On the practices thus far: "The intensity has been pretty good. I think our guys like being physical. As the spring goes on, usually the intensity wanes a little. It has been pretty physical and I like our defensive mentality right now."
On LB Boo McLee: "There is no question, we think Boo is one of the best linebackers in the Big East. He has to obviously have another big year for us on the field and provide leadership for us of the field. He is in a position now where we expect that of players and we need for him to have his best year as a senior."
On LB Barry Wright: "He walked on from Florida State to try to prove himself. His head is going to spin a bit because he is learning. But Barry has a lot of talent. He is a fast guy and a tough guy. I think he can help us win some games. But for him being a senior and trying to earn his stripes, so to speak, it is going to be very difficult. He is one of those guys where it might have been better had he signed here originally."
On young players getting time: "A lot of guys can. It depends upon how they do. The way we do it, you might earn first team on Monday, but not earn it on Tuesday. The execution and intensity are good. They are not where they will be by the end of spring, but they are better. In spring, part of what you what you want to do is fundamentals. Part of it is evaluating younger players, probably to see what else we can do new to help our scheme in all three phases. Part of it is evaluating yourself.
On recent media reports that Rodriguez wanted to restructure his contract: "I just want us to keep getting better, keep growing. I might have more to say on it later, but that's my goal in the next few months, to help our program grow. I don't know what that was all about. I just want some things in terms of little things around here and in facilities, things for our program."
On LB Marc Magro: "Marc had a tremendous off-season. We know we can count on Marc not only at linebacker, but also on special teams. He is probably one of our better special teams players.
On the experienced players mixing with the talented youth: "The experienced guys have got to help our younger players learn. I think that's what good teams do. They have the upperclassmen who are unselfish and help young guys learn."
On the veterans reinforcing the "Stay Humble, Stay Hungry" mantra Rodriguez is preaching -- which receiver-turned-defensive back (again) Vaughn Rivers has printed on his left and right arm bands: "I think they need to do it a lot because they talk to you all all the time. People talk about expectations and all that. But they just need to worry about right now and getting done what we are trying to do today."
On Jake Figner providing help at tackle, especially on the left side: "He has progressed some, and there are a couple veterans up there. But we have to get more guys to step up. He has done a pretty good job, but we could use another couple guys."