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Scott Cooley - Inside Sparta: Spring practice began last Saturday, from an offensive standpoint what were your overall impressions from the first few days on the field?
Terry Malley: "I think for the most part we saw some things that are positive that we can really build on. We are very optimistic. We showed some nice parts in the running game, we have a good group of wide receivers and there has been some flashes of solid tight end play."
SC: Were there any players that stood out?
TM: "Along with the veteran players that have already identified themselves, I think the junior college transfer running back from Sierra was very impressive. (Lamon) Muldrow has demonstrated the ability to catch the ball and get out of the backfield which is great for us. Patrick Perry has been hurt for two years and he's shown an ability to be a positive downhill runner, and you can see why they've missed him the last two seasons."
SC: The staff hasn't constructed any depth charts at this point, but is there a frontrunner for the quarterback position?
TM: "Kyle (Reed) has nine games with starting experience and in those situations, so if you are ahead in those categories then Kyle should be ahead on (the depth chart)."
SC: Kyle Reed was very much considered to be a dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school but his mobility seemed non-existent or underutilized last season. Do you plan on tailoring the offense to maximize his potential in the running game this year?
TM: "I think what you want right now is his running ability to complement his throwing ability. We want all of our quarterbacks to be threats as runners so the defense has to respect the passing game. Kyle (Reed) is an above average runner and I think that we would like to be able to attack the perimeters with his running ability. The better job we do of that the less people are going to be able to tee off and rush the passer, which will ultimately lead to a positive situation in the passing game."
SC: San Jose State gave up just over 2.5 sacks per game last season, why did that happen and how will the staff alleviate that problem this year?
TM: "I think it was a combination of a few different things, and as the season went on they did cut down on their sacks. Sometimes you sit there and your initial reaction is you didn't do a good job up front, but I think it was a combination of situations.
"I think giving the quarterback a place to get rid of the ball when the rush is coming, and the ability for the quarterback to get rid of the ball a little bit quicker than he did last year will obviously help. One of the nice things about that is we do have another year of growth in the system, and hopefully the effort of all our players will allow us cut down on the number of sacks we give up."
SC: It's no secret the offense struggled most of 2008, while studying that team this offseason did you find anything in particular as to why this happened and how does the staff plan on improving it?
TM: "I think a lot of different things happened and there was a combination of factors. The group was young, there were a lot of injuries and they were learning a new system which always takes time.
"Kyle started nine games in the spring and then was hurt, and became the second and third quarterback going into the fall so his reps were non-extensive. It went to the very end where they didn't know if Yonus Davis was going to be eligible to play or not. Brandon Rutley wasn't able to practice with them in the spring and Patrick Perry still ended up being hurt so you didn't know what you had in the running game.
"Then there were some injuries on the offensive line, which was young anyway, and guys weren't working out in the offseason. So the combination of all those factors really put the offense behind the eight ball.
"You can look at it a lot of different ways, half empty or half full. They were ahead late in the game at Stanford and Nebraska so there were times when they were a little bit healthier and were effective. I sure as heck don't want to sound like the guy coming in from the outside to point out and fix all these problems because I can understand the problems that they had and why they had them. There's another year in the offense, the players are a year older and there's better depth so hopefully some of those problems will get solved."