Tuesday Practice Report

Head coach <b>Karl Dorrell</b> comments on the Bruins offense, running back coach <b>Eric Bieniemy</b> talks about his backs, and offensive tackle <b>Ed Blanton</b> talks about the line's role in the offense.

As the Bruins spend the week off because of a bye, they begin preparations for San Diego State on October 2nd.

Head Coach Karl Dorrell's post-practice comments from Tuesday:

On the improvement of the players on offense:
Dorrell: They did a lot of work this summer. They were out here all summer, out here with no coaches, on their own. They've made those huge steps, and I'll keep saying it. They did a lot of work.

On the officials calling out the numbers of the penalized players:
Dorrell: I don't think its as detrimental as people think. How it used to be when someone made an infraction was the side judge would come over to me and say "it was #65's fault" on those particular infractions, and we always knew that. I think the effect is similar whether his name is announced over the speakers, or I'm barking at him off the field. I don't think its that big a deal. If anything, it'll make these guys think "that's how they do it in the pros. I don't think its as catastrophic as people might have thought. It would be good, though, to limit those as much as possible. We've done that the first two games, and it wasn't bad this last game, but we had five in the first half, and we didn't have that many in the first two games.

On the interpretation of the call on Spencer Havner on the field goal block attempt:
Dorrell: We're getting two different interpretations and we have to figure out what's the interpretation and we're looking for the Pac-10 interpretation from the officials. They said we can do certain things, but that wasn't told to me on the field on Saturday, but I don't want to get into that. We'll get it figured out. That's been an effective play for us. Spencer has done a great job for us, and Brandon Chillar did a year ago. You're allowed to leap, but they are saying you have to land on your player. What they are saying basically is you cant get a running leap, and we got a running leap.

Comments from running backs coach Eric Bieniemy
On the maturation of the running backs:
Its been a very good ride. Last year was a little bit bumpy. We took our punches, but the thing about is we worked our tails off, starting in the offseason conditioning program. Guys worked their tails off in the summer with Doc. And then they came into Training Camp with a determined attitude, and now its paying off the past three weeks. We saw what we can do, and we're not quite there yet, but we know what we can do. Plus, with the production we've put on the field, we've now put a bull's-eye on our chest, now we've got to be out there and be more mentally prepared, and run with even more of a determined attitude.

On Michael Pitre's contributions:
You're talking about a very mature kid, who's gone through a lot over the last year and a half. He lost a parent, came to a point where he didn't know if he could ever play football. He's lost 40 pounds. He's lost the weight, and he's come out here and just worked. More importantly, he came out to be a part of this. On top of that he's worked so hard, that he found himself in a prime position where he could get a lot of reps. He would be our unsung hero right now, at this point. He goes out and busts his tail every day and just goes to work.

On the character of Manuel White and Maurice Drew:
They are who they are. Last year when it was rough, they were still the same two guys. This year they are having a little bit more success, and they are the same two guys. They are still very humble players. They lead by example. When its time to speak up, they speak up. They are two great kids, hard working kids, and they don't take anything for granted.

On both of them stepping up at certain points:
It's a great thing to have. Those two guys are very good backs. The unique part is we got a freshman named Chris Markey, a redshirt freshman named Derrick Williams, and an older guy in Jason Harrison. Those three guys keep them on their toes. Those three guys are the reason why they are doing the things they are. I coach Manuel and Maurice not to give their jobs up, but I coach those three guys to take their jobs. And we have that friendly competition. They know how I am, I could care less about what you did year, I could care less what you did last week. Bottom line is what have you done for me lately.

On his experience handling multiple running backs, as he did at Colorado:
You have to keep players hungry. One thing about playing at running back is that you can always find someone who can run the ball. The thing about it is you got to find the great one who's determined to not give up his job. Manny and Maurice, they have some great things about them. But those guys backing them up have some great tools too. You have to understand there is a balance. They know on any given day, if those guys aren't performing, then they have to be ready to step up.

On instructing them on their running techniques:
We always go with a starting point. You have to tell them where to go. Then they have to follow their reads. Then it's a feel process. All of them are here cause they know how to run the ball. They have their starting points, they make their key reads, now their God-given abilities have to take over. Once you hesitate, you wont play. If you hesitate when you get to the hole, its time for someone else to get in there. These guys don't hesitate though.

On Maurice Drew's comments that Bieniemy was his favorite running back to watch, and Barry Sanders wasn't any longer:
(Laughing) He's just trying to keep me from making him run after the fumbles he's had over the course of the year, that's all.

On if watching the holes the offensive line opened gave him the idea that he could be out there and run through them:
You know what, ideally yes, I would love to think I could. But that's why I'm standing on the sidelines, I'll leave it up to those guys.

Comments from offensive linemen Ed Blanton
On the improvement of the offensive line:
After last year, we took it as a learning experience. We were pretty pissed off about it. We took a lot of criticism, but it was well-due and we deserved it. We saw some film today of last year, and it was horrible. But we're not the same unit we were last year, so we took everything we did last year in stride to have a good offseason.

On being a part of the greatest single-player rushing day in school history:
I'm really proud to know that I'm a part of it. After however many years football has been a part of this school, its never been better than it was that day, and I'm real proud of that.

On dominating Washington up front:
Up front, we knew we were. In the third quarter, I looked up at the scoreboard and saw how many yards we had rushing, and there was still 20 minutes left in the game, I was asking how many more we could get. I knew we were getting them up front.

On the low sack totals against them this year:
Coach Cable really pushed pass-blocking this year. Last year it killed us, so we really tried to improve on it. It's been working so far, but we had a little mistake, someone went the wrong way kinda, but we aren't kicking back because we should never give up a sack.

On the weakside/strongside formations:
Its been working great. It's gone really well. Everyone has bought into it.

On the focus during the bye week:
Just getting bigger and stronger. Getting stronger in the weight room. We have a whole week to get bigger. Out here we get sharper, an in there we get stronger.

On opening up Pac-10 play with a win at Washington:
It's huge. I couldn't imagine had we lost that game on Saturday. We would have been sitting out here thinking about a loss for a week. But it was a huge win for us, to go into the bye.

On the conditioning:
We feel like we are getting stronger as the game is going on. I feel like the first quarter was my worst quarter, because I was just getting warmed up. But we're getting stronger by the fourth quarter and while I feel tired after the game, obviously, its not as tired as last year.

On whether they had any worries when trailing early against Washington:
We were just waiting to get the ball and drives going. We only had like 8 plays in the first quarter. When we finally kept the ball in our hands, and stopped turning it over, we got it going.

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