Dorrell's Comments After Spring Game

Head Coach Karl Dorrell talked about Friday night's scrimmage, the culmination of spring practice. He discussed how he wasn't surprised that the defense dominated the offense, how he expects the offense to develop under the new offensive coordinator, and the depth of the D...

Comments from Karl Dorrell after the scrimmage Friday night:

"I think, like I said before, our defense is pretty good. The offense struggled. They struggled. They didn't start getting anything going until we started going in the red-zone and that's when we made a few plays down there. But defense, you expected them to be ahead right now and they are. I'm really excited that we have two units of defense that shows you a little bit about our depth. We're pleased with that, given the depth we have there. We're fairly healthy too, coming out of today. So we got a chance to be really solid on defense and that's going to be real important for us to be as good as we can be this fall.

"Offensively we got a lot of work to do. We put in a lot of information this spring and we're not quite in sync yet. It'll get there. We have some capable players but you also gotta mention that we didn't have Chris Markey. We didn't have Brandon Breazell. We didn't have a couple other guys offensively that are part of that package and in terms of giving the personnel that you need. But that's no excuse as for what you saw today. You gotta get these young guys developed and be competitive players and productive players for us. At times they made some plays but I would say the defense had their hands on them today for sure."

When you look at it, was it problems with protection. Was it receivers not getting open?

"I think it was both. Whenever you can disrupt the timing on an offense you do it two ways. One is pass rush and the second is if the receivers are covered downfield. If both those things happened, it's tough to get things going. We didn't run the ball particularly well either. They had their hands full today. Our defense did a nice job finishing up spring in the way that we want them to be and offensively we got a lot of work to go."

Pat Cowan got off to a rough start with the interception. Do you think that affected the rest of his play?

"He shook that off and kept going. He made some plays with his feet. Did a nice job in the red zone, made some good decision and he did some good things. Both (Pat and Ben Olson) made some mistakes early on and they settled in and looked pretty good. They're going against some pretty good defensive personnel. Both those guys are. And that's good. That's great training for us on the offensive side.  And the offensive guys- they'll get better. Because it's new and they'll need to digest it and get real comfortable with it and it's gonna take some work and repetition to do that."

Were all the plays scripted or were you guys calling stuff live?

"I didn't call any plays. I was charting. I was just charting plays. (Offensive Coordinator Jay Norvell) has a plan on what he wanted to get accomplished today. Again, that's not anything that's a concern right now in the springtime. We're just trying to develop an offense and get guys developed and get this package going. So in terms of plays and who's doing what -- scripted, non-scripted -- that really doesn't matter."

What improvements are you going to look to see from Ben Olson when you get to August?

"Just like all of them, it's a lot of new terminology. There's a lot of new things that they're all learning. They need to familiarize themselves with the plays and that takes repetition and practice. So it's not just him, it's the whole group. We need to get more comfortable with the offense that we're doing and continue to get better with it."

Is there a way to gauge how much of the offense's struggles was the overload factor?

"It's hard to make that assessment at this point. We just walked off the field. You can't take any credit away from our defense. Our defense is pretty good and offensively you're usually a little behind the defense when you particularly got a new coordinator and some new things you're doing on the offensive side. So those are just natural things that are gonna happen. We have a lot of work on the offensive side to catch up. We have to catch up and make some progress in this off-season and we'll be going into fall camp and continue to make those improvements."

Did you kind of get the sense that this could happen? This (the defense dominating the scrimmage) isn't a big surprise?

"No, I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised at all. And actually I feel pretty good comfort. Usually your defense dominates in the spring. If it was the other way around, I'd be concerned. But I'm not. I'm very pleased with where we've made our progress and the depth on our defense. That sounds and looks good for the fall. Now offensively we just got to season ourselves with the new staff and players and plays and things like that and get ourselves to operate more productively."

What specifically about the defense stood out to you?

"Coverage was good. Big hits. Good pass rush. I think it was all those things. We play our package pretty sound. I think our players really understand our defensive package very, very well and they go. It's all good stuff."

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