Bret Bielema - 8.6 Practice Transcript

Coach Bielema talks to the media after Wisconsin football first day of practice

Opening Statement

I thought today was a good opening first day. Just a couple of updates. Kurt Ware was the only person not out here today. We expect to have him in the next two weeks hopefully. In the last two weeks of summer conditioning, he tweaked his knee a little bit and had to have surgery. Everything went as good as we could have hoped and we hope to have him back by Washington State. Other than that, everybody else is full go.

Thoughts on day one

You're always excited but the first day is always frustrating. There are a lot of glitches – center to quarterback exchange, guys dropping balls, a little anxiety of first-year players. I like their spirit and their intensity. They flew around and that's the main thing. We can coach the other parts but you can't coach [the intensity].

Did you like what you saw out of Shane Carter?

He's the only guy I brought up after practice. To me, there's a way guys walk out onto the field to practice and there's a way guys walk out onto the field to compete and he stood out right away with the plays on the ball he made. Nothing really surprised me. He had an excellent spring and Shane is a good kid. Really takes things seriously whatever he does. All those things carry over.

Jack Ikegwuonu and Allen Langford resting parts of day one

We know they can play a lot of good football for us so what we are trying to do is get a look at a lot of the freshmen. We're trying four freshmen and whether they become corners or safeties determines how they handle fall camp.

Lance Smith reinstatement

We're trying to take everything as a learning experience. Obviously what he has learned the last couple of weeks will hopefully help him prevent anything like that happening again. I try to take everything our team goes through as a learning experience for all of us. Hopefully, that message got released in everything as well.

The return of P.J. Hill

He definitely had a burst. The thing I want to see out of that position in general, and you saw how dramatically P.J. changed his body, is a consistency throughout. P.J. and Lance return with the most playing experience there, but hopefully, we can see something out of these young guys as well.

Jamal Cooper improvement

What I tried to make Jamal understand is the big picture. The easy thing would be to remove him from the team. Last year, he did a lot of things but I don't know if he stood out or made a difference winning or losing a football game. He just kinda treaded water. The one thing I wanted him to understand is to contribute at a winning level, he's got to do things right all over the place. From where we were from spring football a year ago to now, [the results] have been nothing but positive.

The open race for left tackle

Danny Kays has as much athletic ability and substance to play that position as well as anybody. I want to give him a fair shot. It's a three man race and we're trying to get those guys equal reps and we want someone to emerge.

Devan Jones status

I didn't know he was coming until Thursday or Friday of last week. There are so many people that play collegiate sports that have to file through the clearing house that it takes awhile for that paperwork to come through. He took off on a bus from Cleveland about 4 a.m. two days ago and arrived 6:30-7:00 Sunday night. So, it's been a whirlwind for him and that jumped out big time. He hasn't play organized football for a long time so it's going to take some time.

John Clay's status

It's a work in progress. We basically had an indication that it takes awhile for things to process through. It's a frustrating situation but it's really out of our hands. There's basically an NCAA rule that allows people to take extended hours after receiving there high school diploma and John was able to capitalize on that. Now, we just have to wait.

The 105 player rule

We can bring in only 105 [players] and the only time you can bring someone in to replace 105 is if someone involuntary leaves your program. The only time that happens is if someone quits or sustains an injury that removes them from competition for the spring practice. We are at 105 right now.

When will full contact/hitting start

Well, I saw more today than I wanted. By NCAA rules, Monday and Tuesday are helmets only, Wednesday and Thursday are half-pads and Friday is full gear. We'll get pretty good after it on Saturday.

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