Cats open drills Saturday, March 24
(Mar. 7, 2001) -- UA Coach John Mackovic has set the schedule for his first spring football practice as leader of the Arizona program.
Generally, the team will work out Tuesdays, Thursdays and several weekend days beginning Saturday, March 24, through Saturday, April 21.
The NCAA allows 15 sessions for teams during spring sessions. The drills will be the new coaching staff's first with UA's returnees. Mackovic was named Arizona's 26th head coach on Dec. 4.
Among some of the most important early work for Mackovic and his staff will be working with six returning Wildcat quarterbacks to set the pecking order for fall camp. The Cats return two student-athletes who saw minimal duty at the position in 2000 -- Jason Johnson and Kyle Slager -- along with sophmore Cliff Watkins, redshirt freshmen John Rattay and Steve Flemming, and junior college redshirt Erik Garcia.
The staff also has to identify some key starters on defense to fill in needs with All-Pac-10 linebacker Lance Briggs and four returning starters in the secondary.
Mackovic hopes to name his defensive coordinator early next week. The position has been open since Duane Akina resigned Feb. 26. The new coordinator's background will determine whether the program maintains its use of the double-eagle flex defense.