Neuheisel on Tuesday's Practice

Head Coach Rick Neuheisel talked after practice Tuesday about the potential return of quarterback Ben Olson, the improvements he's seeing at practice, and the team's enthusiasm for working on tackling...

Rick Neuheisel's comments Tuesday after practice.

"Good practice. Guys, scout teams were very spirited. I just like coming to work with these guys. They just keep trying, they keep busting their tails and it's a great group that way. We just got to keep working to do the little things so we don't beat ourselves and give ourselves every chance to be successful and win games."
 
What's the status of Ben Olson?

"He's just in the infancy stages of getting back, but he's not going to be ready this week."
 
Will he be ready after the bye?

"
You never know. That would be the probable time when you'd have the chance to get him some work and give him the chance to develop back into game shape."
 
Will he have to win the job back?

"
A lot depends on where we are at that time, what happens over the course of the next two weeks. It would be ridiculous to make a statement now as to what I'm going to do until I know all the facts and I won't know them until two weeks from now. And I won't know how Ben is, so we just have to wait and see. I don't have any problem with Ben coming back and being our quarterback. If Ben can come back and is our best quarterback, then obviously we'd like him to play."
 
How has Jeff Miller done at tight end?

"Jeff did a nice job. We've just been a little bit snake-bit with injuries. Cory Harkey looked like he was going to be just a brillant young tight end, but he's still just nursing a bad ankle. Miller got called into duty and did a nice job. He's developing (as a blocker). I wouldn't say he's a finished product but he's willing. Like most players who haven't done it for a long time, he's a little high and you don't have the great leverage. So we just got to get lower and be little bit more powerful."

What's Terrence Austin's status?

"Terrence right now is in the concussion protocol and I think is doing well. I think at worst questionable, maybe even better than that. I would probably say that he wouldn't (return punts). But he could play in the game. But that's me talking today. He may come tomorrow and say I'm ready to play."
 
So, Ryan Graves would be the punt returner?

"He's been serving in that role throughout the season and is the one coach (Frank) Gansz felt was most ready to go and I thought he did a nice job."

Do you think about being bowl eligible?

"That would be a terrific thing to accomplish, to be able to go 4-2 or better in the second half of the season would be a great thing for these youngsters and our coaching staff alike. But to do that, you have to go one at a time and so we just got to focus on Stanford.

Did you see improvements in practice today?

"We went with a lot of live stuff today in defense. The kids wanted to tackle more and practice tackling. And Christian Ramirez as your scout team back, along with Johnathan Franklin and Milton Knox, you've got some good guys to tackle. I thought from that standpoint it was very encouraging, number one we're able to tackle and number two we wanted to."
 

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