Coach Sunday Conference Call

Rick Neuheisel talks about the wide receiver situation this week, as well as how his job status affects the team...

Q: How were your travels this weekend (for recruiting)?

A: Well, I didn't have to go very far. I was local. A couple of guys had to go some distance. Mike Johnson went a long way, Inoke (Breckterfield) went a long way. Other guys were more local. Tim Hundley was down in San Diego. Most of us were hereabouts.

Q: How are you going to go about handling the wide receiver situation this weekend?

A: We've got Jerry Rice, he'll be available. We've got hopefully Jerry Johnson. We'll see if we can get him ready to participate. Obviously Jordon James has played outside at times, and we'll have to use personnel groupings that only have two wide receivers. It's a precarious situation, that's true, but we feel like with our athletes and some of the stuff we can do in the running game we can neutralize the effect of it.

Q: Is Devin Lucien off the table?

A: No, he's not off the table, but it's important that that be a family decision. Devin has sat for the entire year, we thought for a redshirt. These guys are going to be back after one game so I want to make sure we are doing something prudent for Devin. And making sure that he understands what the situation exactly is. We'll certainly talk about that and talk about it with Devin.

Q: Do you feel that all the actions against your guys were appropriate?

A: I'm not going to second guess the league. I'm disappointed that it took place. The circumstances surrounding it that took place are nothing short of bizarre, but I'm not going to second guess the league. We're going to respect their decision and move forward.

Q: Will you have any further team related or school related penalties to hand out?

A: No, we don't feel that's necessary.

Q: How are you going to address talk of your future?

A: I'm going to address it like I always have: that's for someone else to talk about. My focus is strictly on the task at hand, which is trying to get our team ready to play a great game against Cal, and see if we can't get our third conference win.

Q: Do you have to address your job status with the players?

A: I told them only that our job is to focus on what we can do on the field and to forget all that outside stuff. There's nothing that can be accomplished by worrying about that. We do the best we can and we have to have the right mindset to go forward and the mindset has to be about playing a complete football game and enjoying playing with one another. Just looking forward rather than looking back.

Q: Did you guys practice today?

A: We did.

Q: How'd that go?

A: It went great. Good to be back out there.

Q: Was it a full practice or just kind of a walkthrough?

A: It was more than a walkthrough, less than a full practice.

Q: So a jog through?

A: Well, it was three team periods and then a bunch of special teams.

Q: What's Chris Ward's situation at this point?

A: We think he'll be available. I'd say right now he's between questionable and probable.

Q: Andrew Abbott and Aaron Hester?

A: I think both are probable.

Q: Schematically, what did you see that wasn't working on defense?

A: Well, the other night, early in the game at least, we got pushed off the line of scrimmage, which is uncharacteristic. We've got to make sure we get our pads down and come off the ball better than we did in the early portion of that game. We had some safeties that didn't make the tackles they need to make. They were in position to do it and didn't get it done, so that has to get shored up. Then we have to make plays when we're covering man to man on the outside. We were in position to make plays and unfortunately we had some pass interference calls and just didn't get our hands up to get the ball knocked away. And all put together made for a very very poor first half of defensive football. But, I believe we can fix it and I believe we'll be much better this week.

Q: How close were you to going to Brett Hundley on Thursday?

A: I thought about it, but you know, in that kind of game, I just didn't think it was the right thing to do in terms of the rest of his year. I think when you make the decision to go to Brett Hundley, you have to commit that you're going to do it the rest of the time. Or at least a good package of things the rest of the time. And as I wrestle with it, I want to make sure he's ready for that and that it will be a worthwhile venture. I'm not thinking about me, I'm thinking about him.

Q: So, you guys are still kind of weighing that decision week to week?

A: Yeah, and the good news for him at least is that he's in a second team role. He is going to get lots and lots of reps and we'll see how he improves.

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