8/14 Rick Neuheisel Notes and Quotes

<b>On today's practice:</b> I thought it was a good first day of pads. Certainly the heat played a factor but I thought the guys fought through it. I'm excited about seeing where we are tomorrow. I like our team. I'm anxious to coach them.

On the upcoming practice schedule: We're going to be lightbulbs (shoulder pads, helmets, and shorts) in the morning, full-pads in the afternoon. We don't want to beat them up. We'll scrimmage on Saturday. We will not have any scrimmage activity on the end of practice on Friday. Tomorrow we will have some scrimmage activity.

On Kai Ellis: I think he's looking good. He's not in great shape, so he's got to get himself into conditioning. Today was a tough day to judge because it was hard out there today (due to the heat).

On the quarterbacks: I'm always hard on quarterbacks because I want them to be perfect. But I'm pleased at where they are. We've a got of stuff in right now, and we would never carry this much in the game-plan. To think that we're going to be proficient at everything right now is probably a little bit of a reach. But we still think they can keep getting better at reading defenses and doing things that are going to be required of them for us to be successful.

On Taylor Barton: I'm pleased with Taylor. Taylor's proven that he can win for us. So has Cody, so we've got a nice situation there.

On Cody Pickett playing second-fiddle to Jason Gesser: I know that Cody's a very competitive guy and hopefully he'll keep his focus on what's important and not doing battle with Jason Gesser, who is obviously a very talented kid.

On the reserve receivers: They've have done really well. Patrick Reddick has really well when he's been in there. Wilbur Hooks has done well. I'm hopeful that at the conclusion, when we get to game week, we've got a whole contingent of healthy receivers that will all be battle-tested.

On the status of Matthew Fountaine's ailment: No word on him. His tests he was to undergo got pushed back. We'll know something either late this evening or tomorrow morning.

On Jerome Stevens: I think Jerome has great talent. I personally recruited him. I went down there to see another kid, and we saw him on tape so I know what he's capable of. Until I get what he's capable of I'm going to keep pushing him. I'm excited he's on our team, and he's going to be a big contributor for our team this year. He can be a big-time player if he can keep pushing himself.

On Braxton Cleman's return: We're hopeful he'll be back by Monday.

On Paul Arnold's return: I'm hopeful that he'll be back late this week but at the latest Monday.

On limiting Roc Alexander's contact: We're going to keep him limited for probably another week, and then make sure there's lot of preparation for a game.

Feeling Blue: Josh Miller, Shelton Sampson, and Zach Tuiasosopo all left the evening practice early. Miller had a stomach ailment. Sampson battled what Neuheisel called a "heat issue" and a possible concussion. Tuiasosopo pulled himself out of practice with a tweaked leg.

Dashing Back: Dash Crutchley returned to practice after missing yesterday's workouts.

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