Neuheisel After Friday's Practice

Head Coach Rick Neuheisel talks after practice Friday about the second day in shorts, and how he -- and the team -- are looking forward to pads on Saturday. He talks about the two freshman quarterbacks, the logjam at running back, and more...

Opening statement:

‘'It was a good day. You know, shorts are a little bit frustrating for football coaches because the tempo is hard to emulate on both sides of the ball, because everybody is trying to please you and go full speed without pads is a difficult thing to gauge your progress.

‘'But it's great film. It's the kind of stuff you can go in and really watch and correct and all that kind of stuff, even though you're not getting the satisfaction of seeing great plays or finishing plays and all that kind of stuff because of the mush that's created by practicing in shorts.

‘'I think the kids are doing a great job staying off the ground – we haven't had any injuries. I guess Christian Ramirez tweaked his hamstring a little bit today but I think it will be fine. Just precautionary, we took him out.

‘'I like what I'm getting. There are all kinds of balls on the ground, all kinds of things that need to be fixed, but we're getting great effort and we're seeing the signs, especially with some of our younger players, that they're starting to get it and I think they're going to be very accomplished players before they're done here.''

On Saturday:

‘'Full gear. Tomorrow will just be a thud day, kind of get used to the gear. We'll have some rousing one-on-one stuff, but we won't go to the ground tomorrow, or at least try not to.''

On getting enough of a look at all the running backs:

‘'That's a hard one. I don't know that's there's a magic potion. You'd like to have three teams doing it like they used to do it in the old days at Nebraska. But the numbers are such that's not really possible. So, guys have to just really learn and also they have to learn vicariously, They have to be able to take someone else's rep and put that in their own computer and make sure the next time they get an opportunity to have that same kind of look they take advantage of it.

"I think the job is very difficult. The job is very difficult when you've got one position and you've got a logjam at it. It's just hard."

Can you give five or six guys a look, or whatever it is?

‘'It's hard. You've got to kind of make some early decisions and say, ‘These guys are going to get the brunt of the work,' and you go from there. There's going to be some unhappy people. There's no way around it." How do you make those decisions?

‘'Sometimes, just on your gut instincts. No one ever said it was all going to be objective. Some of this here gets down to being subjective. There's a lot of experience. Coach (Wayne) Moses has a ton of experience. Coach (Norm) Chow has a ton of experience. I've been around for a while. We can decide on somebody and go from there." Last year you were sure Christian Ramirez was someone you had to get on the field…

‘'I see great things from him. Now, we've been two days in shorts, so to make these kind of determinations now is far too early. But I think he's a very accomplished player. I hope the injuries are very minimal and he can be back with us shortly.''

From watching Kevin Prince a couple of days, he seems to make throws you really didn't see made last year…

‘'He's having a nice opening couple of days. His arm strength we always knew, and I think he's just getting comfortable and, in being comfortable, he's settling in. You know, that's what you hope to see from him. And Richard Brehaut was a little bit better today and obviously that helps our football team when these kids start to really develop. That's why we're giving him that look. We knew he had that kind of arm.''

Is it just the structure of the plays that the tight ends seem to be catching a lot of balls?

‘'It's just structure. Primarily right now we haven't really gotten into three wides. It's all been 21 personnel, base personnel. And in so doing, the tight ends are much more of a factor in the throwing game.''

Anything else stand out in the first two days?

‘'No, I'm just ready to get after some pads and start playing some football. It'll be fun.''

Do you know when you're going to scrimmage at all?

‘'The first one will be a week from (Saturday). We'll scrimmage some after Tuesday's practice and we'll probably scrimmage a lick after Thursday's. But the first full day of scrimmage, or the practice is more than 50 percent scrimmage, will be on April 11th, and then the second one would be the 17th, that Friday afternoon.''


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