Rutgers Coordinators Jay Niemann and Drew Mehringer Preview Maryland

PISCATAWAY, N.J. --- Rutgers coordinators give plenty of detail about the final stretch of 2016. Jay Niemann explains the long-term benefits of freshman starters and Drew Mehringer breaks down Tylin Oden at quarterback.

Rutgers defensive coordinator Jay Niemann on preparing for Maryland at quarterback ...

"Some things never change. From week to week, it's almost the same story. Again, what you have to do is I think look at their play calls are and what their formations are, those types of things and just see if they change based on who's under center. The pass game may change a little bit, but I don't think the run game will. So I don't think that the offense is going to change a lot based on who's back there and I know there could be several options for them. We'll just get ready with that in mind and adjust during the game."

On the long-term benefits of K.J. Gray and Tyreek Williams playing as freshmen ...

"Obviously, when we get to next fall, fast forward, they're going to be much more seasoned and prepared to play a lot like Isaiah (Wharton) and Bless (Austin), they were in the same role. ... They're more polished as young players in the program as a result of that. So obviously, we would hope that we would gain the same benefit from those guys given the amount of repetitions they've had."

On how encouraging it is to have young secondary for the future ...

"Well, they all have great futures. They all shown the ability to play and play well. The key is consistency, I've already mentioned that and you don't necessarily improve your defense or your program just by having guys back who have played before. Those guys have to improve, otherwise your result doesn't change. So the thing for us obviously is to change physically by the time the season is over with, how we're getting through spring ball with coach (Kenny) Parker's strength and conditioning program and improve their football IQ and intelligence of the game itself and how it pertains to the positions they play. If those things happen, we will have a better result as we move forward into the next season."

Rutgers offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer on Tylin Oden...

"As talented as Tylin can be, Tylin's still very, very young and there's a maturation process that has to go. You can't just throw anybody out there. The person that touches the ball every time on offense, they've got to be locked in and ready to go all the time for everything and he's not there yet. I'm just being honest. He's just not there from a maturation standpoint. It'll go as far as he wants it to. ... Tylin's got to continue to keep growing and getting better from just being a college student-athlete and he's not there yet. So sky's the limit for that kid but he's going to be the one to say whether or not how much he can do from that standpoint. He's gotten a lot better. He's grown up. But for him, we've had conversations about what that means and what that looks like."

On Ahmir Mitchell ...

"I've seen Ahmir just in some development periods. He can run. He's got a knack for the ball. He's very competitive, very competitive. He likes to talk a little bit, which is fun, it makes practice a little interesting from that standpoint. But I think that he has a big chance to compete in the spring. No one in here is, coach Ash and myself, don't ever say, 'Hey, you're sliding in here as to being this guy or that guy, into a role.' It's all about competition, go out and competing better than everyone else on a daily basis — not just one day. I think for him, he's definitely got a huge upside, a guy who I think played well and developed and took his scout-team role during this year very seriously and goes out and competes and is not afraid of anybody or anytime, anywhere. So from that standpoint, that part's exciting. There's a very fierce, competitive nature in everything that he does. So I think he's got tremendous upside."

On recruiting reception ...

"I think our guys have been pretty good. Recruit wise, we've had some hard conversations. We've had some other ones and for those guys, you talk about why you're recruiting them, what we're trying to do here and what the future will look like. Do we have all the pieces in place and where do you fit and those types of conversations. So I think from that standpoint, our recruits have been pretty good."


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