Notes: Beauharnais, Getting Away, etc.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The last practice of training camp was held Wednesday, and following it middle linebacker Steve Beauharnais discussed the accomplishments of the defense, and his comfort level after switching from strong-side linebacker. Also, Howard Barbieri discussed why it will be good to get away for a few days after the typical grind of training camp.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Steve Beauharnais looked at home starting at strong-side linebacker in the final three games last season, but the Rutgers sophomore is really snug and comfy in the middle of the Scarlet Knights defense.

The last practice of training camp came Wednesday, and afterward Beauharnais said his transition to middle linebacker was smooth, although hardly effortless.

"Get more comfortable in the defense. That's what I mainly accomplished," Beauharnais said. "I think everybody reacted well, we pushed hard every day, so I think we accomplished a lot."

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Beauharnais' move was a return to a familiar position, but with a few twists.

He played inside linebacker at St. Joseph's (Montvale, N.J.) as a senior, but the Green Knights played with four linemen and four linebackers. Rutgers' base defense is a 4-3.

"It's always been first nature (to play middle linebacker) since high school, so it's just a little different concept that we run here at Rutgers vs. St. Joe's," he said. "I'm comfortable where I'm at, so there's no concern."

The biggest difference is making sure the correct gaps are filled.

"As long as you're dedicated to your playbook, and you're going over your playbook, (it's fine)," Beauharnais said. "The younger guys come ask questions, and just teaching them the defense helps you understand the defense better."

As play caller, Beauharnais is in tune with the strength and weaknesses of the defense, and he likes what he sees.

"I don't really see anything that we really need to have fixed," he said. "We just have to touch up and execute and make sure our defense becomes instinctual. We have to react without even thinking about it. That's really it. I don't think any adjustments need to be made."

Wanna Get Away?
Rutgers began training camp Aug. 6, and with its conclusion today players will head their separate ways before convening or Saturday's morning practice to prepare for Norfolk State.

"I think everyone needs to get away, relax a little bit," Rutgers center Howard Barbieri said. "We have a couple of days off, so everyone can relax, take it easy, so when we get back, it's time to work. We're going to put the game-plan in. It's not as much stuff as we did in camp, which was a lot of stuff.

"It's 20-something straight days of football, being around the same people every day …it's the same routine. You just have to go out and break routine a little bit, get away from it all."

Barbieri will head to the Jersey Shore, not only to see his family, but also relax before the next grind, which is the season, begins.

"I want to see my family, hang out with them," he said. "I probably will end up at the beach because my parents work during the day, then come home at night."

Time For Rest
The players will be released from camp today and will return to practice Saturday morning as preparation for next Thursday's season opener against Norfolk State (7:30 p.m., Rutgers Stadium) begins.

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