April 11, 2001
The Notre Dame football team opened spring practice on March 27 at the Loftus Sports Complex. Throughout the spring, www.und.com will follow the progress of senior flanker Arnaz Battle and senior linebacker Tyreo Harrison.
The following is the fifth interview with Battle:
Arnaz, can you share some thoughts about Saturday's scrimmage and your development at wide receiver?
"It was not a real productive day. The ground was wet, it was real windy, so the quarterbacks had trouble throwing the ball. Guys were a little fatigued at wide receiver. We gave 100 percent though. There were some positives things we got out of practice, but it could have been better."
What comments/pointers did Coach Phillips give you after the scrimmage?
"The main thing is assignments. We are a little short at receiver with Lorenzo Crawford and David Givens out, so we are not as strong as a group with assignments. Guys are pretty fatigued and minds are wandering off. We have to work on our focus, going out there, running the correct routes, making plays, and getting better."
What special teams units are you involved with right now?
"Right now, I'm behind David Givens on the punt block group. He's out right now, so I'm getting a lot of reps and improving a lot there. I'm working behind Vontez Duff for kickoff returns. That's going real well, but I wasn't able to return on the day of the scrimmage because of a hamstring problem. I'm also working at gunner on the punt team. It's important to get a lot of reps on these teams during practice so when two-a-days and the season rolls around, I'm ready to go."
During the scrimmage, did any difficulties with the transition to receiver become apparent?
"Blocking is the big thing. Going out and blocking play after play as well as running your routes. I have not done that in awhile. Every play has to be full speed. As a receiver, you can't run routes at full speed, and then block at three quarters speed. I realize that at receiver every play has to be the same. Stances have to be the same, you have to come off the ball the same as well. That's one of the adjustments I have to make playing receiver, along with working on explosiveness and technique."