Dorrell Comments on Practice

Head coach Karl Dorrell provides some assessment of the first three days of practice, including a look at the quarterback competition -- and some insight into the recent losses to the roster as well...

The biggest news of the day was the loss of Keith Carter, the sophomore tight end, who was injured in a motorcyle accident.  Head Coach Karl Dorrell commented about the Carter situation: "Obviously his status is pending.  The accident was Wednesday evening. It was an accident that just about anyone would have had, in traffic. It was  just a situation where he ran into the back of an automobile and dislocated his hip. We're not when he'll have surgery, and we don't know when he'll be available to play.  The doctors will have a better idea after surgery. He's in the hospital and we're going to visit with him this evening (Friday).  As of right now, the surgery isn't scheduled since he's waiting for a surgery time. It's unfortunate that it happened. But we're fortunate it wasn't worse."


When asked how this will impact the tight end position, Dorrell said, "Heavily. We only had four to begin with and now we're down to three. But it's part of the sport, even though it happened off the field, you have to have guys respond and pick up the slack when given the opportunity. So hopefully someone will pick up the slack."


Dorrell didn't say there were plans to move a player to tight end from another position, or that it could give walkon redshirt freshman Will Peddie an opportunity. "It's still so early to determine all that right now, given it's the third day of practice. But I think we'll do whatever we need to do. If we need to bring someone into that position, we will. We'll try to develop who we have now and hopefully someone will emerge."


In light of Carter's injury, Dorrell commented on the development of true sophomore tight end Marcedes Lewis:  "He's learning. He missed the whole winter conditioning, playing basketball, and then now to make him play football. To his defense he hasn't had the opportunity to learn any of the system from just being around the coaches. I have no doubt he'll be a special player when he gets more familiar with what we're doing."


When asked if he thinks the fairly sizeable crowds that have braved the cold weather to watch the first week of practice are a distraction. "I don't think so. It's nice to see the support. It's nice to see you guys out here and having an interest in what's going on. I think the players appreciate it. It's a new time, a new era, and the players are excited, and it's nice to see that the fans are excited. So, it's nice to see the people out here."


After three days of observing his young quarterbacks, Dorrell commented" "They've gotten better. Each day has gotten better and better. The only thing that disappointed me today was one particular time in practice when I thought we were losing our concentration a bit, and had to start a few periods over, but we finished up pretty well. So, for not having a rep in the off-season in relation to what we're doing, and then looking at these three days, they have really taken on a lot of information and they've done pretty well. I'm going to take them to the limit and make them expand their minds even further. We need to. We have a ways to go in terms of developing our systems, but I'm very encouraged by what they've done so far."


Dorrell acknowledged that, with the loss of scholarship longsnapper  Joe Tomasello to an injury until fall, that longsnapper is a question. "It's a big issue. That's a position if you under-appreciate it, you lose games. We have a couple of guys who are working really hard, Adam Craven and Riley Jondle, who are trying to make an impression. And then hopefully Tomasello will be back from his shoulder surgery and he'll be ready to go."


Dorrell on the progress of the defense and offense: "The defense is playing really well. We have to continue to encourage them to run to the football. We want to be very aggressive and fast on defense. They're getting better and better. They didn't have practically any stumbling blocks today compared to the offense. But the offense is always harder and the defense gets ahead of the offense. But I'm happy with the progress on both sides. On offense we have the skill players with the tools to be pretty good and hopefully it's just a matter of time for them to get comfortable."


Monday the team is in full pads will begin practicing in full pads and Dorrell is looking forward to it. He said:  "You never really play football until you have the pads on. So hopefully we'll have a chance to be more physical, play more football and get more done. But I'm encouraged by what I've seen this week."


Dorrell comments about offensive lineman Matt Mosebar leaving the team: "That was a concern of ours. Matt had some issues in his personal life. It was something he's been thinking about for a long time. We had communication with him and his dad. The father wants to do what's best for his son and Matt did what he thought what was best for him. We would have loved to have had him, but he had to make that decision for himself. He'll still go to school here but won't play football."


With Mosebar's departure, Dorrell comments on how important it is for injured tackle Alex Potasi to return: "That gives more creedence that we need Potasi to be in the fold next season. Hopefully he'll recover from his injury and he'll be in the fold. We didn't recruit any tackles coming in so it's obviously important for him to back as quickly as he can."




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