Thursday's Practice Report

Head Coach Karl Dorrell talked after practice Tuesday about how they switched up some of the drills, ran through more situational drills, and how the quarterbacks are starting to catch on to the offense...

BRO message board poster smilingjeffrey once again supplies his very detailed report from practice Thursday.

Here are Head Coach Karl Dorrell's comments after practice.

Opening statement:

"Good practice. Did a lot of situational stuff, which was fun to see. Did some red zone, what I call a second-and-12 drill and a four-minute drill. I thought that was really competitive, the-four minute drill. I like how that went. Usually you don't do those types of things until the fall, but why not do it now? Why not get that in their head about how to strategize and why it's so important to stay in bounds when you get a first down, or to eat up the clock. Things like that offensively. And defensively to strategize about getting the ball back for their offense. We did that pretty well, the offense, the run offense was successful and got their two first downs to win the drill but the defense, the second and third defenses, did a good job getting the ball back for their offense. So it's good to start that type of process of thinking."

Injury updates:

"Gavin Ketchum, he has a hamstring strain. Obviously not able to play right now. Don't know what his status will be for next week. I know he would like to play, be ready to go, by the spring game, but we'll just see how the process goes with how he feels. He doesn't feel like it's that bad, but hamstrings are pretty delicate things particularly when you run at full speed. Bruce Davis is back, it was good to see him back with his bruised rib cage. He was ready to go. Dominique Johnson was starting to practice, and went through individuals and then kind of got dizzy and felt like he was going to faint. So we sent him into the doctors. We'll try to see what's going on with him. Probably didn't eat anything all day and might be weak. But he couldn't continue on with practice. Joe Cowan is back doing some individual stuff. Didn't do any of the full speed stuff. He'll probably be back next week."

Kevin Brown (pulled up with a mock ankle injury during 7-on-7):

"Kevin Brown was actually acting, that's part of the drill. (Glad he fooled you). That's part of our strategy defensively, find ways to stop the clock. He must have done a good job."

On Derrick Williams' status:

"Derrick Williams is not cleared to do anything the rest of spring. We're still going through tests with him, and we'll just see how things end up. You know he's had a history with this, so that's where our concern is. We don't know what the future is right at this time, so we just want to make sure we do the proper protocol going through the evaluation process."

For Ben Olson and Patrick Cowan, is spring enough time to evaluate who should be the starter?

"I think so. They both played last year. They both have game experience, they both showed their ability to make plays and move the offense. That's what makes it helpful. It wasn't like last year when they both didn't have any experience playing or starting or being under pressure. It's a totally different scenario now."

On their progression through spring:

"They're starting to catch up to what the information is that's put in. Early on there was a lot of installation and a lot of plays put in. Now, later in spring, there's not as much being put in and it's starting to get where they feel they know what they're doing. They're both making some good plays. I'm anxious to watch them scrimmage this weekend and in the spring game because it will show how far they've grown from the beginning of spring until now."

Are you closer to a decision about a starter?

"We're always getting closer each day, because the decision is coming at any point. It will be after the spring game, but now exactly after the spring game. It can be weeks after, but it will be in the spring time. Before June."

How important are the next two scrimmages in terms of the decision?

"Each day really factors in. We chart everything, absolutely everything they do. Every 7 on 7 throw, every team throw, everything that they do. Factors in every day. We coaches use that adage, every day is an interview. They know they have to come out here and perform every day. We'll see how the spring game ends up, too."

Who needs to improve among the quarterbacks?

"They're all getting a good grasp of what we're trying to accomplish. Even Osaar Rasshan. You saw Osaar today move around and make some plays down field. It was good to see that type of stuff happen, which really we haven't done the last couple of years, if you think about it. Guys have been able to move, get flushed out of the pocket, and see guys down field to make some plays."

Did you do the four-minute drill because guys are picking up the offense well?

"It more has to do with we have more experience on this team so we can do those types of drills, because they were in those types of situations last year. I'd like to change up different things that we do against each other from a competition standpoint so it doesn't get stale. There's always something where there's a winner and a loser, and that's just one of those things that I picked out. I was pleased with how both sides reacted to that situation."

What's the biggest change in the offense this year?

"Biggest difference, we're formationing a lot more. It's funny how it goes full circle. Our terminology is really how it was my first year. So we went full circle. But we don't want that type of result (from my first year). The reason why we felt it was good to do it is because these guys have a good grasp of this offense, so we may call it a different name, but they know conceptually what these plays are so it hasn't been that hard of a learning curve."

You talked to the seniors after the practice. What did he say to them?

"Just leadership stuff. It's a big group as you saw. That's a team itself right there. They're good kids, good guys. I'm always trying to challenge them about how important leadership is. They're excited about the season even though we've got a ways away."

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