Bielema Looking Forward to Saturday Scrimmage

Resting multiple players to hopefully have them available for Saturday's team scrimmage, head coach Bret Bielema talks to media members about Dan Moore's situation, Jae McFadden and the kicking competition (full transcript).

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema -

Full Transcript:

Bret Bielema - We're going to have a pretty good scrimmage on Saturday. Just because of the injury situation and wanting to try and maximize Saturday, we backed off today and went half pads, backed off three periods of the practice and hopefully have a few people back and be able to scrimmage pretty good on Saturday. The tempo they had today was a lot better than Tuesday.

Any news on Dan Moore?

Bret Bielema - Uh, no. The results they got back from Tuesday, it wasn't extensive damage as they thought but it's a wait and see mode. He's got some swelling. So the plan is right now they are basically going to take it easy for six weeks and hopefully be able to return for the second week of June when we do our full conditioning.

When you say take it easy, no surgery just rehab?

Bret Bielema - Correct. Just rehab, no surgery as of right now.

Are you surprised given that it looked pretty serious when he went down?

Bret Bielema - Do you have a PhD now?

No. Are you surprised?

Bret Bielema - Yeah he went down and initial thoughts were that he might have torn the ACL. Basically he was real emotional and then they could not get a good read on it. So they wanted to calm it down until Tuesday. The thing they got out of Tuesday was it wasn't as significant as they thought but it isn't a clean slate either. It's kind of a wait and see.

Have some of the younger guys, especially with the injuries, jumping out to you at this early stage and made an impression?

Bret Bielema - I think Culmer (St. Jean) going into practice number eight, in my opinion, has shown some things at the inside linebacker position. He's a former quarterback and safety and has got good ball skills, so I think that's coming out. Blake Sorensen made a few plays here today. Those two guys at the linebacker position.

A pleasant surprise for us was in the secondary, just the way some of those young corners, they are not there yet, but everyday. The one great thing about Aaron (Henry) and (Allen) Langford being out is all the reps those guys are getting. Bottom lines, some of our threes are now ones and if you look at our second defensive line, you have two former linebackers and an offensive lineman we converted two days ago.

Is (Jae) McFadden a guy who can play if he doesn't start that can help you in pass situations?

Bret Bielema - He started last year in our Badger package, which is great because really that Badger package, for us, came in second and long or, depending on the team we're playing, he would play between 30, 35 snaps a game. He really was starting to be a factor when he dislocated his elbow and was out for a three-game stretch because then we had to keep Dre (Levy) and J.C. (Casillas) on the field when normally they would be able to come off.

Jae is kind of like us. He's our fourth starting linebacker. He could probably start at Sam or Will and we've reped him at Mike. Jae is a very versatile player for us.

Can you talk about what Patrick Butrym has done for you?

Bret Bielema - One thing is Monday he weighed 268 and we recruited him at 230. So he's done a great job in the weight room. Unfortunately on Tuesday, he kind of extended and got a shoulder (issue), what they think is a little bit of a bruise right now. He could not even move it the other day but today, he's got full motion on it and hopefully he'll be a guy that goes Saturday. I have been very happy with him.

What do you hope to get out of the kicking competition this spring or is that going to have to wait till the fall?

Bret Bielema - I was excited on Saturday that we put them in during the heat of the battle to get a little bit of a rush on them. They converted every one of them. I think that the part jumped out to me if you were watching the punt team, Phil (Welch) popped in there and did a great job of punting the ball. I want him to really kick on the kicking aspect of things but he can be real versatile for us. I am excited to get outside. We're going to go outside hopefully tomorrow or Saturday and Tuesday and Thursday maybe of next week and see what's happening.

Is Bradley Nortman strictly a punter?

Bret Bielema - He's done some kicking before too but he's more a specialists and a punter.

Are you at the point with injuries that you'll reassess you will use your regulars in the spring game or back off at all?

Bret Bielema - It depends on who we get back. One thing I am trying to do is promote the spring game and make it as big as possible. At the same time, we have eight defensive linemen out. That's two strings. You really have to be cautious and one thing that I did not want to do is, there was a time where we basically had just three defensive ends, so Matt (Shaughnessy) and OB (Schofield) were getting double work with the twos and I did not want to put them in a bad situation.

We try to develop as much as we can to have enough depth to have a complete, true spring. Yeah, 7-on-7 might be a third, fourth quarter option (smiling). I think back, I always try and gather as much information as I can much about spring games within our conference. There were two or three teams a year ago, that just because of pure numbers and ironically because of offensive linemen, that went to a 7-on-7 at some part of the scrimmage.

Do you expect Nick Toon back?

Bret Bielema - I don't think we're going to get him back Saturday but hopefully by next week. It wasn't a pull that they said you're out for four weeks. It's kind of a wait and see. It was one that he aggravated, he had when he was in high school and reaggravated it. I know he wanted to get out there as bad as anybody.

Are the injuries a blessing in disguise because you get to look at guys that don't get as many reps?

Bret Bielema - I wouldn't say it's a blessing in disguise but if you are going to try to take a positive out of a negative is the more guys we are going to get reps to, the better off they are going to be. I mean, Jasper Grimes is getting a ton of work and he needs a lot of work. At least we are seeing what he can do.

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