On spring practice progress:
“I’m certain we’re like most everyone else. We’re optimistic about the returners we have and the work we got done in spring. We certainly wish that we would have had a healthy unit in the offensive line to work, but we didn’t. We’ve got to get those guys healthy going into fall camp. They’ll be a big key to our success next year, along with the quarterback play. But I am very confident in the fact that the ones we had out there for our 15 days, we got better.”
On competition for No. 2 wide receiver:
“Laquon, hopefully, will be healthy. He would be a guy we’d certainly want to get the ball to a lot. Behind him we have really good possibilities in Cody Core, Quincy Adeboyejo, Derrick Jones and Damore’ea Stringfellow. Those guys are all talented. I think some have to pick it up a bit in being more consistent in their work ethic. But I’m real comfortable in Cody Core knowing every spot that we play. He was a solid performer last year, and he’ll push hard to be that No. 2 guy. I thought Derrick Jones had the best spring of anyone. He’s a long, rangy, fast kid that’s come a long way. I think others will definitely be in that discussion and be a part of it, but right now those two kind of stand out.”
On how the staff plans to bring Treadwell along in the fall.
“We’ll put him in some contact. I think you have to. It won’t be every day, it’ll certainly be guarded. I think he’s got to get back to feeling very comfortable in playing in this league and how physical it is. We held him out in spring, and I think that gives him plenty extra time. He should be full speed when camp starts.”
On RB competition, inability to evaluate with depleted OL in spring:
“I thought it was a bit unfair for not only them, but the quarterback that had that rotation of playing with the second and third unit (offensive line) on a given day. I think we got those kids better up front, but our defensive line is really talented and they’re deep. That’s very difficult for us to evaluate how those guys did. When they drew the straws to go with the first guys, I saw signs of some good stuff from all of those. I’m very confident. Jaylen (Walton) has played a lot of snaps for us. He’ll be our starter. I do think that Akeem (Judd) and Jordan (Wilkins) in particular had really good springs. We’re excited about Eugene (Brazley’s) progression, too. He ran one of our faster 40 times when we tested right before we broke for May. Also excited about Eric Swinney coming in.”
On if Chad Kelly is where Freeze hoped he’d be in his development:
“He’s actually a little bit ahead, I think. Those other kids have had two years with us. Chad’s really had 15 days. I was impressed with his football IQ and the way he came in and studied things. I thought he picked up things nicely and had some really good practices. We’re searching for consistency with him and the others. Whoever’s the most consistent is probably going to be the guy. I think one of the biggest criteria I’ll look at is how do they handle this off time now and their decision-making off the field and how the team rallies around them. I’m curious to see those things.”
On the status of the injured offensive linemen:
“Laremy, I actually got a video yesterday from our training staff. It was his first day to run. I thought he looked good; the doctors feel like he’s healing really nicely. Sean Rawlings will be released in a week from his broken bone. Daronte Bouldin has been released from his shoulder surgery. Aaron Morris has still got a month before they’ll start letting him run and cut on his knee. Davion (Johnson) is probably not going to play football again. We’re in the middle of applying for a medical for him. Once we hear back on that, we’ll know for sure. (Robert) Conyers had a second knee surgery, a meniscus tear. Expected to be back within the month.”
On the Auburn game, if there has been any hangover:
“The margin between winning and losing is so very small in this conference. There was so much riding on that (Auburn) game. For it to end that way, I had never been a part of that kind of gut-wrenching end. It took a lot out of us. I’m not sure we were the same the next week. That’s part of young men’s progress and our journey here. We’ve got to handle those situations. They’ll come again. That’s life. But it sure was a difficult ending.
“I think us bouncing back and winning the Egg Bowl, even though we didn’t perform well in the bowl game against a very good TCU team. Most of that had to do with them and our injuries up front in the offensive line. Our kids, I hope they take the demeanor of our coaching staff. We’re big on don’t ever make too much of a win or too much of a loss. You just kind of stay in the moment and enjoy the process of us getting better.”
On cost of attendance:
“We’re for our kids getting everything that they deserve and that can come their way. There have been some thoughts come in and there will be some cases in the courts that could ultimately change everything one way or another. Right now, we’re going to be able to give them some money that will help make up for the cost of attendance. We’re in support of that as a league.”
More on what he’s looking for from the QBs:
“Just more consistency and understanding and getting us in positive plays and taking care of the football. Who can manage the drives? Who can make the difficult throws? Who’s not too greedy and doesn’t try to be too aggressive when we don’t need to be? We’ve got a good defense. Understanding exactly what we want to do. Really, just running the football team and getting points on the board. Who gives us the best chance to do that? I don’t think that’ll be decided until well into fall camp.”
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