Rick Neuheisel notes and quotes - 4/10

Rick Neuheisel addressed the press Thursday evening on a variety of subjects, chiefly Justin Robbins' injury and the emergence of Tusi Sa'au, Junior Coffin and some of the walk-ons that are turning heads.

On Thursday's practice: I thought it was a good practice. I'm not sure that everybody would grade out really well, but we really stayed on them. We will have lots of film now that will either show that they are doing great or expose them for what they are not doing. We put them in a lot of one on one situations.

On looking ahead to Saturday's scrimmage: I'm excited about Saturday. Hopefully we'll get some decent weather so it won't be a factor. I think we are on course.

On Justin Robbins' status: The MRI (on his left knee) is inconclusive. Justin and his parents are going to talk tonight as to whether or not they want the doctors to go in and do an exploratory scope just to rule out some things, or for him to just go back and rehab it. Justin is a tough kid. It's a difficult thing to watch someone work as hard as he did to come back and not be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor. Tough times don't last but tough people do. He's just got to keep battling through it, and if there is a guy on our team who can it would be him.

On whether Robbins will be ready to play in the fall: That is still our hope.

On the weak guard position, which Tusi Sa'au has the top nod for as of now: That is a heated battle. We want to see if Aaron (Butler) will compete to win the job back and if Tusi can compete to keep it.

On defensive lineman Junior Coffin playing with the first-team: He's playing well and we're trying to create that competition.

On the running back trio of Chris Singleton, Kenny James, and Shelton Sampson: We are trying to play all those guys running with the ones. Chris is doing a nice job, as is Kenny James. We've got to get Shelton to hang on to the ball. He's done some really exciting things when he's carried it, but we need to get a little bit more reliability and security of the ball.

On redshirt freshman linebacker Scott White getting reps with the first-team: He and Cory Jones are in a competition there at the WILL.

On the return of Zach Tuiasosopo from a sprained ankle: It was his first day back, and he and Ty Eriks are having a good competition.

On Ty Eriks: I see a lot of improvement. I think Ty has got the ability to help us, and I know he is eager to help us. That's going to be a very healthy competition.

On the tight end position: Jon Lyon is doing some good things at tight end. I'm also excited about Ben Bandel.

On the walk-on who've made an impression: There are a number of kids who are doing nice things BJ Newberry, Eric Roy, Matt Griffith, Scott Ballew.

On Isaiah Stanback: He's a featured quarterback right now.

On Scott Ballew getting time as a punt returner: He's catching some back there and he might get an opportunity. We are trying to see if he can become adept at wide receiver given our depth situation there.

On playing in the Dempsey Indoor Facility in 2003: We are not going to go in there unless it is absolutely ridiculous to be outside. It's a chance to be outside and coach football. It helps us become more tough-minded. That's another asset.

On Donny Mateaki missing practice: He took the day off. He had a sore shoulder and we decided to be a little careful with it.

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