Rodriguez Ruminations

Head football coach Rich Rodriguez's thoughts on the new indoor turf, his new live arms and the possibility for a new Big East television contract in football and basketball.

On the new turf – "If we have to, we'll have scrimmages in here now. I would not do that with the old stuff. I just did not think it was safe. But this stuff is really nice. It is all private funding, and I really appreciate the people who supported us."

On his day-two impressions – "It's just shorts, so everybody looked good. But I think we had a great eight weeks. They are not going to be in the kind of shape they will be in the fall, but they are running around and excited to be playing. I am looking forward to seeing how much our younger players can improve, like the (Steve) Slatons and the Pat Whites. And the guys that were redshirted last year that are expected to help us. Hopefully, we will have more depth than we have had.

On quarterback Nate Sowers – "Nate has done a good job. You know, the thing that Nate has really impressed us with is his speed. We knew he could run pretty well, but he is one of the fastest guys on the team. Now, he is making some freshman mistakes, just like Jarrett Brown and T. J. Mitchell. But with Adam's situation (Bednarik), we are gonna need somebody to step up and be ready to contribute there, and I don't know who that is going to be."

On Bednarik, whose throwing shoulder has not recovered as well as hoped – "He is going to have to go through a six-week cycle of rehab, so the spring is definitely out for him. What we don't know for sure is whether he is going to have to have surgery again or not. We are hoping that he doesn't, but we won't know for awhile."

On the young quarterbacks – "They have a grasp on what we are trying to do, but not like they need to have. The spring is probably as important for them as anybody. They have to learn more than anybody else. They still have a long way to go."

On what he expects from cornerback Larry Williams – "With so many guys that graduated, having lost so many corners, we need the young guys, but guys that have been in the program like Larry Williams, to elevate their play and be ready to be a full time guy. He has played enough and been around enough that he should be able to do it. But he has just gotta be more consistent. That's the thing we want to see from him in spring."

On Pernell Williams and his time – "He is at cornerback full time. It is too hard to split time. We are going to let him play that way all the way through spring because of our need at corner. It is hard to tell in shorts, but I like what I have seen the last few days. We will see how physical he is once we put the pads on (Friday). I think he will be a pretty physical presence back there.

"He is a guy that has been totally unselfish. He has done anything we have asked of him and he is a pretty good football player. We know he can play some football, and he was a pretty good defensive back in high school, so I am excited for him."

On the many players punting – "That's probably a good description, a lot of bodies. I just hope we got one that can use their legs and kick. (Scott) Kozlowski has the lead because he is back. But until we go a live rush and put them under the gun a bit, it concerns me. Phil Brady was a two-year starter there and a pretty reliable guy. So I am hoping somebody, whoever he gets challenged by, will push him and be a guy that we can count upon."

On the intensity – "Oh, it's always going to be good right now. We are inside in shorts, and they fly around. But can we keep the intensity the next 13 practices? We'll find out. The spring game will be an easy thing, but I think these guys like playing football. That's something our coaches have tried to look for in a guy, players who want to play. Get a guy who likes playing football, because those are the guys that will keep getting better."

On the possibility of a new Big East football TV contract that ties in with basketball from 2007-2013 – "Hopefully we will have one where we don't have to play every day of the week. That is what I am hoping for."

Note: The contract is allegedly for all basketball games, and additional football games on ESPN and ABC. Football games would also still be included in the Game Plan package, while basketball would remain on Big Monday, have every postseason league game shown, and also move into a separate slot for nationally-televised games on Thursday.

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