Once again, our guest reporter for Tuesday's practice was smilingjeffrey: Tuesday Practice Report.
Karl Dorrell's post-practice interview:
"Today was a good day for the defense, I thought the defense really did some nice things today. We're getting a little bit beat up as we go towards the latter part of the spring drills right now and guys are getting a little nicked up but we have to continue to keep trying to develop our team. We have so many young players that are playing, you still have to do the physical work with who we have out there. It was good to see our defense really step up and challenge the offense today. I think that the offense kind of got comfortable from the last scrimmage and they did a nice job today. So progress is being made on both sides. The field conditions don't help, that's for sure, but we have to keep working through it. I'm happy with what we've been accomplishing to this point. We're hoping to have a great weekend with showcasing a lot of good things Saturday. We're going to have another tough practice Thursday and we'll probably do some more competitive stuff against each other again and then give them Friday off and then be ready to have a great scrimmage Saturday morning.
What are you looking for on Thursday, seeing a lot of young kids and grading them?
"We have to. We're still too young in a lot of areas. In our offensive line there are a lot of new players playing for the first time and trying to understand how to play fast, think fast, and think very quickly under pressure situations, so they need to develop. Same thing on our defensive line and linebackers, those guys are young and we have to keep putting pressure on those guys. It's really by position, there is a lot of great competition. The quarterback competition is really heating up. Pat Cowan has done some really good things and has been noticed on what he has been able to do. I don't think anything is really set in stone, everyone is still trying to compete and prove that they should be where they are at or where they should get themselves to."
Talking to offensive line coach Jim Colletto yesterday, he commented about the offensive line and how young you guys are there...
"Yeah, the only real experienced guy is Shannon Tevaga. Everyone else has had some starts. If Robert Chai is here he would be the other experienced guy but other than that we have a few guys with some starts here or there and playing in a lot of different spots. So it's a challenge for those guys to learn more than one position right now. That's not an easy task for any offensive lineman to do but this is the time to do it. You've got to kind of cross-train those guys right now because you don't really have time to do it in the fall when you are preparing for games. It's a tough situation for them but it's a good problem to have because we feel that we have some very talented players."
You said the offense had done really well in the last scrimmage. What part of the offense excelled?
"We had some good execution. I thought both the first and second offenses moved the ball really well. I thought the first offense didn't do as well as the scrimmage kept unfolding – they had some three and outs where our defense did some good things. But Pat was running the second offense and was moving the ball very well and doing some good decision-making and he continues to work that way. He is being noticed right now and he's putting a lot of pressure on Ben Olson and he's moving forward, trying to get himself in the mix there."
Was P.J. Irvin here today?
"No, he is sick. That might be my fault, having them practice in the rain. We haven't had the greatest of weather and we've had a couple guys sick, a couple of walk-on guys that have been sick too. But he should be ready to go here on Thursday."
"Injuries are the same. You just saw Chase Moline here earlier, we're hoping to have him back here to do some things for us next week. Brigham Harwell might be able to do some things by the end of this week and do some drills next week. Justin Hickman was doing some drills this week. So we'll get a chance to get some of those guys – guys that have been missing some time in the very beginning -- back and doing some things next week."
What about Junior Taylor?
He's progressing well. They expect to have him cleared some time in the end of May or June and for him to be ready for a full-go release. He's working really hard and he's one of those guys we're interested to get back because he has a lot of leadership qualities."