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Highlights from Chris Petersen‘s availability with the media after practice today:
(on return to practice) “Got a lot of work to do. Good to be out here. Beautiful day. Good to have ‘em back. Two weeks is a long time off, so we’re working hard, but we got a lot of details to clean up. That’s what spring ball’s all about and hopefully we’re making progress every day.”
(Is it always going to be a little rougher that first day back from a break?) “That be an excuse. Whatever (it is) — weather, layoff, crowd, that’s not an excuse. So hopefully we’re a little bit better on Thursday.”
(When do you start focusing on execution?) “That’ll come later. It’s always whole-part-whole. It’s always intermixed (with teaching). We got a lot way to go on both spectrums. We got a lot of learning still to do. Shoot, we haven’t put in three-quarters — or half of our stuff yet. Obviously the execution has much to be desired at this point.”
(Is that different than any other spring?) “Well, we’ve hurt our kids as coaches by being a new coaching staff. We’ve set them back. We tell them that every day. Because we’re new and giving you new things, other people are ahead of us. So we’re trying to play catch-up as fast as we can.”
(Are you pleased with where these guys are at now?) “No. Absolutely not. I’m pleased with their attitude. They want to get it. We’re all working this together. (But) are we pleased where we are? No, because we have a long way to go. But I like the guys; I like them a lot; I like coaching ‘em. But we got a long way to go.”
(Anything new on Cyler Miles?) “No. I got nothing.”
(on what he saw on film from first half of spring practices) Well … progress. Two steps forward, one step back. Time’s ticking. You only get so many days out here with these guys, but we will get it eventually — eventually just needs to be sooner eventually (rather) than late eventually.”
(How much are you studying the rest of the Pac-12 at this point, if at all?) “We’re very much worried about ourselves right now. We’re not in any position to worry about our opponent. It’s all about us. We just don’t have enough hours in the day, really. Everything we did out there (in practice) was filmed. We only get so much time with these guys, so they come in on their own and watch some of it as well. But it will be good to have a nice library at the end of spring that we can continue to refer back to.
(Where are Troy Williams and Jeff Lindquist compared to where they started a month ago?) “Well, they’re like most of the guys. I think we’re definitely better, and they’re definitely better, than they were when we started. But we’re just not where we need to be. So that’s how we look at everything out here — are we playing at the level we need to? It doesn’t matter if a receiver runs a wrong route, if an O-linemen busts, they (the quarterbacks) have to make the right decision off that. That might be throwing the ball in the stands. That might be taking a sack. And so it really doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing at any position — are you doing your job correctly. So that’s what we’re all working toward.”
(How do you use your tight ends philosophically?) “I think the tight end can be a tremendous weapon. I think you guys saw that the last couple years with Austin (Seferian-Jenkins). And the better players we have there, the more we really try to figure out how to get those guys the ball. But I think … it’s a hard position to play. It’s a hard guy to find and recruit to. You’d like him to be able to block like a linemen and run like a receiver, catch like a receiver. They gotta be as smart as any guy out there because of the different positions we line ‘em up — run blocking, pass blocking. All those different things. And so you get a guy that’s special, that truly is a special guy in my mind.
(Are you comfortable with what you have there, or are you going to have to do some mixing and matching?) “Usually what you do at that position is there’s a lot of mixing and matching going on. It’s hard to find that guy who can do it all, which is fine. Because that’s how we do most of our positions, we’re going to mix and match. And we want to play a lot of guys and get guys ready, because I think that helps our team overall.”
(on integrating John Timu back into practice today) “Well, we’ve got separate issues here. We dealt with the other issue, he’s dealt with the other issue, and now he’s back to playing football.”
(on Danny Shelton, Hau’oli Kikaha missing today) “There’s things called academics around here. They come first, so they got class.”
(That’s presumably why you’re going to night practices on Thursday) “That’s why we’re going Thursday night, yep.”