Quotes from Head Coach Karl Dorell after Saturday's scrimmage:
"I'm excited about this team. We're young, but some of those young guys made some big plays today. I think we're going to be a pretty solid ball club next year, we feel really good about some of those young guys getting opportunities to show us how they can make some plays.
"It was good to see Marcedes make a big play down the field. A couple other guys made some plays too. Maurice Drew is Maurice Drew. I thought the quarterbacks made some good throws, good decisions as a group.
"Defense stepped up towards the end of the scrimmage. They did a great job putting pressure on the quarterbacks and getting some sacks in critical situations. When you're plus-25 when the offense is in scoring position, you have to step up and make some plays. They were able to do that. Whether the offense had penalties or sacks, they kept them out of the end zone. Those are good things to build on from a defensive standpoint.
"Offensively they did a nice job. There were good things throwing the ball, ran the ball fairly decent. There are so many areas going good right now, I don't know if we have time to talk about it all."
Kevin Brown did a lot today huh?
"He had a good scrimmage. He's playing inside very well and very hard for us. He's hard to block. He's going against our best offensive linemen right now. It's good to see that he's playing very confidently right now. All those things point to a lot of great things happening in the fall and that's what we're excited about."
Thurmond Moore's philosophy of getting the linemen up the field, do you think that plays into Kevin's favor?
"It sure can. For a big lineman, he has very good agility and quickness. A lot of those things play into his benefit. Same with Brigham Harwell and Justin Hickman. Justin put a lot of good pressure on the quarterback today. It's good to see that group a year later is going to be what we thought a year ago. They had to take their lumps last season, but now they're coming around to be a pretty stable and solid group."
"David I thought played well. He made a couple of decision mistakes, where he might have been pressured here and there. But other than that, I thought he played well, threw the ball well, and had a couple of good balls down the field.
"Ben showed signs of improvement again. He had a good practice yesterday (Friday), a good scrimmage today, made some good throws. His progress is moving right along.
"I thought Pat Cowan did some things well too in the scrimmage, he made some good throws in situation to keep the offense moving. So it was all very positive about what those guys are doing. Even Brian made some incredible throws. That group played well today."
At what point do you change the reps around to get Ben throwing more?
"We have to assess what today was, in terms of our evaluation with our offense. This is really our first tell-tale sign before we get into some extensive work. We'll make an assessment as a staff when we watch the tape and move forward from that point on. We'll see what needs to get done. This is the first time we can get a better evaluation and will make adjustments from here on."
What about those young cornerbacks?
"How about those guys? How about the play that Rodney Van made or the play that Mil'Von James made? Those are four or five very competitive players that are going to play and will provide the most depth that we've had in maybe two years. I feel pretty good about that corner position with those guys able to play for us."
Comments from Ben Olson:
"I played horrible, but I think the team as a whole played well."
Are things on the field still taking a second to register?
"Yeah it is, not being as familiar with the offense as I need to be and not making plays. All of it as a whole, I just need to keep getting better."
How do you keep from getting overly frustrated?
"Remember that I haven't played in three years. From what I used to be to now is not very encouraging. But I have to remember that and remember there will be a time that it will come and just work harder."
Is there anything you're doing to make up a lot of ground?
"I'm going to try. I have to take advantage of the opportunities that I'm given, try my hardest, and going to work hard this off season, that's for sure."
Is it processing the information?
"It is. Every play you have so much to go through in your head. Sometimes you're coming up to the line and you're not even looking at the defense because you're so worried what your guys have. It's just a process above everything. You just have to get so familiar with the offense so you can feel the game instead of thinking about it."
Did you do anything today you liked?
"No, not really."
Comments from David Koral:
"It was average. I did some good things and some bad things. I had a nice pass to Marcedes. I mean, I didn't really get a lot of opportunities to make some throws. The ones I did I thought I put in nicely."
What do you think about Kevin Brown? You saw him a lot today.
"Well, his nickname is Bear, and there's a reason for it. He's definitely a good ball player."
Did you get as many snaps as you wanted today?
"I don't think so, I would like to get in more of a rhythm. I got a couple nice series in the beginning but I a got a big gap in the middle where I didn't get any and it threw my timing off a bit."
When you look at what you need to improve on, is one of them getting rid of the ball?
"They want me to make good decisions and getting rid of the ball is getting rid of the ball. But it's just with pressure you have to make a play and either get rid of it or find someone quick."
Comments from Tom Cable:
How about the quarterbacks...
"There were some good things but there were also some inconsistencies. I thought they would have been much better had we had a little bit better protection today. That to me was more of an issue, in terms of their negative plays, it had a lot more to do with them (the O-line). I really think that's on a couple of my guys not being where they need to be yet, against plenty of good players, but we still need to block them."
Did anybody block Kevin Brown?
"Shoot no, he's a good player."
What did you see from Koral that you liked?
"I thought he was a little more confident then I've seen him. I thought he made some more definite decisions than he's made but he made some decisions, taking shots and not throwing the ball away and living for another play, that hurt us some. Overall, he's improved from where he used to be and that's the good direction for us.
"He has to learn to push up and out. Not out and out, that's the problem. Once you push it up and out, you saw Pat (Cowan) and (Brian) Callahan pushing the ball up and making first downs."
How about Ben Olson?
"He did some good things and then he's frustrated too, because again, protection is an issue with the group he's working in, so there is a little disparity there in terms of the position he's in. But I have to do a better job with getting him a better protection."
Is there a way to get all that stuff in his mind going any faster?
"Yeah, its called time. I told him this last week: He's learning it now, it's getting taught to him and then he'll have it and go throw it in the summer and he's going to come back to fall camp and it's going to go ‘bang, bang, bang.' For anyone to think that he's going to walk in and just go do it, is ludicrous. There's a process you have to go through. I think he's throwing wonderfully. I know he doesn't feel that way and he's frustrated, but people can't expect too much of him, they have to expect what's reasonable for him at this point based on where he should be at. He's in a new system, he hasn't played in two years. He's doing fine."
Can you see coming out of this spring with a starting quarterback?
You know, I don't know that. I think that's a pretty tough call. Obviously it's Drew Olson's job and he's rehabbing for his knee injury, but I would say we've got some real good competition with the guys that are here right now. Particularly, with David and Pat and as soon as Ben gets in form, he will get in there pretty heavy, too."
You're happy with that? Because Olson couldn't say anything good about his game today.
"That's him, though That's why I like him so much, because his level of expectations are a lot like ours as coaches: Until its right, it's not good enough."
Can you see him trying to process it on the field?
"It's confidence to be on time, it's a timing system. Just to get on time and stay on time is really important for a guy that's new at it. He's struggling at it, but he's supposed to be. Like I said, no one should be putting pressure on him because we certainly are not. Watch what happens in the fall, you'll see. "