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Rutgers War Games: At Washington

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Before Rutgers kicks off at Washington, take a look at the best quotes and analysis from this week's coverage on Scarlet Report.

Head coach Chris Ash – “That culture-building never stops. It's a constant, consistent message that always has to be talked about. And that never goes away and whenever myself or the coaches have an opportunity to continue to build the culture that we want here, we have to do that, whether it's in meetings, whether it's on the practice field, whether it's on games. Just the way we behave and perform and respond to events that come up. So that's a never-ending process.”

Offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer – Justin Goodwin has showed up every day. The thing that we talked about with Goody — Goody is a great kid. He’s a lot of fun to be around. We asked him in the spring, ‘Are you just a nice guy? Is that all you are? Are you just a nice guy?’ And he kind of was like, ‘No I’m not, I’m a tough football player.’ I was like, ‘Well, we’ve got to see that. We’ve got to see that.’ And Goody came out and played really physical this fall, came out as an intelligent kid who understands exactly what we’re doing when the defensive front changes, when the blitzes change, he reacts and fits right in with the offensive line protection wise. So he’s done a tremendous job. I have no hesitation when he goes into the game at all because I believe in that kid and amount of work that he’s put in.”

Defensive coordinator Jay Niemann – “I feel right now Jones has got a little bit of an edge from the standpoint of his overall performance. … He's a really savvy football player, very smart football player. He picks up on thighs quickly and that's allowed for his growth to come at the rate that it has. He just gets better all the time as he gets more and more comfortable at the position. We've also used him some in pass-rushing situations as well. He has a knack for that. He's just progressed nicely all the way back from practice one in spring practice to where we are today.”

Quarterback Chris Laviano – “Everybody kind of deserves a quarterback that's going to be all in and is going to perform at a really high level.”

Rutgers offensive line coach AJ Blazek – “[Kamaal Seymour] understands the basics,” Blazek said. “He's a really smart kid. He knows his classes well. He's a football IQ guy. He's just got to play a little faster. Honestly, I'd like to get him in as soon as we can to get some reps just to slow his brain down. … He's getting close now. He's coming along fast.”

Rutgers running backs coach Zak Kuhr – “Yeah, [Justin Goodwin] gets a little PO’d when you tell him he’s just a good kid, doesn’t say much, lightning guy. He’s been running behind his pads, he’s making arm tackles, he hasn’t been afraid to run between the tackles. If it’s a run between tackles, he hits it. So that’s a — I don’t know what happened before when people thought of that with him, but he’s been hitting it hard between tackles.”

Rutgers cornerbacks coach Aaron Henry – “Embrace the moment. I think a lot of times, these young men try to get outside of what they’ve been coached to do and the big lights come on and … they try to do something that they wasn’t coached to do. You just keep them focused and allow them to go out there and just play fast, man. I think we’ll be totally, totally fine. But in games like this, first game of the season — anything’s possible. I mean, they did what they did last year, but they can come out in a whole new offense. Not saying that they would or wouldn’t, but it’s a lot of speculation. You don’t know what they’re going to do technically because it is the first game, but you try to get young men who haven’t played on this stage and who haven’t played college football to just try and go out there and do what they’ve been trained to do.”

Rutgers defensive line coach Shane Burnham – “[Myles Nash] just plays hard, plays with a great motor. Doesn’t necessarily maybe possess the best skillset as some of the guys, but he just plays hard and he’s been assignment sound, so I can trust him, which is always big there for us. But I think he does give us a little speed off the edge and certainly, I think he’s better in the throw game than he is the run game right now. But he just has shown up and he’s made great plays, he’s been productive in scrimmages and practices where he’s made plays, shown up in those pass-rush situations.”

Junior defensive end Myles Nash – “I remember when I first came here, I was telling [Kevin] Snyder, 'yo man I want to get up to like 240.' He's like, 'no way, the most you'll get up to is like 225.' I'm like 'oh man.' I just took that with a grain of salt,” Nash said. “I know he was probably playing but just hearing that and seeing where I am now at 260. Coach Parker, he messes around and says, 'next year 270, 275.' It's a fun process gaining weight. Going back home, people don't recognize you and things like that.”

Paramus (N.J.) Catholic four-star linebacker Drew Singleton – “I think [Washington] is really in trouble. [Najee Clayton] is my big brother and he doesn't play around. He's a serious guy. He plays hard.”

Fifth-year senior wide receiver Carlton Agudosi – “I put in the most work I've ever put in, just working on my footwork, my hands, tracking the ball, attacking the ball. I've improved my all-around game. I'm faster. I'm a totally different player than I was last year. … I guess it was hard for a little bit to get used to what the coaches wanted but when you notice that what they did worked at places where there are National Championships, it's easy to buy in.”

Team captain Derrick Nelson, fifth-year senior center – “[The environment] can be a problem if we're not all on the same page. We need to anticipate the plays. If it's a specific play that we run, then we check for a blitz and we know there are certain looks that we have, that we need to communicate along the line to run a play successfully.”

Senior strong safety Anthony Cioffi – “I [like] playing closer to the line of scrimmage and not being so far back. I actually like just reading certain keys that determine if it's run, pass, play action. It's something that I really like in being closer and more involved in the run. … It was tough [playing so far back] last year but that's what the scheme was and how everything played out. We were all doing that as best as we could.”

Team captain Darius Hamilton, fifth-year senior defensive tackle – “Greg [Jones] isa baller. He’s a big-time baller, big-time playmaker, hits like I’ve never seen anybody hit besides probably Khaseem (Greene) since I’ve been here. … I know he’s ready. I know he’s been working and putting himself in a position to be a starter right now and I’m sure that will follow up on Saturday and I’m sure he’ll do great things in the game for us.”

Senior outside linebacker Greg Jones – “I’m tough. I’m going to punch them in the mouth, every single play. That’s just what I do.”

Sophomore middle linebacker Deonte Roberts – “[Being an underdog] is a lot of fun. We try to use that and fuel our fire, just go out and compete — play hard, play Rutgers football. So that’s what we’re trying to go out here and do.”


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