review it, and I took a timeout. I could have took a timeout in the challenge. But I thought taking the timeout would give them more time to review, and I still have my challenge. You don't want to burn a timeout unnecessarily in the second half. The first half doesn't bother me as much to take the time out to give them a chance to review. That's what I did. I said, I'm not going to challenge it, but this gives them enough time to see what I see on the screen up there. They said, yes, Coach, they are reviewing it. And they said you still have the timeout. I said that's fine, as long as it gets called right.

QUESTION: Is that something you practice, a handful of plays every week?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Oh, we usually most of the time I'll tell the coaches when we review the film, if there's anything questionable. We send it to the league office. They'll review it, give you a response back. It's not going to change it, but at least you feel better or maybe you feel worse. You can agree to disagree, but generally they're on the mark. The ones that you question are the judgment ones, the pass interference, the holding. There is a tremendous difference on on holding. In every game they're calling holding. It's been a point of emphasis. We've had the officials come in and talk to our kids and all that. Sometimes it's frustrating as a coach, because you see a guy will lose his balance and maybe he's not as athletic. He loses his balance, and he falls down, the guy winds up on top of him and they call holding. When it wasn't holding, he just pancaked a guy. There is other times where maybe your guys gets lazy, instead of moving his feet he turns and twists at the point of attack, and that's being called. We've tried to explain to our guys and we've shown them on film the difference. But in the game these guys are so fast, it happens so quick, that sometimes the official sees just the end of it and they throw the flag. There were a few calls that I would question, too, on Saturday. But I didn't think there was anything in that game that was determining the game. If there was, it would have been one of those big long plays that we got called for.

QUESTION: Specifically how are they returning?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Real quickly. I didn't do anything or send anything last week. Probably because I was lazy and there wasn't that many that I questioned. But normally within a week they're really good with it. These guys are professionals. We make mistakes, officials make mistakes, but generally not as many as most people think.

QUESTION: Did you notice Notre Dame's quarterback? Were you concerned about the way they were running the ball?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, I have concerns with what they do with everything. They ran the ball, they threw the ball. They had a good plan to go and they executed. But, if you remember -- I'd like to move on to Eastern, because this game's in the past. But if you remember, I thought very highly of Armando Allen since he came out of high school. I know his high school coach very, very well. And I remember when he came out I said this guy's going to be a big-time talent. And he's got the offensive line like three or four seniors and 100-something starts among them. So that concerned me as much as their passing game, and rightfully so.

QUESTION: Did you talk to Butch about this being such a big game for him?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Butch and I talk every week. Normally after every ballgame. His family and my family are close. He's a tremendous coach. He's done a great job up there. They've got one of the best quarterbacks in the country and big sometime big time receivers. And I know that was a big win for him and his program.

QUESTION: Is it easier to get your players attention considering the close game (Eastern) had?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, I think that not just their game, but what the MAC has done in some other games. Bowling Green almost beat Missouri. You've seen other games in the MAC what Toledo did to Colorado, and you're seeing them. 1AA's, I think more and more wins. It all started a few years ago, and now you're seeing it more and more often, and everybody is surprised, but you really shouldn't be. Anybody that follows recruiting will tell you that recruiting is not an exact science. And more young men are going more places, all right, to play, whether you want to call them mid level or whatever you want to call them. They're all Division 1A. I know they've got those letters, 1A, 1AA. I'm not being politically correct. But there are more players going to all these places than ever before. Some of them are talented enough and turning down offers to the big six conferences because they think they can have a better chance to maybe play earlier at this school. So what's happening is the Conference USAs, and the MACS and some of those are getting some talented young men that are either overlooked or want to play earlier or think they can play earlier. And they go there and it makes their programs more competitive.

QUESTION: Earlier in the year you voted in the top 25 and you deserved it. Are you at that point?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: We're getting closer to that. And somebody asked for a reaction to us in the polls, and I can understand that. But I don't care right now. I mean, I would hope that anybody in our program doesn't care. But it's nice for the fans. I understand that. It's nice for whatever recognition that it gives the school. But there's only one that matters, and that's at the end of the year. I've said it for many years they should not even start the polls until October, because how do you know? There are so many factors going into it. But the polls are good for fan interest. It brings interest to the game, people follow it. I'm not dismissing the polls, that's fun. It's a lot of fun for people to follow it. But from a coaching standpoint, from a player's standpoint, big deal.

QUESTION: Do you have a vote?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: My vote will be released at the end. But I do believe we're in the top 25. But, again, I'm a voter, so I put some thought into it. I've got one of my administrators that does it, and he goes through the list and tells me who won, who lost, whatever. It's about this much thought. The last few before the end of the year -- not just the last one, the last three or four polls, and I'll put about that much thought into it.

QUESTION: Do they get votes from coaches?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: I think they have more time. Maybe they don't. You guys are pretty busy, too. But as coaches, again, I got home about 9:45. The traffic was kind of tough. But it was good that it was tough. People were standing around. But I got home 9:45, 10:00 o'clock, so I had a chance to catch a late game and see the scores on there. And I didn't see anything all day, so you guys probably saw -- the reporters and people that vote -- probably saw more game footage, highlight footage, whatever, throughout the day. Then Sunday morning we're you up at it reviewing our film, and getting ready for Eastern. But at the end of the year, you have to put more thought into it. And, again, I think most of my colleagues that do vote are the same way. When it gets toward the end of the year and it gets time where those votes are really, really important, we're going to put some time and investment into really who belongs -- not just one or two -- but who belongs in the top 25, and compare it and put some more sincere thought. It's all serious, but put more of our time into it.

QUESTION: What is the thing about Eastern that concerns you the most?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Well, sometimes even when you lose a game, like they lost a tough one at Northwestern on the road, they're going to get a little more confidence. And I think they will because of that. They're going to have a little more confidence. Their quarterback is another veteran guy. Any time you have a veteran quarterback that's played in big games and had some success, it gives you a shot. That's where it all starts for them is their quarterback and their skill guys. They've had some success, and they've been into battles. This is going to be right next door to us and playing in the big house. I'm sure some of their players know some of our players. I believe there was one of the former Michigan players that's starting for them. We're going to get their best effort from the first snap to the last.

QUESTION: Kevin Koger had an acrobatic catch on Saturday. How would you describe his play?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, he's played pretty well. I think there are areas he's he could play better at. But he's caught the ball well. That was a tough catch he made to keep his balance and get in the end zone. He and Martell Webb have both played pretty well. Kevin played a little more than Martell did. But Kevin has been very, very active. He can do a better job on the perimeter sometimes in our blocking, not just him, but all of our guys. As far as catching the ball and his development being just a second-year player, he's right on track.

QUESTION: Williams had another big block for you, and he can catch some?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Tate, I don't know what he's listed as. 172. He may be up to 180 now. Compared to last year playing 162 pounds. He just looks physically strong if you look at him. You can see him. With that strength comes some confidence. He's always been an aggressive guy. But being kind of short in stature, he's pretty physical. One big catch was a third down play, and he really went down low to get it and made the play. He's been really good. I wish we could get him loose on a few more things. But the way they were playing, they took some of that away.

QUESTION: A very small amount of difference between the polls. Do you have a reaction over Central Michigan?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: The reaction as far as where I voted?

QUESTION: Just as far as were you surprised?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Oh, I think any time, you know, sure you're considered an upset. But my reaction was I was happy for a coach friend of mine, Butch Jones. Again, I think he's an outstanding coach, but he's a terrific person. I know how hard they work. I was happen for him and several members of his staff were with me before, you know, some of his coaches. So I know it was a big game for those guys.

QUESTION: Is there a concern or talk about piping in music, something that hasn't happened before? What do you think of the reaction?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: What is your all's reaction. Beg my ignorance here. But Dave Ablauf gives me a little bit, but you all probably hear from the fans and the readers of your perspective places on their reaction. I've not been in the box, but I've been an advocate of creating some kind of atmosphere in the stadium that was fan friendly and something they'd enjoy. And I've said this many times, I hope everything that we're doing and the department is doing is not just for them to be at the game, but be part of the game. I think when you're interactive like we're trying to be, it allows them to enjoy the experience more. The best experience is if we're playing well and winning. But you notice how long these TV timeouts are? Oh, it's brutal. So with all that dead time that you have with the TV timeouts, if there's a way that you can use the band, and the student section, and the crowd and music and get everybody into the game so they enjoy the experience and come back whether you win or lose, that's a positive thing. Winning helps. That's the number one thing. But what do you all think? I think it creates atmosphere. And it's tough. Any time there's change, you know, standing in front of you, 18 months of it. Any time there is change there's going to be some resistance, and some obstacles to overcome. But I think if everybody has an open mind and if you have an opinion, I'm sure you'll give it. But the response that I've gotten in the little bit of I've asked is I've been more worried about getting first downs and stop people from winning the games. All I'm worried about now is winning the game against Eastern. But Dave and I talked, the response from the fans has been, I think, generally positive. Now maybe the fans that are listening or watching me here. If you have suggestions for music, clean music, that you think everybody would enjoy singing, sharing whatever, send it in. Send your emails to the athletic department, I'm sure they'll consider everything.

QUESTION: Some of the players have had input on what music plays?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: No, I'm out of the loop a little bit. I'd like to think I'm in the same generation as them. We play some music at practice, you know. I've got the big fellow dusty trying to upgrade that, because he's playing the same songs for 18 months. It's wearing us out and the players. But as far as the game, some of the of the players I believe have maybe gone and given suggestions. But I don't think they've given too much. They haven't had asked me for my opinion. But I had a few good suggestions. Probably something that you guys would like. I like the popular stuff. The things that you get up and sing a little bit. I guess my music generation would be late '70s, '80s stuff. So on what was popular then would be probably what I would pick.

QUESTION: Are you out on the field at the beginning for the circle of death?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Oh, yeah, circle. I speak politically correct here. What are you talking about? That's our team unity circle that we have. Wow, Larry. You can get in trouble for saying stuff like that. It's our team unity circle, we're out there for that. That was either Scott's or somebody's idea to do that. We did that during our Beanie Bowl thing, and I thought well, that's kind of neat. That's a neat song to get everybody juiced up a little bit. I think our players liked it, too. I don't know if it was Scott or somebody suggested it. But hopefully that will continue to grow. I think they just like seeing our guys in a big circle. It looks neat.

QUESTION: It sounds more intimidating?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: You won't hear me say that. No. Circle of unity. Be politically correct now.

QUESTION: You've joked about, I think, you were joking about Tate. Got to keep him humble. I mean, do you really worry about that?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Oh, I think you do with all your players, but particularly your freshmen. The attention that you get on this stage is not something that you could have the greatest high school career ever. But you're not going to get the attention that you're going to get on this kind of stage. So you have to keep them. But, you know, knowing Tate's family and his dad. I saw his dad yesterday, you know. He's always been able to keep his children humble. I told Tate and I told his dad, we're going to stay after him to make sure he still fits in the same helmet each and every week. But that's always been the case. I hope if they play well and do something special, you want them to get recognition. That's a good thing for them and their families. But if it's still a team game, and we put the word down there. He's got a couple guys nipping at his heels in practice, and they're competitors. So they're not going to want to give this up.

QUESTION: How's Steve Schilling playing?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: He's playing pretty well. He's a big, strong guy. It's only two games into it. But, you know, Steve's one of those guys that just loves football. You know, when he runs out to the field of practice, I mean, he sprints. He sprints to get out there and can't wait to play.

QUESTION: What do you think of the scores?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Well, trust me, after watching the film -- and we played a pretty good team -- but we weren't nearly as sharp as you would think or I would want to be. I mean, after watching the film on all three phases yesterday, I was a little upset on so many plays that we left out there and so many things that we've got to get corrected that should have been corrected. So I'm going to be on them quite a bit this week as will the coaches. The fundamental things that -- we were lucky to win with some of the of fundamental mistakes we were making, and those have to be corrected right away.

QUESTION: The offensive line shuffling, how does that shake out in the game? Perry came in.
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, Perry came in. He's been nicked up with his back. But if he can go, he's at guard, we're many comfortable there. But those other guys behind David, whether it's Ferrara or Barnum or Elliot or something, or playing Patrick Omameh, I think it will be okay. Again, we've just started the 12-week stretch on our open day. So you'd like to think nobody else will get hurt, but the likelihood of that happening is not pretty good.

QUESTION: You have a week to prepare for the game, obviously?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: For most people it is. But for us, I probably told you before, we rep our twos as much as our ones on offense. Lot of people give their first team maybe four or five reps and the second team two reps. We make it equal. Again, our pace allows us to do that. But I think it also helps develop our second team.

QUESTION: What can you do for the defensive penalties?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Some of it is fundamental. Some of it is coaching them up on the fundamentals whether it's a hold thing or pass interference thing. Some of them may not have been penalties. I don't know yet.

QUESTION: Campbell, how close is he to becoming more?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: He's so much of a true freshmen. Craig Rosen's an exception, Tate is an exception. But rarely do you have a true freshman, you know, get significant time. And if you're playing too many of them, like maybe we are last year and this year, and maybe next year, who knows. And you've got to bear with it. But Will's making progress. He's got a little bit of time. He's doing a great job on special teams and extra point. But he's going to be a great player for us.

QUESTION: Vladimir Emilien was listed ahead of Jordan Kovacs on the depth chart, but Jordan went into the game. Why was that?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Well, in reality, probably Jordan should have been listed. Jordan has been playing and performing the best in practice and in his opportunities. But they're both pretty close. They're still competing for that.

QUESTION: Speaking of penalties, I noticed in two games the comments that you had, there are no motions or jumping off sides and things like that?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Judgment calls.

QUESTION: Yeah no wait after timeouts. With a freshman quarterback?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: Well, we shouldn't. There are going to be times that the clock goes down, and we have to snap it because we've changed a play once sometimes we change a play twice before we snap it. In the tempo of our offense, we should never have a delay of game. If we take one, on Saturday it was intentional to try to help the angle of the kick. But we should never have an issue with the delays. And procedure penalties, we've been pretty good. But the games have been at home. Even though it's been on offense, it's still loud, so Tate has to project his voice or Denard or whoever is out there. We've talked quite a bit about that. Again, we tried to practice that and put them under pressure. We've been very fortunate that we've had officials at just about every practice, whether they're small college officials or high school officials. So that's helped us quite a bit.

QUESTION: One other thing about that back side. You haven't substituted much at all on that back side of defense. Where are those freshmen?
COACH RODRIGUEZ: They're coming. They've still got a ways to go. You want to put them in a situation where they can be successful. If you throw them in a tight ballgame and you're not quite sure. Particularly against the talent Saturday, you're going to be nervous about that. But they're coming. Hopefully, as the season goes along, it's such a long season with no open days, we need those guys to keep performing. We're going to try to put some pressure on practice and get some timing between games.

QUESTION: On whether he will play more of the backup secondary players in the next few weeks.
COACH RODRIGUEZ: I want to play more people in all three phases. Some of those guys are getting experience on special teams and people don't notice them. But it's different playing offense than defense. So our plan is to play more people. Offensively we have, defensively, not as much. But that will probably change in the next few weeks. We hope to get more as they learn. If they're not ready to play, we can't put them in, that's not being fair to them and the rest of the team.


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