After seeing the film from Saturday's scrimmage -
"I saw some of our best linebacker play since I've been here in the first scrimmage we've had – great fits. I saw some individual performances from some defensive linemen that were outstanding – Hilee Taylor stands out. There were some young freshmen that stood out – Tavares Brown, Aleric Mullins. I was really pleased with Kareen Taylor – the way he buzzed around the field. The corners weren't really tested that much, so I couldn't get a good feel for that.
"I was pleased overall with both the first and second units of the offensive line. I saw some really good things, but we've got a long way to go. Our fullbacks have got to pick up their play. I thought Ronnie [McGill] and Barrington [Edwards] ran well. And I thought the play of the receivers was quite good. I said that after the scrimmage, we need to get balls to the receivers, because they'll make some plays. The quarterbacks had a good day from the standpoint that they did not hurt us. They need to make some more plays.
"I was very disappointed in our kickoff coverage – very. We've got to find those guys that want to do that and be really great at it. That is a hard job; I don't care if you're a rookie player, sophomore player, junior player or a senior player. We can't start off the season being poor on special teams. Connor [Barth] had a couple of misses on the right hash, and he's got to get that corrected. There was a coverage emphasis – kickoff and punt – for us, and I wasn't really satisfied with either one. So we've got a lot of work to do."
What's practice after a scrimmage like? Is it more drills and work, or is it more teaching – going over what you saw yesterday?
It's some of each. We certainly didn't want to go out and clang today, so therefore we took the pads off. Sometimes players have a tendency to settle down, and when you shut it down physically, you might shut it down mentally. I think we had a fairly good practice. We did some conditioning afterwards, which was the first time we've conditioned since we've been through the first couple of days of camp, so it was good to get some of that in.
"But mostly we're right back on track, getting right back into our offensive and defensive flows, along with individual play working on fundamentals and techniques. We continue trying to get those habits extremely positive. Then we got back into teamwork. We got back into red zone, because we weren't very good there last year. We'll probably be in red zone everyday from here on out, so that's a good thing."
With some of the problems you had at receiver last year, is it almost better to start out with a new group?
"I'm telling you, our receiving corps – led by Jesse Holley – will be the best one since I've been here. I can tell you that right now. If our kids keep learning the way that they are, they'll be the best group we've had. There's four guys out there that impress me everyday."