Friday Scrimmage Recap
Rick Neuheisel talked on Friday Night following the Bruins' scrimmage.
I'm a little bit disappointed in myself tonight. I thought the lights out here were a little better. I don't know that we should have scrimmaged at night given the lighting. But, that being said, I think we got a lot done. We'll look at the tape and have a lot more to coach off of, and I think it sets us up, given that there were no injuries, for a great last week of practice.
Did anyone stand out tonight?
I saw some great individual things but I don't know that I saw any one guy kind of dominate. Again, our defensive tackles, Brigham and Brian and Jerzey also, did some great things inside.
What did you think of the offense?
You know what, I thought it was our best 7-on-7 (before the scrimmage) in the entire ordeal. I don't know, I'll have to look at the tape, what was keeping us from being more consistent. I saw a couple good plays down the field, one by Marcus and one by Gavin. But we need to improve dramatically in the throw game between now and the end of the week so that we give ourselves a springboard towards the offseason and into the fall.
You weren't getting a lot of push in the running game?
No, our defensive front did a good job. The good thing about scrimmages is, I win. So, I'm gonna just say that it was a really good job by our defensive front.
What do you need to see in the passing game?
Just a little bit more precision, where the timing of everything is on. That's a tall order. That takes longer than it takes to cover it. That isn't necessarily a condemnation or an allowance that the defense is clearly ahead so I'm not giving them credit, they deserve credit. But we've just got to get a little crisper. All the guys in the throwing game have to take it on themselves.
How'd the second O-line look?
It was impressive at the end. The last two red-zone drive by the second team, we got in the end-zone. That was encouraging That gives them something to build on going into the last week. The first team offense has got their work cut out for them.
Thoughts on Austin returning punts?
Well, we were against a ‘look-team.' But he looks pretty natural back there, and I'd say that he'd have a great chance to have that job if he does a good job and is real consistent catching punts.
We've actually worked with Graves and Christian Ramirez (at punt returner).
We haven't made a foregone conclusion. It's not to say that Austin won't be. I just think right now we're working the scheme more than the personel.
What do you think of Kevin Craft?
I saw some signs tonight. I think he's still a little bit urgent where he may not need to be. When he made that throw to Gavin Ketchum, that was a really pretty throw. I see good things, he's just gotta get more reps. We've got some real issues. We don't have enough offensive linemen to get five quarterbacks, then (tonight) we're down to two tailbacks.
It's a challenge to get all the guys reps, but we're seeing progress. It just doesn't come as quickly as you like.
Did Sheppard get dinged up?
He's fine, but we didn't want to risk it with one week to go. We feel like with two days off and then a shorts practice coming up, he might be able to finish spring ball. I didn't want to have him go in and hurt it or bruise it anymore.
How'd it go tonight?
I'm impressed with the improvement we made both on offense and defense. Offensively we have come a long way since the beginning of spring, from not knowing what was going on to learning this new offensive scheme.
Is there anything you want to work on before the Spring Game next weekend?
I just want to continue to stay consistent. All spring I've been looking pretty good and I feel pretty good. Right now I just want to make sure that my technique and route running is right.
Are you expecting to return punts this season?
Yea, definitely. I enjoy returning punts. I like being on the board and I want to try to break a couple records and be fortunate enough to take back a couple punts.
How would you describe the new offense?
It think the intelligence of the offense has increased a lot. Being out there you're able to check out the defense and have routes that you can run against those defenses. You're not just limited to one receiver. I really do believe this offense has opened up a lot more doors for us. Last year we were kind of stationary to a certain play that was called. Now we have a lot more options.
What's your impression on coach Chow?
Coach Chow is a real smart guy he knows the offense in and out and you can't help but listen to him because he knows what he's talking about. Coach Chow just has the answer to everything. When you line up and you follow everything that you're supposed to do, you become successful. And when you see that you really understand that he knows what he's talking about.
Are the receivers at all focused on the quarterback competition?
As far as I look at it, I think it's good for the team. The three, four, five guys back there competing for the position, it's only going to make them better which is going to make the team better. That way we won't be looking at a slump when one guy gets hurt. We won't be sitting there saying, this guy isn't as good as we thought he was going to be.
How would you describe the new atmosphere in practice?
We've got a new staff and I've always told everybody that once you have this new, unbelievable, unusual coaching staff, it's a new beginning. It's jumpstarted us and everybody's excited because they know we've got some coaches that really love the game.
INJURY NOTE: Craig Sheppard went down early in the scrimmage, but Neuheisel said afterwards he was fine and was only pulled as a precaution.