Spring Game Notebook

Rich Rodriguez

Rich Rodriguez met with the media after the Spring Game. Read on for his thoughts on how it went, the quarterbacks, and much more.

  • Arizona had to make sure the scrimmage went two hours long because it was televised and although that may not have been the ideal situation, Rodriguez feels it was successful.

    "I wanted to run about 60 plays, but 60 plays for us is usually done in about 30 minutes, so we stretched it out," he said.

    "It was good, nobody got hurt, guys had a little bit of fun, crowd was great. I think our guys enjoyed the atmosphere, especially some of the guys that had not really played much in the games."

  • Rodriguez believes that Saturday's quarterback performance is consistent with what has gone on the entire spring.

    "Today was probably indicative of what has been most of the spring, okay at times and uneven at times," he said. "Has there been some separation? I think a little bit more so now in the last week than early in the spring. The competition will continue on through August camp."

  • The quarterbacks have generally improved since the start of spring camp.

    "Most of them have helped," Rodriguez said. "I know that is the generic answer, but most of them have helped in the sense that we are getting more confidence in that they can run the system.

    "No one has kind of seized it and said I am the guy, which I didn't think would happen because we have been spreading the reps out so much."

  • Davonte Neal was impressive, as he scored a touchdown and made numerous defenders miss in the process.

    "Davonte gives us some things we can do not just in the slot, but in the return game and maybe in the backfield," Rodriguez said. "He is such a competitive guy too, I think that is one of his best attributes is that he loves the game and loves to compete."

  • As a head coach, it is difficult to balance whether or not he should be overly excited about the performance of one side of the ball.

    "I don't know if it was impressive wide receiver play or poor defensive back play," Rodriguez said. "As a head coach I go back and forth.

    "I am not overly thrilled with some of the missed tackles, that was a concerning point. That's the thing that's hard, you only tackle eight times or something this spring and less than that in the fall, so that is a concern."

  • The pass rush remains a bit of a question, but Rodriguez feels it will wind up being a success.

    "I think we have guys that are pretty good, but do we have any guys where you hold your breath when they pass rush? I haven't seen it this spring. It's critical for any team, but we have a couple guys that can be pretty solid at it. That's a work in progress.

    "The nose tackle is a little bit deeper. We miss a really good player in Hood, but I think we are going to have more depth with the young guys and the guys that redshirted. Dwight Melvin has had a pretty good spring too, so I think coach Kirelawich feels comfortable that we have a few more bodies."

  • Jesse Scroggins has grown more comfortable since the start of spring camp and certainly since last season.

    "His knowledge of what we are doing," Rodriguez said of the biggest improvement. "He still has moments of inconsistency, but he's so much further ahead as far as understanding the plays, where his eyes are supposed to be, and how he is supposed to be executing. He is making some strides. That is what you would expect and that's one of the goals in spring."

  • Anu Solomon is another player that has improved, especially mentally.

    "I think he redshirted last fall and he had a redshirt mentality, which is that he will start competing in the fall for the spring," Rodriguez said. "That's not really what you want our guys to do, but now he's squarely in the mix and hopefully that motivates him to have a good summer."

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