Coach Tomey Comments on First Day of Camp

San Jose State head football coach Dick Tomey talked to the media following Saturday's first practice of fall camp. Topics include the goals for practice, the USC game, running back Patrick Perry's status, and much more.

On Team Goals for practice:
"First of all we're just trying to learn how to practice as a team. We have 23 newcomers and we have to integrate them into what we're doing, we have to get a lot of work done. We were out here a long time today because we're not in pads and we can be out here a long time so it's a marathon but we got a lot of work done. We're just trying to learn all the aspects of practice that we want so that we can practice effectively and efficiently so that we can get things done in a more timely fashion. We got a lot of work done."

On the Learning curve:
"Well, yeah, because we have a lot of veteran players. Tyrone was at practice today and said it certainly didn't seem like a first practice. We had a lot of execution, we had a lot of offense and defense left over from spring and summer and I think the guys did a good job and we're trying to help the young players adapt although on this team we'll probably play fewer newcomers than we ever have."

On Tyrone Willingham and John Ralston being at practice:
"I'm glad they were both here."

On whether he's been notifited that Patrick Perry has been cleared to play:
No, but we will. He's a classic case and I can't imagine that the NCAA will let us know if there's something with his appeal that's not in, but he's missed the whole last two years with a knee injury. We didn't receive word on Sean Flynn last year until we were two weeks into practice. That's kind of SOP so we're not concerned. This is the first time he's been at full speed in the last two years, because he got hurt almost two years ago this week.

On whether any of the new people will see playing time:
"No, and I think that's a good thing. We don't have to have any of them come in and play. We don't have an emergency at any position right now. We may develop an emergency that happens when you have injuries. We have a few Junior College transfers that were with us in the spring and one that's joining us now. I would say the high school players playing would be a rare thing whereas in 2006 we had 17 freshmen play. This is just a much deeper team than that was."

On Pierce Pierce Burton moving to offense:
"We lost Jon Moreno who's an offensive tackle maybe until late in the season and we just wanted to see what Pierce can do on offense because we have one less player, possibly two, then we thought we were going to have so there may be more opportunity then there will be on defense for him. We like him a lot, he's done a great job as is the truth with most of the guys. Hopefully most of the freshman will get a chance to redshirt because that's the best thing that could happen for his own personal development long-term. We're excited about Pierce and I think he can play anywhere."

On who will take over Jon Moreno's spot:
"Andy Vargas and him were either/or going into fall. After spring it was either Moreno or Vargas, so Vargas has moved up into the first spot and Konye and Colloto and a young freshman who redshirted last year – David Quessenberry – are the first four guys. Quessenberry, to me, is a great prospect."

About Walkons getting scholarships:
"We're looking to probably give scholarships to several walkons and we'll announce that at the appropriate time."

On any academic eligibility issues:
"Yeah, there's a couple but we don't have 10 or 15. We have a couple. Our APR has improved over 100 points in three years so we have very few issues."

On academic issues in the two-deep:
"We might have one. It depends on the summer school classes that aren't completed yet but we certainly don't have many."

On the impact of USC game on intensity of practice:
"I think it's helped us ever since January, ever since we finished our season. Our guys know who they are and our guys know their capability and we know we have to be the best we've ever been to compete so I think they guys have worked hard to try to do that. The Utah game is the same. Utah is very comparable to USC. Whether USC could have done to Alabama what Utah did I don't know. "

On seeking out Pete Carroll and Mike Garrett to play the game:
"I know Pete Carroll very well and we wanted to play them. That was four years ago and we thought it would be a good game for our seniors. This is the first senior class that we had anything to do with getting here and we have a very short time to recruit these guys. We wanted to play a team like USC and the game came together. We obviously were able to get Utah for a home and home, which doesn't happen to us a lot, that somebody like that will come here. It's a good thing for us."

On the benefits on recruiting of playing the game in LA.
"I'm sure there are some. But our fans can come to the game, our LA fans can come to the game, our California fans can come. We don't leave the state until Oct. 31. We don't get on a plane until Oct. 31. We're playing at home we're playing in the state until that time and that's great for our fans. People will enjoy the USC game, our players are looking forward to it. It will be a real challenge for us and we're looking forward to it."

How the Nebraska experience will help against USC:
"When we went back to Nebraska we had no idea if we belonged yet you look up at the scoreboard in the 4th quarter and it's 14-12 and we have screwed it up. We were well capable of being ahead in that ballgame by more than a touchdown. I think that made out guys understand that they belong and they'll have to prove they belong in the Coliseum on Sept. 5 and I think they're very intent on doing that."

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