8/17 Neuheisel Notes and Quotes

On the scrimmage: I thought there were some good things, I thought there were some obvious fatigue issues. I think it's been a long week. We've probably had the hottest week that we've had in a long time for this amount of straight days. I think it showed, especially given that a lot of the positions are down in depth so a lot of kids have had to take extra reps.

We did not look as sharp as maybe we did in the past, but I'm not too upset about that because there is a lot of time to get that back when we've got a lot of kids coming back.

On the ankle injury to starting strong guard Elliott Zajac: The most disappointing event of the day was the injury to Elliott Zajac. It's just something that you just cringe about because you need to scrimmage, you need to play in anticipation of having a big game like Michigan. To lose one of your offensive lineman is hard, very difficult. We'll have to wait and see how long he'll be out. It looks like it could be anywhere from two to eight weeks depending on the severity. We won't know that for a little while. It's a hit for us, but that's part of football and you've got to rise up, you've got to play and somebody's got to pick up the flag and plant it. We'll find somebody to get that job accomplished.

It's an ankle injury and there may be a slight fracture. Whether it will require surgery remains to be seen. He had an x-ray and they think that there may be a slight fracture. They are going to do more conclusive stuff.

On finding a replacement for Zajac: We're going to have to do the depth chart shuffle and see exactly who our best five guys are.

On the offensive struggles: The down side to the offense (today) is that there wasn't a lot of rhythm. The offense feels that a lot of air went out of the tire. It's demoralizing when you lose one of your leaders on offense in Elliott Zajac. That's difficult to take, and just continue to play. But you've got to learn how to do that because unfortunately those things do happen in football. I think when we've got all of our guys back together and we start getting our legs back, we're going to have a nice looking football team.

On Saturday's top performers: I thought E.T. (Charles Frederick) made some great plays for us, he's had a great camp. I thought our defense played well. Derrick Johnson played well for a guy that hasn't played any football for a while, so that's encouraging. I also looked over there and saw Kai Ellis, Roc Alexander, Greg Carothers, Jimmy Newell, Reggie Williams, Paul Arnold, Justin Robbins and Zach Tuiasosopo over there on the sidelines. So when you put all those guys back in the ballgame, now not only do your ones get better but so do your twos and all the way down the line. The problem is that we've lost a week of preparation with all those guys missing so we've got a lot of work to do.

On Charles Frederick: He's grown up. Unfortunately when you are under the media's eye you don't have a chance to be a kid but I think he's rallied and hopefully he's on his way to return. We take it one day at a time.

On Nate Robinson: Nate is a play-maker. Nate is a wonderful athlete, we knew he was a wonderful athlete, and we're looking forward to finding a way to incorporate him into our stuff.

On Kai Ellis missing Saturday's scrimmage: We'd love to have him get all the live work that he can get, but if his knee is acting up his knee is acting up. There is swelling, but there doesn't look to be any structural damage to the knee.

On Matt Fountaine's condition: I think Matt Fountaine has been cleared. All the tests came back okay and we should have him back full-go by Tuesday. He'll be in shorts on Monday.

On the state of the team: I think there is an ample amount of confidence, but I think there also needs to be an ample amount of urgency because we are behind with all the kids that have missed so much time. We've got a lot of work to do in anticipation of that game.


Notes:

Back in the fold: Neuheisel said that Paul Arnold and Reggie Williams will both return to full-speed on Monday. He said that he's hopeful that many of the others who are injured will return as well.

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