Tuesday Practice Report: Padawan vs. Master

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers offensive line coach AJ Blazek discusses a clash with his alma mater Saturday and the latest at linebacker in today's practice report.

The Headline – A former captain faces off against his old shipmates Saturday afternoon with Rutgers offensive line coach AJ Blazek takes his spot on the opposite sideline of the Iowa Hawkeyes.

A former team captain under Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz, Blazek saw a game against Iowa as an instant draw when Rutgers coach Chris Ash offered him a job in late 2015.

“To be the first Big Ten coaching game that I'm coaching in with the Big Ten, it's something that I'll always remember,” Blazek said. “I told some people in Iowa City last night that it was like going to coach against your dad or your uncles. … For me, I'm excited about it.”

The latest in an impressive coaching family, Blazek shaped himself as a coach during time in Iowa City.

“Is there an advantage? I don't think so,” Blazek said. “Iowa is going to line up and try to out-physical you from snap No. 1. They're going to get theirs. It's going to be a four-quarter game if not more. It's going to be a close football game and they're comfortable in those. They're not panicked. They play them a lot. That is their MO and that's what they like. We'll try to build the same type of deal here. We want to get after people physically.”

Worth Noting – Add Trevor Morris to the list of linebacker concerns for Rutgers in its conference opener. The starting weakside linebacker sat out Tuesday's practice with his foot in a boot. Sophomore Eric Margolis replaced Morris with the first team after he did the same in multiple series against New Mexico.

Sophomore converted-safety Ronnie James backed up Greg Jones at SAM with Najee Clayton absent. Brandon Russell and Kevin Marquez rounded out the two-deep with Deonte Roberts again as the starting middle linebacker.

Quote of the Day – “The quarterback room, as a group, we're really close. I've never been this close to a group of guys like we are. We hang out with each other. We talk with each other. We mess around. We're really close. We're a really good group of friends. We have each other's back. Competition is part of it. I don't know where else competition wouldn't be a part of it. We all love to compete and that's a great thing because we push each other to get better and better.” – Quarterback Giovanni Rescigno.

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