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Monday Press Conference Transcript
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 10/21/2013
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TUCSON, Ariz.University of Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez and select players met with media members at a weekly press conference on Monday. Below is a brief transcript.

Head Coach Rich Rodriguez

 

Opening Statement:

“We had a pretty good effort; that was a big physical team we were playing. The guys played hard. There are some execution things we can clean up and get better at. We made a few mistakes but we played well enough to win. Our guys had a little pep in their step last night but after 24 hours we move on to the next one.”

On Justin Washington:

“He made a few plays; it was good to see that. We’re still looking for more consistency but it was a challenge because Utah is so big up front.”

On Utah’s strategy for Sione Tuihalamaka:

“They did some zone read stuff and Sione made plays. We still have to get more pressure on third downs and obvious passes.”

On Colorado’s defense:

“They’re a little more experienced, a little bigger, and a little more physical. They’re playing better, and they have more confidence. They won a few games and the new staff has done a good job with creating a good atmosphere. It’ll be a good crowd, and they’ll be fired up to face Ka’Deem Carey and the Wildcats.”

On the level of fatigue for Ka’Deem Carey:

“He was so excited to be out there but once he calmed down he wasn’t tired at all. I’m sure he was angry when they called back that run. He had a great offseason though. He gained 10 pounds and he’s bigger, stronger, and in good shape.”

On confidence of B.J. Denker:

“I saw his confidence growing towards the end of the USC game. He’s trusting the footwork, the timing, and the play itself. There are still a few times where he’s hesitating but I hope he’s getting more confident. B.J. can throw the ball, and we’ve got wide receivers that can get open.”

On mobility of B.J. Denker:

“He’s got some moves. He’s fast enough to get out of trouble and he’s pretty good in the open field. There were a couple times where I thought he could have got another yard or two for a first down. We want our quarterbacks to preserve themselves and not take unnecessary shots but it’s always touchdown, first down, get down in that order.”

On route running:

“There’s a certain way the routes look. Coach (Tony) Dews does a good job with them and we work really hard on routes in practice as far as the depth and how they look. Some guys have a natural ability to confuse defensive backs. You have to teach some guys how to do that and others are naturals.”

On keeping up the tempo:

“We’re halfway through and there’s a whole lot at stake. The more you win, the more is at stake. We have to stay humble and hungry. I don’t talk about the next game or the next day. We don’t worry about winning the day, we just move on to the next play, whether it’s a practice play or a play in a game.”

On depth:

“We’re not as deep as we need to be. We want to keep our guys in shape but we don’t want to wear them out. We expect our guys to get stronger during the season. When we go, we go pretty hard.”

On Ka’Deem Carey’s success:

“He’s a great player. He led the country in rushing last year, that’s a pretty big deal. I’m pretty proud of him, and he earned that. Ka’Deem is a good guy and a great team guy. You see him around the team and how happy he is when other running backs have success. He’s all in for Arizona. I’m lucky he’s on our team and when he makes a mistake he’s going to make up for it. He’ll be the first to tell you, he’s got guys up front helping him and blocking. There’s no question he’s one of the best football players I’ve ever coached.”

On depth at the safety positions:

“Anthony Lopez and Will Parks came in and did a good job. Tra’Mayne (Bondurant) and Jared (Tevis) are two of our best players. We hope we can get them back but for Anthony’s first outing with extended playing time, he did a solid job.”

On B.J. Denker’s decision making:

“Our quarterback has to make a decision on every play. B.J. may have to make a decision on 80 plays and he may have made the right decision on 75 of them but most people don’t even know it. There’s a lot on him as far as decision making goes. B.J. has handled that pretty well. He’s the sharpest guy we’ve got in that room.”

Junior Offensive Line Mickey Baucus

 

On keeping the focus level where it needs to be after a big win:

“Same as we always do. There are always multiple aspects that we need to improve on, so we need to come out and compete in practice, that’s really all we can do. We’ll just focus on Colorado and nothing else.”

 

On wearing No. 68 and its significance during the week of the Tedy Bruschi recognition:

“It means a lot. It has a lot of history at this school and it’s an honor to wear the same number. I’ve been wearing it since my freshman year of high school, so coming in I didn’t even think about it. With this week honoring Tedy Bruschi, it’s just an honor to wear it. It’s special.”

On his consistent play this season:

“I’ve just been focusing on the here and now. You can’t look ahead to big games. You just have to be focused on the day and, specifically, the next play. I focus on what’s ahead of me and work on getting better at something every day. That’s how we work.”

On players keeping their bodies fresh the final seven weeks of the season with no bye weeks:

“It’s big. Any little thing we can do to improve our performance is big, getting in the ice tubs, getting enough sleep. It all factors into how we play on Saturdays. All the little things help us win.”

On Colorado’s improvement defensively since last year:

“They’re a much improved team from last year. We’re not thinking, ‘we had a big day last year,’ we’re thinking about what we can do to get ourselves better and have another big day this year.”

On the improvements the offensive line needs to make:

“Everybody has something different. Whether it’s learning the playbook a little better, something technique wise, conditioning or learning to play faster, we all have something different. There’s always something we can improve on. For me it may be something technical; for Chris (Putton), he may have his other thing. It’s different for everybody but we can all improve.”

Sophomore Wide Receiver David Richards

 

On how it feels to be back:

“I feel really good. I feel like I’m finally 100 percent, so that helps a lot mentally.”

On the future of the wide receiver group:

“We are a pretty young position. We are only graduating Terrence (Miller), and I think we are doing a great job this year, but I think we have so much potential to improve. We will have Austin (Hill) coming back next year so the sky is the limit for us.”

On BJ Denker’s improvement in the passing game:

“I think he’s gained a lot more confidence. I also think the receivers are doing a better job of getting open. I think a lot of people believe it’s always B.J.’s fault when things go wrong but sometimes it is on us to make sure we are running the right routes well to make sure he can get us the ball.”

On the importance of running a crisp route:

“We have to be able to get open. If you aren’t running a clean route and not getting your depth, the quarterback will be off because he will throw it where he expects you to be.”

Junior Defensive Lineman Reggie Gilbert

 

On the team assessment at the halfway point in the season:

“I’m very confident in where we are as a team right now. I feel like we have a lot of getting better to do, which I believe is a good thing. I have a good feeling about this team. ”

 

On the improvement up front defensively against Utah compared to USC:

“That’s something we worked hard on at practice. We weren’t satisfied with our performance against USC, so there was definitely improvement. Getting off the blocks and trying to get pressure on the quarterback was one of our key points last week.”

On the significant improvement from the defense last year to this year:

“We are really focused this year. We were undisciplined in some areas last year.”

On stunting with the defensive line this year more than last year:

“We are definitely doing a lot more of it this year. We have all the same guys back and the coaches have the confidence in us to run the 3-3-5 defense. I think everybody is definitely more comfortable moving around this year.”

On how the consistency of the same starters on defense can be a factor:

It will be a key point in our success this year. Staying healthy and developing the confidence and chemistry with one another will benefit us. Also, getting younger guys reps in as the season progresses will be good, too.”

The Wildcats will play the first of back-to-back road games next weekend when they venture to Colorado for a 5 p.m. MST tilt with the Buffaloes. Pac-12 Networks will have the television coverage with Glenn Parker, Roxy Bernstein and Drea Avent, and Brian Jeffries, Lamont Lovett and Dana Cooper will have the call on the Arizona IMG Sports Network.

For continued coverage of Arizona football, follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/ArizonaFootball and on Twitter @ArizonaFBall.

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