Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Rich Rodriguez and the Wildcats continued spring practice on Monday at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium.
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Monday Practice in the Books
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 31, 2014

TUCSON, Ariz. Head coach Rich Rodriguez and the University of Arizona football program continued spring practice on Monday at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium. The 2014 Cats worked out in shorts and helmets for two hours. Below is a transcript of Rodriguez and senior free safety Jourdon Grandon’s comments following practice.

Head Coach Rich Rodriguez

On spring practices so far:

“The scrimmage was better offensively than defensively but I think we’ve made some progress. We only have five practices left. We could use five more but I’m sure every coach would say that because there are a lot of young guys that are making some steps and I don’t know if we have enough time this spring to know if they’re going to be ready. It’ll be a big summer for a lot of them.”

On cancelling the Phoenix practice:

“From a meeting standpoint, the meetings are so critical right now. We need that meeting time and everything we have set up here with our two full practice fields, which we won’t get if we go on the road. That’s all on me. Hopefully the fans will come down to the spring game.”

On what is stressed with only five practices left:

“Just getting better. The guys understand our practice tempo now. As I told them, we have to make some hard decisions in the next five practices. Not so much with the depth part but with getting an idea of which young guys are going to be ready to play or not. This may be the first time that I will have to cut some players, some walk-ons that didn’t make the roster.”

On what makes the offense ahead of the defense at this point in practices:

“Well, they weren’t until this last scrimmage. Up until then, I thought the defense had a little bit of an upper hand. In the last scrimmage, the quarterbacks were live for the first half. When you’re chasing a live quarterback, you probably have to run more and there are some more things that could happen, like some broken plays that happen to work. I think that’s what happened.”

On the group of walk-ons:

“I have a great group of walk-ons. The thing that we have come to now is that, opposed to two years ago where we had a lot of room on the roster, now it has become really competitive from a walk-on standpoint. That’s a good thing because we have some really good ones coming in. We’ve got some really good ones on the team now, so it has become a lot more competitive to earn that roster spot. That’s something that we’ve been working for.”

On the quarterbacks as a group:

“As a group, Saturday was their best day. Today, it wasn’t as good. They’re a very conscientious group. When I ask them questions, they give the right answers. It’s five practices and I’m going to continue putting them under the gun. I’m repping seven now and have nine scheduled for the fall. I can’t rep nine equally in the fall. I’ll pair it down as much as I can. If I don’t know the top three or four, I’ll keep repping them until I have that order.”

Senior Free Safety Jourdan Grandon

On spring practices so far:

“It’s good to get out here since the end of last season. It’s been going well. We’re about 10 practices in and a lot of people are making improvements and good strides. We’re seeing a lot out of the quarterbacks and receivers. We’re working together as a team.”

On the improvements from the defense:

“I feel like guys are maturing and getting older. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to do. You can count on your buddy being there for you. The chemistry overall is a lot stronger and better.”

On the change in intensity compared to last spring:

“It has actually changed. We just had a meeting a week ago and talked about practice one when Coach and his staff first got here and practice one this spring. Everyone is flying around to the ball compared to when they first got here. Everyone is competing a lot harder. The overall intensity is a lot higher. Everyone comes out looking to get better.”

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