Rick Neuheisel quotes - 4/8

Huskies head coach Rick Neuheisel had a lot to discuss after day five of spring practices. With more red jerseys coming out of the closet, Neuheisel spoke on the condition of Terry Johnson, Justin Robbins, as well as some of the players that have turned it up a notch recently. He had that more to say this evening.

On Justin Robbins: "He will get his knee evaluated on Thursday. I thought it would be today, but he (the physician) could not fit him into his schedule so Thursday will be the day. He's been through a lot of adversity and I think he understands that tough times don't last but tough people do. I think if there's a chance for him to play, he will. "

On Terry Johnson: "He has a bruised A-C joint (which is in the shoulder) so he took the day off. I'm hopeful he'll be full speed by Thursday"

On Jason Benn: "He's our fourth tight end right now and trying to earn a spot as the snapper on our punt team."

On Tusi Sa'au: "He does a lot of good things. Now its just consistency as it always is on the offensive line. You keep waiting for a young player's lights to go on where all of a sudden you get six or seven good snaps in a row and all of a sudden you kind of got one of those guys. He's not far from there."

On the importance of scrimmages: "All scrimmages are graded just like games are in the fall so it's a place where players realize the coaches aren't necessarily out there and so forth. We are evaluating every practice like scrimmages, but scrimmages are where you find out if a guy can actually go out and play."

On the improvement of the offensive line: "If we keep on the pace that we're on, we have a chance to be a really good offensive line. But we cannot back down. We have to keep charging. There's some good things going on and it'll get more confusing as the defense adds more inventory. We'll be able to keep going and understanding all the new things added to the deal and we will hopefully have a rough, tough group.

On the tight ends: "I think we have some nice looking tight ends that just has to be more consistent in their point of attack as pass receivers. Certainly there are signs there that we are going to have some good-looking players. Ben Bandel and Jon Lyon both look to be guys who can play but just has to be consistent, and Andy Heater has done some nice things. Keep watching that position, but I'm encouraged that we have the right guys."

On scholarship spots available and whether or not gray-shirting will be necessary: "I don't think it's going to be necessary. There's a couple that still have to work to be eligible, but I think we'll be able to bring them all."

On Steve Emtman: "He's our strength coach. He's out there watching and making sure guys are doing things that they need to from a flexibility standpoint. Obviously he's a football guy and likes to watch practice but he and Pete Kaligis are both our strength coaches. Both bleed purple and gold. It's a neat combination of guys that not only are talking the talk, but also have walked the walk in terms of preparation for the season."

On the emergence of Scott Ballew: "I am happy with Scott Ballew's progress at wide receiver. I think Scott has a chance to help us."

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