On his comfort level at his new position - "I'd say, if I had to put a percentage on it, I'd say I'm probably about 80% right now in my comfort level. I am still making mistakes daily and I know that I need to eliminate those, but I'm obviously more comfortable than I was in the spring when they moved me, but it's still not coming as fast as I'd like it to be."
On what he's improved on since the spring - "So many things. I'm a lot more physical though and that's something that I feel like I do the best -- be physical. I use my hands well and coach (Peter) Sirmon preaches being physical so that's what we all have been focusing on."
On the defense coming together - "We're definitely coming together and making some plays. I don't think we came out with the fire we needed today, I thought we could have been a lot more amped up, but eventually we got it together and I think we started to make some plays as the practice went on."
On how the young QBs are coming along - "Oh man, they are so much further ahead of me than when I got here, it's not even close. They are doing a great job and it's something that's important for us as a program for them to be ready if we need to call on them, although obviously I don't want that to be the case."
On him being a mentor - "For sure. That is a big real for me. It's hard for them because they get so made at themselves and they struggle to make plays and then they see me get it and make the play they couldn't and it's just like telling them 'hey, I couldn't make that play myself when I was a freshman, so don't feel bad'. They just have to learn from their mistakes and be patient because they are talented enough to get it done."
On the running game - "Oh it's definitely coming along. I thought our guys had some great runs today. They are different than Chris (Polk), but that doesn't mean they can't get the job done and I think they are doing a great job actually."
On making plays when they are there - "That's something that we focus on on the time when we are out here or in meetings. When those plays are out there to be made, you have to make them. That could be the difference in winning or losing a game. We stress that urgency and what we need to do and concentrating on those because those are plays we need to make."
On his protection from the offensive line: "Pretty good, pretty good! Obviously, I had one sack where I could have gotten rid of the ball, but I don't think we gave up too many sacks, we had a lot of holding penalties, so we have to eliminate those on big drives, I think that's the only thing, moving the ball, the whole time."
On the wear of fall camp: "I don't do quite as much running as the other guys, it's kind of wearing on me, but that's no excuse, everybody in the country is doing camps."
On transformation of the program from when he got here until now: "It's a complete turn around, I'm so proud of what we've accomplished, it's unfortunate stuff like the stadium, we don't get to be a part of, but we helped build that, and we helped turn around that, and create a winning culture here, and its only going to get better here."
On : "There's always pressure on the offensive side, your job is to protect the quarterback, we take a lot of pride in that, and we know with how things went, like last year, Keith missed a game with injury, and you see how that impact that it can have on our team when he doesn't play, the job is to keep him healthy, continue to work better, and come together as a group."
On the scrimmage today and how the line played: "I thought we did a lot of good things, we had a couple penalties, myself included, I got two holding penalties, it's something that once it happens, you got to be able to rebound, because we got in some second and long situations, and instead of getting to 3rd and manageable, we kept going backwards, and that's where the term "shoot yourself in the foot" might be applied, because we had some trouble there, but I think there is a lot of potential for the offensive line, we still have two weeks to go, and the two weeks that we've already had, we've made a lot of improvement, so I expect the next to weeks to continue that."
On how much further the line needs to get before the first game: "It's hard to say, because I will say the defense is getting us a great look, the blitz a lot, it really puts a lot of pressure on us to communicate and pass guys off, but the first test will be that San Diego State game."
On the starting five offensive lineman being set now?: "I mean, any time you can get consistency, it's good, like I said, there are guys who rotate in, and they got to pick up just where the other guy left off, but the more that you can get with the 5 guys, builds more chemistry. We still got to figure out where Kohler's going to fit in when he gets back. But hopefully when this week finishes up, you'll start seeing the 5 that are going to play."
On the way the defense is preparing the offensive line with the various packages and pressures: "I think so, the defense coaches, they put a lot of pressure on the quarterback by the calls that they make, they show a lot of different fronts, they bring pressure from everywhere, from the left side, up the middle, the right side, sometimes every side at once, so it's definitely making us better."
On offense getting going today: "Yeah we came out a little falt, we eventually got things going, there's still a lot of things we need to work on, Coach Sark said, to get ready for our first game coming up in a few weeks."
On how he feels right now: "I'm feeling pretty good right now as far as health, just keeping working on the little things to prepare myself best for what's coming up, here in a few weeks. I feel like I'm improving everyday and I'm going to keep trying to improve everyday, I feel like I'm doing pretty well."
On importance of being physical and being tackled in practice: "It's very important, it gets us used to playing in a game versus just practice tempo, just gets us acclimated to what will be coming for the season."
On the competition between him and Jesse: "I would say we both try to control what we can control, when we're out there try to make the best of our opportunities, try to carry our assignments properly and do what's right for the coaches."
Player Quotes - Day 12
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