Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
August 14, 2012Camp Report
This week marks a new phase of fall camp. Both the offensive and defensive units will spend the last 30 minutes of practice working against the scout team instead of practicing against each other. The reason is that each unit can maximize their time by practicing against a certain formation that they specifically need to work on.
"The installation offensively is for the most part complete," tight ends coach Jeff Blasko said. "Now we can go back and practice our core offense and practice it against different looks that we haven't seen up until this point."
The team practiced twice on Monday and just once today. Linebacker Huldon Tharp thought the play of the day came from the scout team offense. Running back James Sims caught a 30 yard wheel route over Tharp for a touchdown.
There are a lot of competitions going on over at the linebacker position. One of the players who is getting a lot of first team snaps is sophomore Ben Heeney. He came into spring as a backup and finished as a starter.
Linebacker coach DeMontie Cross said Heeney is one of the more gifted linebackers in coverage, but still tends to freelance too much. Injuries to Anthony McDonald have allowed Heeney to receive more reps with the first team. Even when McDonald returns Cross thinks Heeney will play a role this year.
"He plays at one speed and when you have guys like that then you have to get them on the field," Cross said.
Cross mentioned that Tunde Bakare is moving inside to play more of an inside linebacker position. Bakare was battling Prinz Kande at strongside linebacker. Kande was a player who struggled during the spring, but Cross said has made improvements during the fall.
"This camp he has taken more ownership in his role and he is studying more and asking more questions," Cross said. "If he continues to go about it we count on him giving us some good snaps this year."
Cross also gave his thoughts on Huldon Tharp: "He is the one guy who has been the most consistent. He has really taken to the coaching not only from the classroom but also applying it to the field. He answers every question right and understands the scheme of what is being asked."
As far as the freshmen go, Schyler Miles is still battling for a spot on the two deep at middle linebacker. Cross said if Miles doesn't make the two deep they could still see him at special teams because of his athleticism.
Courtney Arnick played a good portion of snaps on the second team defense in Saturday's open practice, but Cross said they aren't sure if he is going to play this year.
"He still has a way to develop but we still have a little bit of time left in camp," Cross said. "If he can do something that jumps out to us we will find a role but if not then we will redshirt him."
Cross also mentioned on continuing to work with linebacker Darius Willis. Last year Willis was primarily the starter at middle linebacker but at the moment is out of the two deep.
"He hasn't played as well as I would've liked and he hasn't played as well as he would've liked," Cross said. " I always tell him you have to put it on tape. Support what you believe in and what we are looking for in a player. If you can put it on tape then no one can deny you that. He has been up and down and the only way you can get that groove and confidence back is to make plays in practice."
Dave Campo Q&A
On if he enjoys bringing the blitz:
"If you have your druthers, you'd like to get to the quarterback with four guys (on the defensive line). If you have four guys that can do that, it gives you an opportunity to do a number of things coverage-wise. From our standpoint, we're going to get to the passer. We're not going to let him sit back there all day on us. Obviously, that wouldn't be to our advantage. We'll bring as many people as we need to bring to get to the quarterback with any consistency. If that means bringing extra guys, it means we have to bring extra guys. If I had my choice, if we can find four pass rushers that can get to the quarterback, that's your best bet."
On if he considers the Big 12 a blitzing league:
"I think the ability of the other teams to run the ball in situations that require discipline as far as the zone reads and options plays really limits it in some ways. You have to make sure you've got everything covered when you bring extra guys."
On how long he thinks the junior college guys need to make the transition:
"Of course it's been a while since I was involved in college football the first time around, but in a couple places I was at we used a lot of junior college players. The one thing I've always felt is that it's a process that takes a little time. It's not overnight. You don't just walk in and get it. They've had a number of different coaches and now all of the sudden they've got another set of coaches and new terminology and all of those different things. Each individual is a little different. I think it takes a while to get going and I don't know what that exact number (of practices) is. I know that the guys we've got right now have helped our football team from an athletic standpoint. Time is going to tell how long it's going to take before we get them fully ready to go."
On the progress of junior defensive lineman Jordan Tavai:
"Jordan is a talented young man. He's got some fast twitch to him. He's a physical guy; he's a little overweight right now. That is part of the question that was just asked. It's going to take some time for those guys to get with the program from a weight standpoint and all of those things. This league is a stamina league. That's why Coach Weis talks so many times about we're how we're going to play with 22 guys. In this league you have to be able to play a lot of plays. It's going to take a while for (Tavai) to pick up the stamina part of it, but he's picked up the defense relatively quickly, because we're not going to do a whole lot of different things." On if he's enjoyed the college coaching experience so far:
"When you've got: No. 1 a new system and No. 2 a young group, there's a lot of teaching going on and a lot of coaching going on. I like that part of it. In a lot of ways, it's a breath of fresh air for me. You don't do quite as much technique stuff when you've got guys that have been in your system for seven or eight years. I feel good about that; I think we're making progress in those areas. I think fundamentally, we're a better football team than we were when I came in here. I think eventually that will pay dividends."
On his role in player development in college compared to the NFL:
"That's one of the things that is the most exciting for me. I have six children. When you get to this level, you're still talking to young men. When you coach in the NFL, it's more of a family situation. There are more married players and players with children. When the day's over, they want to get out of the building and gone. Whereas the guys you deal with on the college level are more like your children in a lot of ways. From a role standpoint, they're still trying to figure out who they are. I like that part of it. I've enjoyed being a parent; I don't necessarily think the guys look at me like a parent, but I certainly feel like I'm more of an influencer (in their lives). The game of football is a lot more than lining up on Saturday and playing a game. There are a lot of life lessons in there. I think the younger the players you deal with, the more it becomes a factor. So it's been good for me, and I like that part of it."
On the importance of all the coaches being involved on special teams:
"Coach (Clint) Bowen coordinates the special teams and each of us (assistant coaches) has a role within it. I'm not involved in two of the special teams, but I'm involved in (the other) two. Each of us has an area that we're working on. I will say this, the fastest way that I know of to improve your football team is through special teams. If you can get your special teams to where you're one of the top groups in the conference, you're going to improve drastically. It's a big, big part of game-changing plays. We take great pride in that. I know a lot of teams that have improved quickly and their head coach was the special teams coach. It's an area that we have to make sure we're sound in, because it can change the game positively and it can change the game negatively as fast as anything. We're out there and we're coaching everything. There isn't too much time when we're just standing around and looking around. We're involved in the whole football team."
On if he's encouraged by his defensive line:
"I'm encouraged, because I think we have some guys that have a little bit of talent, but need to keep learning and getting better. That's one of the things that we talked about today that even when you blitz, what you're really trying to do is to create some situations where your guys are one-on-one with the offense. Very seldom do you see scot-free guys, most of the time you're eliminating the double teams. What we have to do is to start winning the one-on-ones. That's something we have to continue to talk about and continue to get better at."