“We got some good things accomplished today. It looked like the one defense, from what I could tell watching everything, I thought the one defense really stepped up and made some really good plays today. Did some really nice things. I thought the two offense versus the two defense, I thought the two offense did some nice things. Overall, it was good. There were very few, if any, turnovers that I remember or marked down, but I thought the guys took care of the ball well. Overall, I’d say it was a good spring. We’ve got a long way to go. You got a chance to see some of the new faces out there on the field that are going to have to make plays for us this year, and we’ve still got a long way to go.”
Has there been any headway with the quarterback position in terms of a someone separating from the group?
“I wouldn’t say that. I’d say that they’ve made a lot of progress, but I wouldn’t say anyone had separated themselves. We’ll get into summer and get into fall camp and if someone separates at that time, then we’ll make a decision. If not, then I know we’ve got to put somebody out there for the first game, so we’ll do that, but I’m not anywhere close to making a decision…
“Nobody has separated themselves. We’ve got four guys that are competing for the job right now. I think all four have made good progress. I don’t think that any one of them is ready to go for us at this point. But, through all of the work over the summer and work through fall camp, we’ll have somebody ready to play and to lead this team.”
Is the order the quarterbacks played today just part of the rotation?
“It was just a rotation. They were all working, [Heckendorf] had them on a pitch count, basically, knowing how many plays he wanted each of them to get. They just rolled with the ones and the twos all of the way through.”
Do the quarterbacks seem to have command of what you want to do schematically?
“It’s a combination of a lot of things. At that position, experience is pretty important. Or if you’re not going to be experienced, you better have a lot of experienced guys around you. And we don’t have that luxury right now on offense. So those guys… it is what it is. You’ve got a lot of young guys that are playing, a lot of young guys are going to step in. Those guys have to grow quickly. Again, that’s going to be reps and how much time they spend in it, how much time they want to study and how much time they actually want to put into it.”
What was behind moving Jason Strowbridge inside and how is he handling that?
“Because he’s got such a quick first step, we think he’s growing out of the defensive end position for us as far as what we’re looking for. He’s 275 pounds right now and he’s probably going to be 285-290 at the start of fall, so we went ahead and moved him in there to get some reps and see what he looked like. Deke [Adams] really liked what he saw early on, so we decided to keep him in there. We had a little bit of depth at the defensive end spots and so it was good for him to get a bunch of reps. Now he could play either position for us.”
Is Bentley Spain’s move inside to guard permanent?
“No, we’ve had two centers go down this spring and so [Nick] Polino had to move in to play some center, so we said, ‘alright, let’s move Bentley in for the last week and get him some reps at guard.’ Really, we’re trying to make those offensive linemen as interchangeable as possible to find out what our best five is going to be. If somebody rolls an ankle, who’s going to be the best five? Does that mean [William] Sweet goes up to left tackle or [Charlie] Heck goes in to right tackle. We want to be able to have as many combinations as possible.”
Roscoe Johnson and Juval Mollette had big scrimmages today. Have they shown that kind of consistency throughout spring ball?
“They’ve all flashed throughout spring. That’s what we’re looking for. We’re trying to find some consistency. If you’re going to do it today, I want you to do it tomorrow and the next day also. If we can get that consistency… We have some talent, but we’ve got to get that consistency out of those guys.”
What has been different for Mollette that he’s been able to take a step forward?
“Well, one, this is the first offseason that Juval has actually gone through. Last year it was two shoulder surgeries, simultaneous, so he missed all of the offseason. He’s really just now, strength-wise, getting back to a point where he looks like he can do some things. He can use his body in the air, use his body on the ground, all of the things that he needs to do to be a great receiver. And now he feels comfortable with it mentally. When you’re on the sideline and you’re not playing at all, whether it’s a shoulder surgery or whatever it is, it’s hard to stay into mentally. We’re just now getting him back to where he feels comfortable with the offense.”
What have you seen out of Michael Carter?
“He’s got great burst, great quickness. He’s got great vision, really good balance. The thing that’s been the toughest for him is picking up all of the protections, and that always is for every running back that comes in. Not near as many protections in high school, so we’ve got to make sure that things are simple enough that he understands them and he can do a great job of protecting the quarterback.”