How did things look today?
I thought both sides did some things. There were some big plays offensively, a 99-yard touchdown, which obviously on defense you hate to see. Itwas great to see the offense have a big play like that.
We ran the ball probably as good as I've seen us run it since I've been here today. All the running backs were running hard. Dakwa Nichols made some strides, Tony had a very solid day.
Defensively I thought in pass defense for the most part today we played pretty well. There were some good pass breakups, and some close interceptions that would have been great catches had we come up with them.
Our pass rush was good, but that's expected because that's where our depth is.
That's probably off the top of my head what comes to mind. The goalline stand at the end was a pretty big deal for the defense.
Is that what you want, to see that balance?
That's what you want. You hate to see one side of the ball totally dominating the scrimmage. In one period the offense would do well and then the defense would rally back, then the offense came back, and the defense.
You're starting to see the leadership that can handle adversity a little better than they did a year ago.
Coach Huxtable has talked about the strides Rodman Noel has made.
He's a totally different guy. In 18 months, he's probably one of the most improved players on our team.
Not just out there, what he's done in the offseason, how he handles his academics, just his entire lifestyle. He's bought in to being a great player, and it's showing on the field.
My experience is the guys who handle themselves right off the field normally handle themselves right on the field.
Rodman has really bought into that.
How big is it to have that senior leadership at linebacker?
It's critical to have that. Him and Pittman, Pittman probably had his best day today too. He missed a few days with a virus so it was good to get him back with full speed.
You need your seniors to play like seniors to be a good team.
How has the offensive line progressed?
Running the football... short-yardage today was outstanding and you're seeing a lot bigger holes for the backs.
Just probably the pass-rush end of things, I need to watch it and see where we're at. Two days ago they had a really good day in pass protection and today it wasn't as good. It could be the two o-line... you run all these plays and don't know which group it was.
That's the biggest thing... I need to go watch the film on that.
How has Rob Crisp progressed?
Really good in pass protection. Very athletic... that's come back real fast. At times the run game is still... the different movements a defense can give you, passing off things and still being aggressive, that's where has to work on.
It's good having him back out here. I know he's having fun.
Have you seen any freshmen emerging early on?
Quite a few of them.
I'm not going to talk about the guys here in the spring because you know about them, but Michael Stevens, Troy Vincent Jr., and Elliott Davis, all three of them have made some plays in camp.
Jaylen Samuels, he's a tight end and fullback, is really playing well.
Jalan McLendon had a good day today at quarterback. He has probably the best arm of the three quarterbacks we have, but today he played a little faster and more confident.
Can you talk about your philosophy on playing true freshmen?
We're here to win games and whoever can help us win games needs to be on the field. That's the rule we live by.
A redshirt year doesn't necessarily have to be used right away for it to be a positive experience. Sometimes a guy can have an injury and have that year available to them like Sean Paul is right now. He played as a true freshman and will use this year to redshirt.
Sometimes it's good to have that available on the back-end.