Back to Basics

By having the bye this week, head coach Greg Schiano is using this week to go over the fundamentals with his players and will begin preparing for Syracuse on Sunday.

"We're trying to work on the things that we need to improve on that we usually don't have time to work on with the older guys," Schiano said after practice on Wednesday. "As soon as we get that accomplished, we work on the kicking game. As soon as we get that accomplished we wrap it up, but you don't have the 35 plays of your opponent to [work on]."

Schiano said the team gets back to basics like they would in training camp. Rutgers then has a segment towards the end of practice where it works on plays and gets everyone into the mix.

"That's 20 minutes where we work on plays and get everybody in there," he said.

Scott Vallone is too injured to play on game day, but he can still participate in certain drills as part of his rehab.

"He can do stuff, he just can't play," Schiano said. "He's going three-quarters speed. He can do drills just to rehab. What he does is rehab work."

With Syracuse coming up next week, one position Schiano said he would like to see more productivity out of is the tight end position.

"We just need it to be more precise and more exact," he said. "There's times when they do sensational things. But it's the every down blocking, alignment and assignment and all that stuff."

The Knights have brought in better players in each of the past few years, and Schiano said that's led to him having a more productive scout team, which helps his first teamers better prepare for their next opponent.

"As the talent level of your program rises, the bottom of your talent pool rises," he said. "Each year our scout teams get a little bit better and a little bit quicker, and that's something most people don't think about."

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