Neuheisel After Tuesday Practice

The head coach, Rick Neuheisel, talked after practice Tuesday in more detail about some of the defensive errors against Cal, defending against Arizona's potent offense, and more...

Coach Rick Neuheisel said that cornerback Aaron Hester has been cleared, after sitting out with a leg fracture. He went through individual drills and looked good, was moving well, but he did not participate in any team periods. ... Hester's father was at practice and had a long conversation with cornerbacks coach Carnell Lake afterward.

Linebacker Reggie Carter, who has a sprained knee, went through some individual drills and participated in scout team periods, but that was it ...

With guard Eddie Williams out, Jeff Baca, freshman Stan Hasiak and Nick Ekbatani rotated throughout practice at the left and right guard spots. ...

Hasiak was in all periods, and did not appear slowed by the sprained ankle he suffered in the loss to Cal. ...

Freshman safety Stan McKay did not practice because of some swelling in a knee and linebacker Patrick Larimore (concussion) remains in a red no-contact jersey. ...

With Hester being held out, freshman Sheldon Price was again working with the No.l defense at corner, with Courtney Viney working with the No. 2s ...

Rick Neuheisel after practice Tuesday:

‘'I was pleased with our practice. I thought the kids worked hard. We are enthused about our second half and are looking forward to playing much better than we did in the second quarter (against Cal).''

Kevin Prince, how did he look today?

‘'You know, Kevin is a good player. He just has to be more consistent, and you're going to get in games what you get in practice, so I want to see him hit everything in practice. Not there yet, but we're going to keep working at it.''

How is Taylor Embree developing?

‘'Taylor is a very consistent player. Sometimes he gets so eager to make plays that he forgets to do the discipline of his routes, and that breaks down. That's where he's just has got to continue to consistent, in terms of his route performance.''

Is he becoming a favored target?

‘'Well, he's a good pass catcher. There's no question. But we've got other good pass catchers. We've got to be more consistent as a receiving corps, that's just a fact.''

The Arizona offense, how does that translate to what you're trying to fix with the defense?

‘'It's a challenge for our defense, but we've got some athletic linebackers and hopefully we can match up with them. They've been on an unbelievable run these last two weeks – they've thrown almost 100 balls and for almost 800 yards, so they're on all cylinders.''

Teams have seemed to scheme against when Brian Price is on the sidelines. Does he need to be on the field more often?

‘'That would be wonderful, but you also have to have him fresh. There's a formula to it, we just can't be so predictable in the formula.''

Is his rotating out a factor of seeing double and triple teams?

‘'No, it's just about being rested and being explosive on every play, rather than trying to take a play off when you're gathering up.''

You got a chance to see the defensive tape against Cal …

‘'I have. We're not far away. The Jahvid Best thing, there was one poor angle, there was one out of control, but we're not the first team he's done that to. The deep post, Alterraun Verner guessed and normally when Alterraun guesses, he's right. He got beat. The option, one guy forgets that we're in man, he thinks we're exchanging with the other safety, and we're one guy short and they make a big play. Those are little details that we're trying to talk about – the recipe for success in the second half is about making sure that we also have that focus, so we're not a guy short, we're not guessing. We're good enough not to guess. We're going to take a great angle and we're going to come to balance and all those four things every guy will tell you that's what they're supposed to do, Now we need to make sure it happens on game day.''

Cal had two yards or fewer on more than half of their rushing plays, but …

‘'Now it's about consistency. We can do this, we just have to be more rigid in our expectations of ourselves. That's from top to bottom. We're going to start trying to do that in practice.''

Are you happy with the design, the schemes that you're running, if not the execution?

‘'I don't see any flaws in our scheme. I mean, there are a couple of things that sometimes we get exposed and we have to learn from that. But if we play the defense, and play the offense, we can be good. It's not like these designs don't work. Every offense in this conference is running a lot of the same stuff. But it comes down to some individuals making plays, like Jonathan Franklin did the other day. But that was a well blocked play. You don't necessarily think it's going 68 yards, but it did. And then it comes down to individuals on defense making sure that when plays are being made by the offense they're good enough to still get them down. That's what it comes down to.''

So you like the designs?

‘'Yeah. I think at times we have to change things up with respect to how we go about third down, how we go about … I have no scheme issues, what I have is fundamental issues that we just have to make sure the focus is on. We have to make sure we're not so involved in the scheme that fundamentals might be on the back burner.''

Bruin Report Online Top Stories