Rutgers Football: Saturday Practice Report

With opening day inching closer, Rutgers Football Head Coach Greg Schiano is implementing less new things and focusing more on what's already in the base set. Despite the positive developments on the field, Schiano feels more will become evident come this week's intrasquad scrimmage.

The next couple of weeks are critical for the Rutgers Football team. The Scarlet Knights showed significant enthusiasm Saturday afternoon, under a sky filled with golden sunshine, but depth chart separation remains elusive at a number of positions.

"We're going into a treatment phase between now and Monday, where we study a lot of tape and tomorrow we won't work out. We'll just take treatment, stretching and all those kind of things," stated Rutgers Football Head Coach Greg Schiano.

"Monday will be kind of the same, shorter in the morning, like today in the afternoon. We just have to keep getting closer and closer with the stuff we're doing. We're not putting a lot of new stuff right now," continued Schiano.

It is difficult to get a complete read on who is passing who [on the depth chart] without an actual intrasquad scrimmage, which will be forthcoming this midweek. Schiano stressed the importance of implementation by parts and the difficulty in assessing individual performances without seeing the whole piece in its entirety.

"And then," he continued, "hopefully on Wednesday you get back to the whole and see what the whole looks like. That will be the last situation like a game until Fresno [State]."

Rutgers opens up the season versus the Fresno State Bulldogs in a nationally televised game on September 1st, in Piscataway, New Jersey. The Scarlet Knights will return 15 starters from last season's squad, but among the major missing pieces will be All-America honoree Eric Foster, who helped fill a major hole in the middle of the defensive line.

One of the returning Scarlet Knights helping to fill the void left by the departure of Foster is Blair Bines, the Empire State high school standout that came in as a Linebacker.

"I think Blair gets better every day," stated Coach Schiano after Saturday's practice.

"You have to remember, Blair was a high school tailback/linebacker. All of a sudden he's got his hand on the ground as a three-technique. It's a big jump. Every day he gets a little bit better so as long as that can continue, he's certainly got the ability."

Coach Schiano commenting on the identity of the 2008 Rutgers Football Scarlet Knights: "I just think that this team has its own identity, its own feeling. But like any relationship, it's constantly evolving, so we'll see where it goes. How is this family going to handle adversity? How is it going to handle some prosperity. We're going to see all that."

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