Rod Report - Camp Wrapup

The frustration was evident in both the words and body language of head coach Rich Rodriguez as he described the toughness, or lack of it, in a handful of players on his football team.

We had a lot of guys that got injured and fell out," Rodriguez said of his team, which wrapped up fall camp with a scrimmage under humid conditions in the stadium before a number of parents. "We have some guys that are pretty tough and fight through stuff, but then we have some guys that I don't know whether they are tough enough to play at this level. They're kind of soft.

"That's kind of disappointing," he continued. "Those guys have to either develop some toughness, or go to another program where they don't have to be tough. But I don't know where that would be. We had some guys that we thought were in the two deep, but now we don't know if they are tough enough.

"I was just disappointed in the number of guys that I felt are a little bit softer than what we are used to," Rodriguez concluded. "That has to change. If you are soft, you kind of stand out around here."

RIFLE REPORTS

  • Charles Pugh is the lone player that still has NCAA Clearinghouse issues.

    "We are just waiting on his transcript to get there," Rodriguez said. "We are projecting him to have his eligibility, though. The problem is that he went to two different high schools, so we need to get all of his transcripts together, and it can be hard during the summer, with guidance counselors on vacation and things like that. But, we anticipate he will be o.k. We have to wait until Monday, but we held him out today because of it."

  • "We had a couple of couple of TDs," Rodriguez said as he spottily recounted the scrimmage. "Pat White had a long run on a touchdown, and I think he threw a touchdown pass. Owen Schmitt had a touchdown run too. And we did pretty good in the red zone."

  • As Rodriguez ran down the depth chart, it seemed as if every other player he named had missed one or more recent practice sessions. Joe Hunter injured a wrist, while Jason Gwaltney again sat out with a sprained ankle. Warren Young reaggravated his surgically repaired foot, and both Jason Colson (ankle) and Pernell Williams also saw limited action in the scrimmage.

    Others on the injured list include Brandon Myles, Eric Wicks, and Mike Lorello. Jeff Noechel has also missed the past week with a sprained knee, while Jeremy Bruce has joined him on the sideline with a sprained ankle. Potential starters Dwayne Thompson and Brandon Myles likewise did not practice on Saturday.

  • "We have a lot of work to do. We're not close to ready top play a game," the head coach analyzed. "If we played one now, we'd get killed. But we don't play now – we play in two weeks, so we just have to keep working."

  • The quarterback battle remains too close to call, with Pat White and Adam Bednarik still battling for the job. Rodriguez reiterated that he would play both against Syracuse if one does not separate himself from the other.

    "Pat probably had a better today. He was better and sharper than last weekend," Rodriguez said. "Adam did some good things too, and J.R. House had a couple of nice series. Those three took the majority of the reps. All the freshmen [quarterbacks] are going to be redshirted.

    "Pat White is still a redshirt freshman. I see him do something positive every day. He still makes mistakes, and you have to expect that from a rookie, but I've been gaining confidence in him. The good thing is that when [any of the quarterbacks] make a mistake, they know what it is right away. That's the fun part when they get to that stage, and Adam and Pat are to that stage already."

  • In what was perhaps a reference to the lack of toughness on the team, Rodriguez lamented the lack of available receivers.

    "We couldn't find three or four wideouts to practice. It was a thrill a minute."

  • With Colson, Williams and Gwaltney missing practice, Owen Schmitt could see some time at tailback. Colson and Williams are currently the starters, but "that's not set in stone", according to Rodriguez.

  • Travis Garrett returned to practice today. Damien Crissey backed him up, and John Bradshaw can also step in from his guard position if needed.

  • All of the true freshmen defenders who avoid redshirts will also play on special teams, Rodriguez revealed. "If they're on the two deep, they'll be on special teams."

  • With two quarterbacks likely to play against the Orange, Rodriguez indicated that there was no preset plan as to when each would play. That also extends to other positions where co-starters currently exist.

    "It's just by feel. It depends on how they practice or how they play. Sometimes I think too much is made of it. At quarterback, I can understand, because that guy controls the ebb and flow of the game. But outside of that, a lot of times there are guys outside the two deep that end up playing a lot of snaps, and no one ever knows about it unless they make a play or get burnt or something like that."

  • The focus of Saturday's scrimmage was supposed to be on special teams, but not all of the scheduled work was completed.

    "We got a lot of special teams in, Rodriguez said, "but we didn't get punt return in, because we had trouble getting a scout punt team together. We did some punting, some kickoff and kickoff return, and a lot of extra point and field goal. We think we have the personnel; we just need to get their assignments down.

  • The head coach remained impressed with freshman kicker Pat McAfee.

    "McAfee might miss one once in awhile, but I like his temperament. In warm-up, he missed from one spot, and he stayed there until he made a few. He has to be the man for us. Pat is one of the most talented guys I've seen in awhile. He might miss a few kicks, but I think he's going to be good. The ball gets up and it goes. He's a weapon."

    "Some guys with a leg like that like to kick it 65 yards all the time and show off. He knows that it's more important to make the 35 or 40-yarders, because you get a lot more chances on those. He's very conscientious."

    McAfee put both of his kickoffs out of the end zone on Saturday. "If he hits it right, it's going out of the end zone," Rodriguez said.


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