Knights Use Bye Week For Development

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – With an extra week of practice, the younger and more inexperienced players benefit from extra work, scrimmages and, of course, additional sprints.

"Well, they get a chance to run our offense and defense, which they do during the season," Rutgers football head coach Greg Schiano told reporters after Thursday's practice session.

Schiano expressed much interest in changing the system and getting them more reps.

"You watch us do those developmental periods after practice, so we've done a better job of doing that," he said. "That was one of our goals this year to make sure we continue to develop these guys better than we have in the past. Weeks like that they get an increased dose, which is good."

Overall, Schiano said it was "a good week."

The players now have off until Sunday.

"Just go home and spend some time with my family," cornerback Devin McCourty said of his plans for the extended weekend.

With Halloween tomorrow night, expect McCourty to confuse his relatives by dressing up as his twin brother Jason.

"Maybe, we usually try to do that," he said. "We won't tell people. He'll dress up as me. I'll be him."

Before McCourty packs for his travels, Schiano reminded the team to get away from football.

"I always talk to them; I want them to get away," he said. "This one is a little different. It's been a long stretch. I want them to get away from football for a couple of days.

"There are no requirements other than finish out academically what you have to do tonight and tomorrow… Always be smart."

McCourty appreciates the timely bye, which follows two straight wins.

"I think a bye week always helps a team, because it gives you a week to just focus on yourself and not worry about an opponent or anything else," he said.

Notes:

Schiano on improvements in tackling since Pitt game:

"It's hard to tell because we don't tackle this week. They've tackled extremely well all year…we just didn't do it well that one day, so I don't think it would be fair to judge. What they're doing is what they've done all year and they've doing a good job of it."

Schiano on Tiquan Underwood's increased confidence the last couple of weeks:

"I think you can see it, the increase confidence. He snatched some balls. He made some nice catches the other day (in practice) which he hadn't been doing, so it's good to see. He's back and he's ready to play well, which is good, because we need him."

Lack of production in running game:

"Replacements on the line, not having the same five, I wish it was one thing, because then you'd fix it. I said that before. It's been a combination, I think."


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