March 17, 2010
RUSTON, La. - "I thought we bounced around, practiced hard and really concentrated well today. I was really pleased for the first day. It's like I told them [the team], we set the bar high today and we need to keep building on it. We made a lot of mistakes- millions of mistakes - but we'll get those cleaned up. The thing I liked was the effort, I thought it was tremendous. I liked the way we worked and focused. I liked the way we practiced today."
"I thought our defense looked solid. They knew what to do and it showed we have some speed on that side of the ball. I think we have a lot of skill, offensively. That is one thing that I have been really impressed with - the number of skill position players that we have with a lot of talent. Now, they are raw. We will have to do a really good job of developing them and bringing them along, but we have some guys that have a chance to be pretty exciting players."
"We tried to throw as much as we could at the players today and made it just like a regular practice. We'll throw another third of the offense at them on Friday. What happens, just like with everything, is that they start to get a little mentally tired and worn out and start busting a bit more. The big thing that we need to do with this football team is finish. We need to finish our practice a little better than we did today. It looked like we got a little tired and we didn't finish as strong as we should have but I thought it was a good day."
On what they installed on offense Wednesday:
"We basically put in two run game concepts, a screen and about three drop-back sets but not a lot of pass plays, just a few down the field passes, a screen and a bunch of runs."
On any depth determinations made:
"We're still just trying to get a feel for the personnel. I didn't think any of the quarterbacks stood out today, they all looked pretty good. I thought it was a good solid practice, I thought the quarterbacks played pretty well for everything we threw at them."
On players that saw their first action in a while due to injury or redshirting:
"I thought Richie Casey and Tim Molton have a chance to be special players. To me those are two of the guys that stood out. I also thought Ahmad Paige looked good; Eric Harper and Lennon Creer had a good day. I was really happy with our skill positions today but again, we didn't do a lot today. We dropped a lot of balls, ran the wrong route several times and did a lot of things mentally that we have to improve on. But the overall athleticism and responding to what the coaches were telling them."
On his expectations entering Wednesday's practice:
"I was expecting to have to coach effort a little bit harder today but we really didn't have to do that much. That was the most encouraging thing for me. Our guys just came out and got after it. It was a different tempo than what they have been used to practicing at so they were trying to get comfortable with that."
On the differences between being a coordinator and a head coach:
"It's different because you get so focused on details when you are a coordinator. When you're the head coach, you try to see more of the big picture. I used to be almost completely focused on what the quarterbacks were doing and now I was trying to see what was going on with the offensive line and what was happening with receivers and trying to watch the defense as well. It's kind of all over the place. Usually, I'd walk of the field knowing exactly how the quarterbacks practiced but in this case, I'm not really sure. I know a little bit about how the offensive line did, how the linebackers did, how the secondary played - a little bit about every position. It's going to be a little bit of an adjustment but it is something I'm looking forward to."
On Friday's practice:
"Friday's practice will pretty much be the same thing. That's the good thing about practicing the way we do - you can do it with pads, with no shoulder pads, with whatever. We can come out and get good work regardless of how we are dressed."