How was day two?
It was better than day one, so that's positive. Yesterday, like I told you guys, we had class and we had a little bit of mental fatigue, we still had a good practice.
We had a better practice, better focus... there was a lot of install. Now we finally get to put pads on, Monday, and that will be a big step for us. We can actually see the technique when it matters, and we're hitting.
I like the way the guys came out today.
Do you feel like your team had a sense of urgency?
I think we're learning what that means right now.
I talk about the future is now and you can't wait to be great. Today was an opportunity to get better. Some guys seized it and some guys didn't. We're going to watch the tape, assess it, and see what we can do to get better.
That's a word what we're going to talk about a lot as we get closer to game one.
How has the team been dealing with the heat?
It hurt us having a month of rain, I'm not going to lie to you.
But, that's part of fall camp, whatever the weather is you've got to deal with it. The guys know they have to be hydrated in a certain way.
We play our opening game, as you guys know, in the heat of the day, so these practices are valuable in that way.
How do you feel the team is at right now conditioning-wise?
I think we have good spring in our legs and our bodies look better.
We're going from a huddle to a no-huddle system. They've never been through a training camp as a no-huddle offense. Even though they went through spring ball, it was 40 or 50 degrees out here.
It's different. Are we where we want to be? No, but we're better than we were.
You're going to have to count on some of the freshmen, I'm guessing.
Yes, we're going to play some of these guys for sure. The receivers and the defensive backs, just in two days you can see that the skillsets are there.
It's a matter of once the accumulation of install hits them, can they keep performing at the level they did today. Obviously when they start getting banged around that will change some things too.
Do you have a sense of your secondary right now?
I'm pretty happy with the chemistry that our back-end has and that's really important.
I think we have good skill at the corner position, and the safety position, how good we are is going to depend on how we tackle and obviously we haven't done that yet. I'll see that part of the game here in about five days.
How has Travares Copeland adjusted?
Really good. I think him, Rashard, and Underwood are three guys similar in size with different skills.
He brings a good skillset after the catch, he's a good route runner, and he's a competitor. He's learning the offense quickly.
You can tell that he played last year. He's definitely not fazed by being in college, and he can help us.
What have you seen from Forest West?
Forest has changed his body.
He's gone from a pudgy 260-pound guy to a rocked-up 245-pound guy. He lost a lot of body fat and really dedicated himself to the offseason program.
I'm looking for good things when we get the pads on from him.
Can you talk about what you're seeing from M.J. [Salahuddin]?
As a leader, as a communicator, and as a worker, he fits in really well.
He's another guy that has improved himself body-weight wise and bought in to the offseason program. Coach Veltkamp and his staff is really happy with the progress he has made.
Are you worried about him being the leader of your defense as a sophomore?
No. Sometimes you would be, but not for a guy like him. He's mature above his years. He was raised the right way. He's a very mature kid.