Spring Q&A: Jared Abbrederis

The unquestioned leader of the wide receivers, senior Jared Abbrederis talks about his junior season, his unit as a whole and the new leadership he's getting from wide receivers coach Chris Beatty.

Was the winter break and the conditioning a good time for you and your teammates to refocus since your month of December was so chaotic? Was it nice to get back together as a group and focus on just football without so many changes?

Jared Abbrederis: Definitely. We basically have a new staff. I know some of the guys stayed, which is good, but we have some new ideas in there and we're doing some different things in the weight room. It's good to get to know them, get to know the coaches and the morning workouts. It was a good couple of weeks and now we get to practice with them, and that's even better.

Tell me about the new strength staff. What has new strength coach Evan Simon been like, what new things have you done and how have you embraced those things?

Abbrederis: He's done a great job. Obviously Ben Herbert did a great job with us, but Coach Simon came in with a different philosophy. We're doing different, quicker workouts. We get in and get out. We're not just sitting around or doing anything like that. We get in and get out with a purpose. We're trying to do that on the field, as well.

Is it as intense as Herb's workouts were or does it have a different kind of vibe?

Abbrederis: It's certainly intense. I'll be going slow at the end of a lift. I can't feel my arms on some of them. It's definitely good, it's just different than Herb. We use to stay a little longer and have some competitions, but I feel like we do more stretching and things. It's been working out well.

How has your group evolved from what was a very difficult 2012 season to at this point in spring football?

Abbrederis: I think just learning from mistakes that we've had. Guys have a year of experience now and they know what to expect in spring, summer and when fall comes with games. The level of comfort they have being out on the field and having that veteran feeling allows you to go out there and play with a lot more confidence. We had all spring, all summer and fall to keep improving on our game and work on the things we need to get better at.

How do you evaluate your season last year? You lead the team in virtually every passing category, but you miss some time with a concussion.

Abbrederis: Ultimately I was disappointed just with how things went last year for me. I wish I would have had a better year. I had those concussions, missed some time, got on a roll a little bit and then fell off. It makes me want to work harder to make sure that I can keep getting better each game and not have it fall off.

As you go through spring, where do you think you are better?

Abbrederis: I think each year you get better and as you get older you understand different types of defenses, learning coverages and things like that. Our defensive backs are doing a lot of press conferences, so we've worked on that a lot in the winter. That's going to carry through all spring. Obviously you are going to win some and you are going to lose some when you go against press coverage, so as a receiver you just hope to win more than you do lose. This spring is going to be good for that. I feel like I am a lot better at that.

Coach (Beatty) is going to bring some good things for us, some good ideas. Obviously I've had three (wide receivers) coaches in the past five years, so I keep a little bit from the first guy, second guy and third guy. I kind of mix it all together, take what I like and what works for me. I'm excited about that.

Chris Beatty was one of the late hires, getting the job a couple weeks before the start of spring practices. How has he impacted you in such a short time and what has he told you about how he is going to coach you?

Abbrederis: Coach Beatty has done a good job and we're just working on building a relationship so far. That's the focus right now. He said he's going to get after us when he needs to, make sure we are better players and not going to be the "yell guy" on the field if you mess up. He knows we're going to make mistakes. He's already taught us a bunch of different things. With the new offense, we've been going over the splits, releases and breaking points and he's been sharing ideas with us.

Does this group need an aggressive guy as the position coach?

Abbrederis: I think whoever comes in is going to get it done. The group is going to evolve with the coaching that comes in. If it's an aggressive guy or a quiet guy, I think the players rally around that and learn to be coached with that coaching style.

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