Saturday Scrimmage Report - Part 2

Here is part 2 of Alvarez's discussion following Saturday's scrimmage, verbatim, including his thoughts on Michael Broussard, Darius Jones, his two-deep and Fresno State.

Q: Have the young guys in the secondary responded to his system of challenging guys by constantly mixing things up based on how they play?

Alvarez: I think you'll see a group of kids take his personality. I think they'll be a tough-minded group. A group that will be physical. A group that will be confident, that they know what they're doing. He's not going to put up with complacency. He's not going to put up with a lackadaisical attitude and a guy that's not going to line up right and know exactly what he's supposed to do. That's the way you should coach. He's being demanding, but when you're playing back there you better be confident. You better know exactly what you're doing and what your responsibility is and where you can be hurt, what the weaknesses of the defense are, where your help is. All of those things are so important, and he's just making sure that they know it. And if they're not thinking probably, then he's going to shuffle them around. He's going to shake them up and get their attention and I don't have any problem with that. I think they will respond. I think they have responded, and I think by game time they will feel real confident about it.

Q: Has there been any discussion about using Michael Broussard as a reserve cornerback as he was as a freshman, or no?

Alvarez: Not unless Michael steps up his play. It's not that he's moved down, it's just some other people are performing better. We're not looking for places for guys to play. It's up to our players to be responsible on the field, be productive on the field, and they'll play. When they're showing that they're being productive and know what we want, then they're going to get on the field, and if not, they won't play.

Q: You said with the long season, you want to play a lot of guys. Have you found enough guys to do that?

Alvarez: I think we're getting close to having three tackles. I think when we get healthy at guard, we're going to be where we need to be at guard. I think we're getting real close at center. We're going to be able to use a lot of tight ends. I think we'll be able to use several running backs, two fullbacks, we have plenty of wide receivers. I think we have a nice rotation in the secondary, I know (Defensive Line Coach John Palermo) has a rotation, and I'm getting more confident in some of the linebackers. I think as we progress, we may have to go with some guys even before they are quite ready, but by the time we get to the Big Ten season, I would like to have a nice rotation and establish some more depth. We're getting close.

Q: Is your two-deep set right now?

Alvarez: Yeah, pretty much. We have a pretty good idea who is going to play.

Q: Erasmus James has had a really nice camp and is still starting. In contrast with that, how has Darius Jones looked so far?

Alvarez: Darius has had a good camp. Really we've had four ends play well. It's just Jonathan Welsh is a different style of player than those other two. He doesn't have the impact that they have coming off the edge because they are all such big bodies. Those guys are all…I guess Darius and Jake are in the 280-285 range, (James) is in the mid-260's and those guys are a force out there. For a tight end to have to handle that is tough and they can get some penetration. I think Darius has played very well. I feel very comfortable with him in there. He made a lot of good plays. Actually all three of those guys made a lot of good plays today and have been making plays all camp.

Q: Are you going to make more personnel decision based on the fact you are going to scout teams Monday morning?

Alvarez: We're pretty close to that. Some of the guys will switch between scout teams and No. 2. We'll get them ready for the depth. But we'll break down the scout teams this week. We're going to get started probably Monday, introducing Fresno (State) and starting to get familiar with them. We'll still go against each other too.

Q: Is Fresno State still fairly fresh in the minds of many of your returning players?

Alvarez: We really haven't talked much about them yet. I'm sure our guys have an awful lot of respect (for them) and know more about them right now then they did a year ago. But they're an excellent football team. I've been reading up on them, and I know (Fresno State Coach) Pat Hill has publicly said he thinks this is a more talented team than he had last year, and the most talented team that he's ever had. We know what type of athletes they've recruited, the kind we played against last year, and we'll have our hands full. That will be a very good football team coming in here.

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