Cupito in the lead

Glen Mason evaluated his team's performance in the spring game, saying Bryan Cupito will enter the fall practices as the starter at QB and felt good about his situation at running back. Includes comments from QBs Cupito and Adam Ernst.

Mason General Comments

Today was about what I thought it would be. We have had a good spring practice, and when you have experienced players on your football team sometimes spring practice becomes old hat and guys just want to get through it without getting an injury. We had some fun out here today. Goldy was the star (laughter) and I was glad to see that, but we have got a lot of good football players.

Were you concerned when Marion Barber III went down (with an injury)?

GM: I get concerned when any of the players go down. Sure, because of the caliber of player that he is and because you knew it was his knee – I could see that from the sideline - probably I was more nervous before the game because this is a contact sport and we have basically gone throughout spring practice without any injuries. Going into this game there was no one even on our injury list. We were going against the odds and I was just hoping that we could get through today.

What about the quarterback evaluation at this point?

GM: I think that Bryan Cupito going into two-a-days (in the fall) is our guy. He has got more experience and I think for his first spring practice being the No.1 quarterback running a veteran group he is doing a fine job.

Does that mean it is his job to lose going into two-a-days?

GM: I don't ever talk in terms like that. All jobs are open every day. No one owns a job here. Our guys realize they have to perform everyday or someone else is going to get a chance.

Do you feel you did a good job against the run?

GM: Yeah, we gave up a big play (on the Maroney TD run). We are not a good blitz team right now. Against the run - we're not. And on that big run we had a blitz. Normally the way we are playing you wouldn't be blitzing because your base defense is doing well, but you try to evaluate everything in a live situation during the scrimmage and we will get better in that area.

Do you see Amir (Pinnix) developing as your third back?

GM: Yeah, Amir has got to learn the position. Amir has some talent. He is probably the shiftiest guy that we have. I always think that Barber is the most powerful, Maroney is the fastest and the guy that has the jitterbug in him is Pinnix. Pinnix has got to be our Terry Jackson – a third running back that we develop that can go into the game and go the distance for us.

What did you think of Paris today?

GM: I thought he had his best practice since he has been at the University of Minnesota. I told him when he was done ‘you're back.' He took some hits and he made big plays and we need him.

What about playing on the new turf today?

GM: Tremendous. Compared to what we used to play on – it's unbelievable. Thank goodness it's here. It should have been here five, six, seven years ago.

ADAM ERNST, QB, Jr.

I felt a lot more comfortable today. I have been progressing each week and that is all I have been trying to do is get better each week.

Are you where you wanted to be at this point?

AE: I'm definitely not where I wanted to be. But then again, I wasn't sure coming in exactly where I would be. It has taken me a little while to learn the system and come two-a-days I am going to be ready and today was a good step for that. The main goal of spring practice for everybody is just to get better everyday and I felt better today.

What is your goal now for the summer?

AE: Film work, definitely, and knowing where the guys are going to be at in game situations is really going to help – and we had that today, and I will be ready come fall.

BRYAN CUPITO, QB, So.

The first half was kind of slow offensively, but then we picked it up in the second half when Laurence (Maroney) hit that run and we got a couple other plays. Today went alright - nothing great and nothing bad - it is just something to build on for the summer. I will see what I need to get better on for the summer and now I will watch film and get a better understanding of things I need to do.



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