Spring Game Alvarez Verbatim: Part 3

The third and final installment of Coach Barry Alvarez' comments following the 2003 Spring Game, verbatim.

Q: On paper, is this the best offense you've ever had going into a season?

Alvarez: Well we've had some pretty good ones. That '93 team, that was kind of fun last night reminiscing and watching highlights of that team, and we had weapons at every position then. (Brent) Moss and (Terrell) Fletcher…I made the statement the other day, I like our three running backs, but Moss and Fletcher were pretty good. And Mike Roan was a very good weapon at tight end, and the receivers, Doremus and those guys were good receivers. So I'm not ready to say that yet. And our offensive line on that '93 team was much farther along than this offensive line. So I'm not ready to say that this is, on paper, the best offense yet.

Q: How are those guys doing? Have 10 years been kind to them?

Alvarez: There was a great line. I'm trying to think how it (went). They were all teasing Mike Roan because he's bald. I didn't think anything was funny. I didn't think anything was wrong with that. (Darrell) Bevell was the one teasing him. Roan said, "But I don't have a choice. You have a choice on how you cut your hair, and look what you do." Something to that effect.

Q: Do you like your group of captains?

Alvarez: I do, and they clearly separated themselves. When we had the team vote, those four clearly separated themselves from everyone else. If I would have guessed beforehand, those are the four guys that I would have said probably would be named captains. I had everybody vote for just one guy, yet four guys separated themselves, and I feel good about them.

Q: There was mention made of things being simplified on defense. Can you expound on that?

Alvarez: Really what we've done is going back to doing some things we've done in the past. And we stayed with one defense, actually until we took the break the first six practices. We didn't add our stunts…we just put our stunts and all those things in the last couple weeks. So I wanted to get the guys in a defense and teach them how to play and really spend a lot of time on fundamentals, and allow them to adjust to all the things the offense was doing. We stayed consistent, so we were on it long enough without any variations, where they really understood it. I think that was important. When it's all said and done, we'll end up doing a lot of things we've done in the past, but I think the guys understand it now a lot better.

Q: Does having the '93 team here give you an opportunity to have some of those players pass on some knowledge to this team?

Alvarez: Well I gave the current team a history lesson. I talked to them about the '93 team, and the fact that these guys didn't come in as highly-recruited players for the most part, and we recruited them selling blue sky, that we were going to give them an opportunity to turn the program around. And just how that team gave us identity. I think you ask anybody in the country, they talk about Wisconsin, they talk about a physical team. They talk about a team that plays hard, that's basically a blue-collar team. I think that's how people perceive us, and I think a lot of that has to do with the '93 team. I've encouraged our guys, when they go over to the reception after the game today, that they spend time and go over and visit with some of the guys. I showed them the clip…we put a highlight film together of that '93 season, and I showed it to our team yesterday before they practiced, and they wanted to know who some of the players were and so on and so forth. It was pretty impressive film. So they'll get a chance to meet some if they haven't.

Q: You've talked about Mike Allen's confidence. Is there a chance his leg will get stronger as he matures and works hard in the offseason?

Alvarez: I think his leg is stronger right now. I think the one thing he's improved dramatically is the height on his kicks. He's getting the ball up much higher right now than he has in the past. If you remember, as a freshman, he was a line drive kicker. He's worked hard at it, but his leg is strong and just his height has really improved.

Q: Can you talk about Zach Hampton, and whether he could be an impact player for this program down the road?

Alvarez: I wouldn't say he's somebody that's going to be an impact player, but he's somebody that certainly can contribute, and someone who will continue to get better. And as he matures, I think he'll be able to help us. He's one of the guys that came in this year as a walk-on that we were all impressed with, and he continues to progress.

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