Aug. 14, 2000
"It's a battle right now to stick to it and stay healthy. When we play head-to-head, we get a lot of good work done. The key is to stay healthy. If you're injured, sick, or miss time with the depth we have right now, it is hard to keep up. Our players really need to push through these next couple days."
On the team's play execution:
"Anytime you are putting a lot of things in, players are a little more worried about what they do then how they do it. You do not get any points for just running the right plays, or blocking the right person. We are getting back to technique and trying to play fast as a team. I am encouraged by the effort of all the players. There is no question that there is a sense of urgency out on this football field."
On the condition of freshman linebacker Jason Sapp:
"With Jason Sapp, there will be no surgery. We are going to rehab him and hope to get him back out in the next few weeks."
On the depth chart position of freshman linebacker Mike Goolsby:
"We moved Goolsby to back-up drop (linebacker). It looks at this point like he is a little bit ahead. I think he can be a strong drop with this team, so we are trying to give him a lot of reps. He is in behind Rocky Boiman at drop. I have been encouraged by Goolsby. You can tell he has been well-coached and played a lot of football. He has the ability to play as a back-up drop and on special teams. There is no question he will play this year."
On the shoulder injury of Jason Beckstrom and the depth behind him at cornerback:
"Jason Beckstrom had a re-occurrence of that shoulder injury. I think it is one of those injuries that, if you catch it the wrong way, you can be out for a day or two. Tony Fisher was in that situation once. I think he will be back, but it is a concern because it is the same shoulder that he hurt in the spring. It is going to be a chronic situation for him and we will have to re-evaluate it after the season."
"I still think that Justin Smith, Glenn Earl or Donald Dykes can get in there and play corner if we need them. I have been encouraged by (freshman) Preston Jackson. He is a little man, but he is smart and looks like he can play man-to-man coverage. He reminds me a lot of (former Irish cornerback) Ivory Covington as a freshman, but maybe a step quicker.
On a possible rotation with the offensive linemen:
"I think the key is to stay healthy and then you can be in that position (to rotate the offensive linemen). I think we have four tackles and four guards that can play. We are going to have some quality depth, but it is too early to say that we are going to have a definite rotation."
On freshman tailback Vontez Duff:
"That is another situation when you start out you think you have a lot of numbers at tailback. Duff is in the mix. Right now he is the fourth tailback. He is a player who can bring a lot to this team and he will play this year. I think we'll go ahead an use him on special teams."