‘'It was a good practice. Guys came out eager, pads were banging. That's what you want in response to a disappointment. You want them to get back off the mat and it was a great start to the week, so I'm excited where we are right now. Obviously, mindful of the tough challenge this weekend, given our opponent, but looking forward to playing at home and hopefully correcting a lot of the mistakes from last week and playing a much better football game. Anxious to get started in that quest.''
Kevin (Prince) has been rusty and you've talked about that, but (Richard) Brehaut got a lot of snaps today … Is there a depth chart change there or …
‘'No, No, we're just trying to get everybody ready. Kevin is a little sore from the game, but we're where we are and there's no depth chart change.''
Sore in the back or …
‘'Just, basically, sore.''
(Stanford coach Jim) Harbaugh was trying to sell that 4-2-nickel or whatever it is. Are you buying that at all?
‘'Oh, probably not. You know, Vic Fangio is a 3-4 guy. I worked with Vic in Baltimore. He's a disciple of Dom Capers and a lot of what Pittsburgh does on defense, the Steelers, so they have some 3-4 principles, so I think we have to prepare for 3-4. But they played every snap last week in 4-2-nickel, but I think we'll see both.''
(Chris) Owusu is supposedly coming back. Can you talk about the problems that he creates?
‘'Well, he's definitely a speed merchant and when we got ready to play them last (year) he already had returned toe for touchdowns. I don't know what his injury was – they're not saying – so we'll see. But he's certainly capable of big things.''
Can Prince afford not having this time?
‘'Well, he got a lot of work today. I mean, he got a lot of work today. Just nursing him back to health, getting him all set. It's just one of those things you have to cope with.''
Talking about tackling, is there something you can look at in practice short of full contact that progress is being made?
‘'Well, I think we went live for a couple periods today and, at least for our defense, and I think it was spirited. You know, Coach (Chuck) Bullough, who rarely gives accolades, was very pleased with the way practice went today.''
You guys came out a little bit late. Did you talk to them at all …
‘'I extended our meeting time a little bit. I wanted us, you know, we're in the morning schedules, to make sure we had everything with the installation of the game plan done so we didn't have to leave anything out, so I moved it 15 minutes.''
How about (Thomas) Keiser, he's got 15 sacks in 25 games …
‘'High energy guy. High energy guy and he has a couple of good pass rush moves. He's going to require our full attention.''
Where is Randall Carroll on the depth chart at this point?
‘'He's in that second role right behind Nelson (Rosario). He and Jerry Johnson are battling for that spot.''
You had talked about giving some guys who are not on the No. 1 teams more time. Did you see anything today that stuck out?
‘'Well, I spent most of my time over there on offense, so I'll have to check the film and talk to our defensive coaches about where we are as a defense, to see how guys like Jordan Zumwalt, Dietrich Riley, Anthony Jefferson, Seali'I Epenesa, all of those guys are capable and obviously Cassius (Marsh) did play last week. Offensively, I think our rotations are kind of set. Chris Ward is available, and we're going to try to hold him so we don't have to use him, but he's available if we have a disaster. And obviously Anthony Barr played a lot.''
Kevin Prince did not do a lot of practicing. He apparently fell on the same shoulder that he injured at USC last season in the Kansas State game and had some soreness in there.
Coach Rick Neuheisel said there was no change in the depth chart, and backup Richard Brehaut said he had not been told anything about a chance to play. ''They haven't said anything to me about getting more reps or anything. I kind of just got more reps today,'' Brehaut said. ''I'm trying obviously to take advantage of those and get those looks as much as I can.''
Freshman Seali'i Epenesa did get some work in with the No. 1 and No. 2 defense. He held his ground well and got some penetration. If he can play, it obviously gives the Bruins more options across the line. -
They did do a little tackling in team. In individual, they also had the defensive backs and linebackers work on tackling ... it didn't always go well. Jerry Rice Jr. blew right past will linebacker Sean Westgate and then Mike Schmidt. ...
Mike Harris, suspended for the Kansas Stater game for a violation of team rules, was back in practice and working with the No. 2 offense. Line coach Bob Palcic said Micah Kia is the right tackle. ...
There were some struggles in 7 on 7, with a couple of bad drops (Josh Smith and Cory Harkey) and some poorly thrown balls by Brehaut and Prince. ...
There is a new walk-on at quarterback - Max Schuh, a left-hander from Fresno Edison ...
Derrick Coleman and Jonathan Franklin again got most of the reps with the No. 1 offense.
Damien Holmes was working with the No. 1 defense at the open end.
Westgate was with the No. 1 defense. Worth noting that his backup, Glenn Love, was one of the better tacklers in the individual period.
Offensive lineman Stan Hasiak wasn't in practice. He was out sick.
How 'bout that offensive line …
‘'I was really proud of those players. They gave me everything they had and as a result they ended up playing pretty well.''
Maybe there is something to having the five seniors, even though they haven't really played much …
‘'They work well together as a unit and they have a lot of pride and they want to finish their careers on a strong note. Like I said, I'm pleased with their performance. Did we play perfect? No, absolutely not, we have a lot of things to work on, but these kids are willing, they're taking coaching and if we keep those guys healthy I think we can have a good year.''
You have Mike Harris eligible now, you have Chris Ward available, if you need him, but do you try to keep those five guys together now, seeing this as a starting point?
‘'Well, I mean, it's Micah Kia's job right now, and Mike Harris is going to have to beat him out to get his job back. I mean, Micah Kia has paid the price, rehabilitated himself from a knee reconstruction and he has the position. It's his to lose.''
Rick mentioned (Sean) Sheller the other day …
‘'I thought Sheller played a good game the other day. That was his first start and I thought he did a nice job in a hostile environment and we played against a pretty good defense.''
Was there one thing he did well that you were happy with?
‘'Just played a good overall ball game. I can't say there was one specific area that stood out over the others, but he played a good solid game in all aspects.''
He's another guy, you mentioned Kia, but Sheller also has made some comebacks …
So, you're getting an opportunity this week, get some long looks to see if you can come out of that redshirt … What are your thoughts on that?
‘'I'm excited. Coach just put me on the giant team, so I'm excited for that. Hopefully I get in the game because this past week, I didn't get in. But, it's all good. As long as our defense plays well I'm all right.''
You looked pretty good out there. What did they tell you, or when did they tell you about this?
‘'They just told me right before practice in a meeting. We had meetings right before. They showed us a depth chart and I was on it. I was excited about that.''
After last week, were you kind of resigned to redshirting this year?
‘'I don't really know what their plan was for me. I think if I never got in by the third game they were going to redshirt me, but as of right now it looks like I'm going to get a little bit of playing time. But as long as we get that ‘W' on Saturday, I'm good. ‘'
How important would it be for you to play this year?
‘'Well, I want to play, but it's all up to the coaches. They know what's best for me and whatever decision they make, that's what I'm going to follow.''
With the techniques, you feel like you're up to 10 or 15, 20, plays a game?
‘'Yeah, I think I can do it. You know, it's all up to Coach Howard. He knows what he's doing and I'm going to trust his judgment.''
Does he have you working on anything in particular right now?
‘'You know, I've got some things I can work on my own, my get-offs and stuff. But basically that's it. I've got to get off the ball.''