TUCSON, Ariz. – Head coach Rich Rodriguez and the University of Arizona football program continued spring practice on Wednesday at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium. The 2014 Cats worked out in shorts and helmets for two hours. Below is a transcript of Rodriguez’s comments following practice.
On Saturday’s spring games:
“I think it’s fun. It’s neat for the players to have a crowd there. The fans have an opportunity to get a football fix in the spring. Our season is so concentrated and there’s such a long time between the bowl game. It’s exciting to be able to talk about football for a couple hours on Saturday.”
On the Hard Edge challenges:
“I saw some other people do some things. I said ‘What the heck? Let’s have some fun on Saturday.’ I have an ulterior motive really. If there is a guy out there kicking 50-yard field goals, that’s a student, I need to get him on the team. If there’s a quarterback that can throw farther than my quarterback, then I need to look at him, too. That is my ulterior motive. Plus, I think it will be fun for the fans.”
On which quarterback will throw for the challenge:
“I don’t know who has the farthest throw. I think it’s between Jesse (Scroggins) and Jerrard (Randall). I’m hoping that they can throw it 75-80 yards. That’s going to be a fun challenge. The one challenge about calling the plays, if they call it and it works, they’re still not having my job. I’m not giving that up.”
On how linebackers DeAndre’ Miller and Jake Matthews have looked this spring:
“Really good. They’ve been getting a lot of reps all spring, both with the ones and the twos. They’re both tall, athletic folks that have a little bit of an edge about them. That freshmen linebacker class is pretty good. Those two guys playing on the outside are going to be very good players for us. “
On the linebacker group:
“We’re deeper than we were. We will have a couple of freshmen come in and still compete for it. We obviously lose two really good seniors in Marquis (Flowers) and Jake (Fischer). Those guys played a lot of plays, so you can’t replace that experience so quickly. What you have to do is hope you replace it with some young guys that are athletic and can learn what to do pretty quick.”
On what he hopes to see from Austin Hill:
“He won’t play a whole lot. He played a lot in spring. We will give him a couple series. He is a proven veteran and we know what we have in him. He’s slowly getting his confidence back. He’s 100 percent but there’s a transition period in getting your confidence back.”
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