How would you summarize the first days of practice?"The guys are flying around a little bit and learning what to do and trying to learn how to play football."
How much more will you be able to evaluate now that they will be in full pads today?"You can evaluate more because it's more physical and you don't have as many concerns because you have on the full gear; so you get a closer look."
How much better is the competition in the secondary now that you have more numbers?"Everywhere there's more competition because you have more guys. Competition is good and that is what we want as coaches and we want that as players. So it's been a good thing."
Coach Weis talked about getting off to a fast start. How have you guys over on the defense approached this?"The same way we approach everything every day. You know, you go from down-to-down, play-to-play, game-to-game, practice-to-practice. So for us, really nothing has changed. You always go in that progression, just like you do when you are learning and just like you do when you are playing. You know, it's from A to B to C to D. So, you know, we're just trying to win every play."
Is Sergio Brown similar to Harrison with his flexibility?"Yes, they're similar in the fact that they are able to hit and run. They allow us to do some things so I would say yes."
How much time has the staff spent developing schemes against the spread offense?"You know, we spend time getting ready for all our opponents. That's just one offense that we happen to spend time with. But like I say, we do that for everyone and that's what we do as coaches."
Do you find that offense difficult to defend?"It's just an offense; it's just an offense. It has components to it just like any other offense. It has things that pose problems just like all offenses do; just where, that's the key."
Is it important to mix-and-match linebackers to have flexibility against different opponents?"Yeah, I would like to say that. We like to have flexibility so we can do different things from different looks with different people."
How would you assess Kerry Neal from spring to now?"It's early, but he's older now. Anytime guys are older, you should relatively be better. So we'll see after a while, it's early right now. We're just getting into pads and we kind of go from there."
How do you see Maurice Richardson from spring to now as he seems a little undersized for that position?"Which position is that?"
Defensive end."Like I say, right now it's early and we'll be able to evaluate guys since we're into pads now. Like I said, we put guys into places where we take advantage of the things they have and the things they can do. I didn't know though that he was undersized."
Talking to Richardson the other day, he said he weighs 250 and because of that he needs to be more of a technician and fundamentally sound. Would you agree with that?"Well, I would like to say that all of our players we would like for them to be technicians and we want all of them to be fundamentally sound; because across the board, that is what we teach. We have been stressing that a lot this year, and I think everyone has improved in that area; he being one of those guys. So that might be a fair assessment."
What have you been able to discern from the first days of practice?"That guys are flying around and at least they look like they are ready to play and want to play. That's been good; that's been good."
What's your overall impression of the freshmen so far?"They have picked things up relatively well, you know, compared to some freshmen that I have been around and they are eager to play and want to play. So that's been good for us."
In some of the drills yesterday, there seemed to be some real hitting going on. Was this by design to get them motivated?"No, we really like to play physical but they shouldn't have been hitting. But we will find out today because this is the day when they really should be hitting. So we'll kind of see; everybody will get to see today how they're playing; so we'll see."