Post-Practice Neuheisel Quotes

Rick Neuheisel is very candid in his post-practice comments Monday, about the quarterbacks, the offensive line and the running backs. It definitely appears that a quarterback is starting to separate himself from the rest...

While Kevin Craft remains Kevin Craft and Richard Brehaut struggles through some information overload (that first day of installation was 90 or so pages of information for him to digest), Kevin Prince is taking some forward steps at the quarterback position.

Prince, the redshirt freshman, made some really nice throws in practice on Monday and the difference between the top three quarterbacks is fairly obvious. He is on time, his passes are on target. It is not just the fact that Prince has the stronger arm than Craft or Brehaut.

  Coach Rick Neuheisel and offensive coordinator Norm Chow will be able to do more thorough evaluations starting with some scrimmage situations on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. But at this point Prince is getting – and deserving of – the majority of the reps.

  Chris Forcier, meanwhile, sat out practice because of the flu. Running back Christian Ramirez also sat out because of the hamstring injury he suffered last week.

The attorney for redshirt freshman safety E.J. Woods entered a plea of not guilty on six charges of battery and sexual battery in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday.

  Opening statement:

"I was very pleased with the kind of effort and the kind of work we got today. I thought it was a great day for us, hopefully we'll get another great day. We're going to have some contextural scrimmage tomorrow towards the end of scrimmage, so that will be fun. But things are going well. I saw some great individual thing today, improvement-wise, but I'm looking forward to taking another step forward tomorrow."

  Forcier wasn't here today...

"Sick today. I just got it from the trainers."

It's not related to three days of playing wide receiver, is it?

  ‘'I don't think it's wide receiver flu. We'll find out. I mean, we'll find out. I don't think so.''

  The quarterbacks were a little up and down today?

"As opposed to the other day? Actually, I saw some improvement with our quarterbacks today. I'm a little more animated because we have to go fast – we've got to improve. There's got to be some urgency about improvement. But I saw some signs of life today."

It's noticeable that they're not throwing the ball to the other team as much this year...

"That's a start. You know, I think our defense is playing well and rallying to the ball. When they get their hands up, we got a tipped back for a pick today. Turnovers are a part of it. I was reading the notes from the Tennessee scrimmage and, you know, they're pleading (for) turnovers. I'm sure San Diego State is pleading for turnovers. That's the nature of this game. For us to stay as clean as we can, that's a good thing, but certainly our defense has to keep working on stripping and being where the ball is and making plays on it as well."

  You said after the first three days you would look at how to divide the reps at quarterback. What did you see in those three days?

"Well, I think Kevin Prince is deserving of the reps that he's getting. Richard Brehaut is gaining and Kevin Craft probably deserves a little more. Nick Crissman unfortunately is just not well and Osaar Rasshan knows that he's kind of watching and ready if we deem that he's the guy. But we'll probably go along those lines."

  Why is Prince deserving of the reps?

"He's got the strongest arm, frankly. The ball jumps off his hand and it gets there and he's as accurate as anybody on the field. We're making plays down the field on throws that just were not automatic last year and it looks to me that they're coming wi th much more regularity, at least early in the camp."

  What would have to happen for him not to be the guy?

"Well, he's got a lot more to learn. There are 15 things that he did wrong today and probably more after I watch the tape. But what I want to see is a confidence, that self-esteem that goes into a huddle and projects that this next thing is going to work and so far he's done that, as have the other guys. I have no problems with anyone's confidence level in the huddle. Now it's just about putting the ball where it needs to be and making the plays that we think are there to be made."

  Who has played the best so far?

"It's easy to say Prince, but he's gotten the most chances. So we'll watch. It's hard to say that until you really get them out there and the coaches get away, so well wait and watch before we make any real big evaluations."

  What will be the first time the coaches will get away?

"Saturday. No, we'll be away a little bit tomorrow afternoon late, late in the deal. Not certainly a full blown deal, but we'll get out of the way."

  How is Glenn Love doing?

"I think he's doing great. I'm really pleased with our young secondary. I think the guys are all athletic. They're all eager. You've got some nice quality kids there, so I think the future is very, very, bright there."   How is the offensive line doing?

"You know, we're getting there. I think Ryan Taylor is going to be a good player. I think that Jeff Baca is going to be a good inside player. And I think that Kai Maiava as he learns will become a steady guy inside. We still need more from Nate Chandler, still need more from Micah Kia. Not that I'm down on them, I just think we can get more out of them. They're athletic enough to be better than they're performing right now. And then I also am very enchanted with Sean Sheller, with the way that he's working. We're developing, and you know what, Sonny Tevaga has done some nice things."

  Ryan Taylor, is it more learning the system?

"Yeah, it's all taking it from memorization to feel, so that now instead of thinking while he's blocking, block. The technique and the athleticism is evident."

  Are you any closer to a pecking order at running back?

"Well, they're kind of peck-ifying themselves because of the injuries. We lose Chane Moline today with a little hamstring so I'm assuming that Moline and Christian Ramirez will probably be out for the better part...for the rest of this week, so we'll keep moving. But I like Derrick Coleman. I think he's doing real well. I think Johnathan Franklin is doing well. I saw some good things from Milton Knox. Ray Carter and Andre Dean. I think we've got some good guys there. It's a good problem to have."

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