This will be a key spring for the program after losing several key players at key positions due to graduation and the NFL. With so many new faces, Rodriguez admitted that he'll have to be patient over the next few weeks.
"I can tell already, particularly offensively, that we'll have to slow our installation down," said Rodriguez of his fifth year of spring drills. "I think we'd probably be going slower anyways with the first few days of spring, because a lot of it is installation, particularly with the guys that don't have a lot of experience."
You could make the argument that this is the most important spring since Rodriguez's first spring in 2001.
"I think that they're all important from a teaching standpoint, but this is probably more important than last spring because of all the new starters we'll have, particularly at key positions," observed Rodriguez.
Much attention, probably too much actually, will be paid to the quarterback position. Dwayne Thompson and Pat White both took reps with the first team on Monday, with each making some good plays, and some not so good plays. Rodriguez has reiterated that he will not name a starting quarterback until mid-August, due to the fact that another candidate for the job, sophomore Adam Bednarik, is out this spring with a shoulder injury.
One thing the coach would like to see emerge this spring is some leadership, particularly from the senior class.
"This is the smallest group of seniors that we've ever had, so those guys have to become leaders which is something I'm anxious to see."
With only one practice complete, it's still too early to make any calls as to who will be starting where, and what we can expect to see. Everyone on the field today would probably agree that it's great to be back out there again.
"Guys were eager to get out there after lifting for nine or ten weeks or so. I'm not going to be able to make an evaluation for probably two weeks, but I like what I've seen so far," summed up Rodriguez.