Alvarez Verbatim

Here is what Coach Barry Alvarez had to say following Monday's practice, verbatim.

Q: Did you have any tough decisions to make when you broke into scout teams?

Alvarez: No, because where there's a tough decision, we're going to rotate the guys through. We only have five backs in camp. We're going to have to work some people down there. Some guys will play this year but they've got to spend a little time on the scout squad too. So it's not as big a deal as you could make it. It's not etched in stone because you run some plays on the scout squad, that you're not going to play this year. Some of those guys have to spend some time down there just because of the lack of numbers.

Q: Are these the dog days of camp right now?

Alvarez: Yeah, this was a rough day. We got about an hour and a half workout yesterday. We had a hypnotist come in last night. They had a little fun last night. You come back and everybody's sore and their legs are heavy. But that's when you have to really concentrate and that's when you can really get an awful lot out of practice and you can simulate a fourth quarter when you're tired and you have a chance to be distracted, where you really have a chance to play better. We had some mental mistakes in practice today, but those are things you just have to work through.

Q: How often do you bring in that hypnotist?

Alvarez: About every third year we bring him in. He does just a heck of a job with our kids. He put on about a two-hour show. The guys had a blast with it.

Q: Is it light-hearted or serious?

Alvarez: No, it's light-hearted. He didn't try to hypnotize me to lose weight or anything. He did hypnotize anybody to quit smoking. Just to have a little fun.

Q: You are using those black jerseys on players more often. Is that a form of a reward system?

Alvarez: Guys, I really don't want to get into that. I don't want to get to the point where…that's in-house.

Q: With some of your young receivers pushing for playing time, how have David Braun and Byron Brown responded to that?

Alvarez: You know what? They understand, we know what we're going to get out of those guys. And they are going to play. They have played, and they are reliable, and I think they understand we have to build some depth and we have to get those young guys as many reps as we possibly can just to get them game-ready. But those other two kids, they know they're going to play and I think they understand the situation.

Q: Have Bob Docherty and Tony Paciotti taken the next step from what you saw out of those guys a year ago?

Alvarez: Yeah, I think so. I think Doc continues to improve. I thought he had his best scrimmage Saturday. He catches the ball well. Tony is probably the most physical of the tight ends. So to answer your question, yes, I think they have taken a step.

Q: Over the years, how hard do you have to work with long-snappers to get them ready? How raw are they?

Alvarez: It varies. We're going to go back and have a one-day camp. That's where we found (Pittsburgh Steelers' long snapper Mike) Schneck. We're going to go back and have a kicking and long-snapper camp so we can identify kids. Make it a very minimal fee and bring them in for a day and work on them, bring some of our coaches or former coaches on special teams, get some of our former kickers who have had some success, bring a guy like Schneck back to work with long snappers, and see if we can't identify some and give them some help in the summer before they go to their high school programs. I think we need to do that. Because you don't appreciate a long-snapper, you don't appreciate kickers until you don't have one.

Q: How long has it been since you did that?

Alvarez: I think we did it for two years. I think the year Schneck came out, so it's been a while since we've done it.

Q: You've got a lot of quality players out of Southern Door High School. What is it about that program that's produced so many good players?

Alvarez: You know what? Football is very important up there. And Brent Claflin runs a quality program and it's a program, so he identifies the players and really develops them. We've had a ton of them and they've all been outstanding. You go back to Bobby Adamov, who was a walk-on player and ended up being a captain. My first year, Jimmy Flanigan had committed when I was at Notre Dame and ended up going there and his brother Brian came down, but we've just had a ton of them come through and man they've been good. I think a lot of it has something to do with their high school program.

Q: Do you have a timetable on when you want to select a kicker? And do you plan on turning up the heat on those guys this week?

Alvarez: They've had heat on them every day. They've competed every day. We've charted everything. I'm in no hurry. I'll have one by the 23rd. I don't want to name anybody. They may get nervous.

Q: Will you have another kicker on the 31st?

Alvarez: I hope not. I hope I have three. I think all those kids have had their days and they are more consistent than they have been. I'm in no hurry. We'll just let them continue to compete and try to get better, try to be consistent.

Q: Has Mike Allen got that spring game out of his mind?

Alvarez: We don't spend a lot of time talking about the spring game. I hope he learned from it, if you have one bad kick you don't go in the tank. Because it's going to happen to him again. That first one in the spring game, his left plant foot slipped and he missed it, and it rattled him. We just can't let that happen. Hopefully he's learned from it. That's one thing about experience, and being able to adjust and not making the same mistake twice.

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