Media Day: Alvarez verbatim, part 3

In this edition of Alvarez verbatim, Alvarez discusses the Badgers offensive line and the importance of avoiding off-field distractions.

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Questions and topics are paraphrased from those posed by assorted media in attendance Wednesday afternoon.


What concerns you about the offensive line?


"I really felt as though we have answers in the offensive line. The fact that Mike Lorenz played at tight end helped him tremendously. It gave him a lot of confidence. He not only played, he played well. When he played at tight end, there was some movement. He was wearing some people out. I think that gave Mike a lot of confidence. I'm really not concerned with Mike. I think Mike has a chance to be an outstanding tackle.


The left tackle was a concern, but Morgan Davis has improved every year and I thought he made a huge jump from his season through spring. He probably was the biggest surprise of the spring. I think we are really solid there and I expect Morgan to take another big step.


Chris McIntosh came down to work with our linemen all summer and we got some feedback from him that he liked the way Morgan was progressing. I think Jake Wood will come along. I feel pretty good about left tackle. I feel much better than I did going into spring."


Is center Donovan Raiola more prepared physically, right now, to lead that line?


"I think that Donovan, the fact that he played some last year—starting one game, even though it was at guard. He is a tough competitor. He loves to play, he brings personality to the game. He is better physically. I think he is more physical as a player than he has been; he was (physical) this spring. I just think his competitiveness. It takes a little time to learn in the offensive line and I think he is learning."


With everything that is going on with Maurice Clarett and with Marlin Jackson over at Michigan, do you plan to use that and kind of hold it up to your players as an example of, ‘keep your heads on straight, it might cause distractions if you don't.'?


"I don't have to go to those two schools. I don't have to use Clarett. I don't have to use Jackson as examples. I think our guys understand how things can cause distractions and how issues off the field and how you handle yourself off the field and can affect a lot of things.


"We have always spent a lot of time on that. They all know. I'm sure they follow that and hear about those two incidences but we have had enough of our own."


Do you think they have learned any lessons since last season when you tried to emphasize some of those things?


"I guess that remains to be seen. I'd like to think that they do, but we have 105 18- to 22-year olds, but we will see. We will see how this team grows and matures and go from there. Those are the things that you find out and it all has to do with how well the people will play. You eliminate distractions off-the-field and normally you can really concentrate on what you have to do on-the-field."

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