8/19 Football Notebook

Rich Rodriguez

Rich Rodriguez met with the media after Tuesday's practice. Read on for his thoughts on Freddie Tagaloa, Jerrard Randall, and more.

  • Talking to numerous young offensive linemen, Freddie Tagaloa has consistently been mentioned as a mentor.

    "Freddie is kind of a natural born leader," Rich Rodriguez said. "The best thing about Freddie is his work ethic.

    "Here is a guy that has to sit out, not going to play at all this year and he is one of the first in the weight room, last to leave, and he does extra work every day after practice. he loves the game and I think it runs off on a lot of the other guys."

  • When discussing playing two quarterbacks, Rodriguez gave some insight into possible strategy.

    "It's harder in the middle of the drive," he said. "I don't want the quarterback, whoever is out there, to worry that every time he makes a mistake he is going to come out.

    "If he makes an egregious mistake, yeah he is going to come out, but the little mistakes are not something they can look over their shoulder for."

  • There continues to be a competition at kicker, but it appears that one may be emerging.

    "It's too close to name a starter right now," Rodriguez said. "Casey Skowron was in the lead coming into camp and he's gotten a little bit better, but so have the other guys."

  • Rodriguez is unsure who his return specialists will be, but there are certainly more options than in previous years.

    "Davonte', T.J. and Jared Baker on kickoffs, Samajie and probably the same guys," he said. "I don't know who the two starters are just yet. The nice thing is we have a bigger pool of guys than we did a year ago."

  • At this point, it seems that a position change for Jerrard Randall is not in the cards.

    "He played wideout before, but he has so much to learn at quarterback," Rodriguez said. "He has all of the skill set that you want and so I am afraid if we move him we will lose the progress he is making at quarterback."

  • One of the issues with Randall is that he is hard on himself, but Rodriguez says that may not necessarily be a bad thing.

    "I think he loses confidence at times and we are on him constantly, but I would rather him lose confidence now than lose confidence and play poorly in a game," he said.

    "He will be okay, but it is important to him and with all those quarterbacks, if it wasn't important to them I don't know how much progress they could make."

  • Speaking of quarterbacks, each one continues to work through timing issues.

    "That's part of the deal and I have been screaming at them a bunch because it's not like we just woke up yesterday and told them about the timing of their drops and all that," Rodriguez said.

    "It's been worked on for 27 years with this particular timing, so I get frustrated and Coach Smith gets frustrated when they don't trust the timing. Once they do trust it, everything else becomes so much easier."

  • One aspect of the quarterback competition that does not enter the process of choosing a starter is what year that player is in.

    "I would say as the season plays along and we have a senior starter, it's like 'Oh we're going to have to do it again,' but I don't play too much into that deal," Rodriguez said. "A guy is either good enough to win with or he's not, regardless of his age."

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