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2012 Spring Football Preview Press Conference Transcript/Depth Chart
  • Posted on March 20, 2012 6:22:44 PM
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  • Head coach Kyle Flood Press Conference – March 20, 2012

    Opening Statement: “As you can all imagine, being a week away from our first spring practice, we are all extremely excited. The coaches are excited, and most importantly, the players are excited. They are really excited about getting going.

    “I thought what I would start with a little bit of an update on some of the guys in our program that have had some offseason surgeries or injury issues, and what their status will be as we go through spring practice. Scott Vallone has a shoulder issue. You will not see him participating in drills this spring. Khaseem Greene, a lower leg issue I think everybody remembers from the bowl game, unfortunately you will not see him in drills this spring. Kaleb Johnson, a shoulder issue. You will not see him in drills this spring, even though you will see him moving around a little bit but you won’t see him in any of the 11-on-11 drills. D.C. Jefferson with his ankle issue from the season, you won’t see him in any drills this spring. And Tejay Johnson had a hernia repair, and you won’t see him in any of the 11-on-11 drills this spring either.

    “We have some other guys that will be limited, to a certain degree. How much they’ll be limited, we’ll kind of get a feel for as we get into practice and as spring practice goes on, hopefully we’ll be able to get a little more involved. Michael Larrow, an ankle injury. Mason Robinson and David Milewski, they’ll be non-contact all spring coming off their ACL injuries. And Frank Quartucci has a hip issue. He will hopefully progress into some drills as the spring goes on. In the beginning, you won’t see him in the 11-on-11. You will see him do a little bit more than some of those earlier guys I mentioned. You won’t see him in the 11-on-11 stuff. This is certainly early on, hopefully we can move him in as we go.

    “That’s it in terms of the injury issues. We’ve also had some position changes that I’m sure you guys have noted on the two-deep. I’ll just mention them for the record. Jeremy Deering from running back to wide receiver. Kind of where he played a couple years ago. In capacity, we’ve used Jeremy at running back as a receiver where a receiver would align. I don’t know if it’s a big switch for Jeremy, but by putting him there, we give him an opportunity to impact the game more and hopefully get him more touches. J.T. Tartacoff from wide receiver to defensive back, specifically safety. We think he can provide some depth there and competition. Sam Bergen from linebacker to fullback. Having Michael Burton as a returning starter is a positive for us, but we need to build depth at that position for a number of reasons. And Jawaun Wynn, who was at wide receiver and has moved to what we call our ‘R position’, our rush end, and that might seem the most unusual of all the switches I can imagine from your perspective. That position, just so you understand what it is, is a hybrid defensive line, outside linebacker position. Jawaun Wynn is extremely physically talented young man. I think that is a position, as he grows comfortable with it, he’ll be able to impact the games on a high level. I’m really excited about that. I know Jawaun is excited about that. I know Coach Panagos and Coach Smith are excited about that. We’re in the process of making that transition and obviously that’ll take some time because of the switch from being a receiver to now at times having your hand on the ground and at times being in a two-point stance but taking on blockers in the first level. There’s going to be a transition period. I think Jawaun’s skill set is going to help us in a lot of ways on defense and he’ll give us an opportunity to make plays. TFLs. Sacks. That type of thing. We look forward to seeing him there this spring. With that, I’ll open it up for questions.”

    On thoughts and emotions on opening first spring as a head coach and how he’ll deal with certain head coaching duties: “My emotions mostly center around excitement. I’m really excited. Because of when our spring break was, our spring practice is a little bit later than I think most teams in the country, which is fine. There’s no negative to that. But it has made us wait a little bit more. It has kind of built the anxiousness in me. And that’s just me personally because I’m going through it for the first time. I can’t wait to get out there and watch these guys perform on the field, doing what they love to do, which is play football, because they train so hard in the offseason, and you only get to do it 15 times in the spring. I couldn’t be more excited to go out there and watch it. I think the biggest difference for me, and I’ve thought a lot about this, is having to organize myself in practice at the different places on the practice field. As you guys know, we practice usually on two different fields, sometimes on one field, the turf field. But every position, each side of the ball is in a different place. I have to map it out every day for myself just to make sure that I’m seeing every aspect of the program. Whereas, for the past 17 years of coaching college football, I’ve been with the offensive line, so that will certainly be a big difference for me. I’ve kind of worked that all out in my head and on paper, and I look forward to doing it.”

    On Kaleb Johnson’s position change to left tackle and D.C. Jefferson’s weight gain: “I’m going to start with D.C.’s weight. I think anytime you’re not able to run, there’s a tendency for guys to be a little bit bigger. I don’t expect that he’ll be that when we start training camp in the fall. He’ll begin his running program in the summer and I would think that it would regulate itself. Right now he’s doing conditioning work, in the pool or on the bike. There are certain things he can do. When you can’t run, some guys have a tendency to trend up a little bit. Nothing of a concern.

    “Kaleb Johnson, I see as a very talented, physically strong offensive lineman. With our depth and our personnel, he’s the guy best suited to be our left tackle going forward and hopefully for the next three years.”

    On the quarterback position: Going to spring, you say every position is wide open. You guys understand that some players have a stronger resume than others as they return. I think what we have, as our strength at quarterback, is two really talented, quality young people who’ve won big games for us. I’m anxious to watch them compete for the job this spring. Do I expect there to be an outcome of that competition this spring? I’m not putting a timetable on it. I’m not concerned about that. To me, if you want to put a long range timetable on it, you want to have your starter in place 10-14 days before you play your first game. So that would be the backend of the schedule. Whether or not that will happen this spring is really up to the players themselves to separate themselves from the other. I’m really excited to see both these guys compete, because like I said, two quality young people, two excellent leaders, two really good quarterbacks and guys that have proven they can win games for us.”

    On RB Jawan Jamison and the running backs group: “I don’t think anybody’s ahead of anyone at that position. What I’ve said to players over the years is nothing is more valuable in life than consistency. And that is something that we have lacked at that position. We need consistency. At times, Savon has flashed some great stuff. At times, Jawan Jamison has flashed some great stuff. We need a guy we can hand the ball to who can give us a high quality game every time we hand him the ball. And that’s what we’re hoping to find this spring. To be honest with you, I’m hoping to find that in both guys. Because I think we need more than one. Even when we had Ray (Rice), we had Brian (Leonard).”

    On the progress and expectations of the offensive line: “I try not to make too many hard line opinions until the first scrimmage which will be the sixth practice. I think that gives you to have the opportunity to at least have a feel for where they are at and where they are going. I think you try to make another opinion or decision or judgment around practice 12. You give them kind of two timelines to where we can go from the first practice to the sixth. And then, alright, here’s where we are. Where can we go from six to 12? I think we’ve got more than enough talent in the people at those positions to play at a high level. In terms of expectations for the spring, I would expect with the offensive players being in the system with their second year of the language, terminology and the plays, I would expect that every position should play with a little more efficiency and a little faster on the field.”

    On expectations for team, and whether he embraces or manages them: “I think it goes back to what I said in my first press conference. I feel that the time is right for Rutgers to win championships. My saying that doesn’t make it happen. But those are the expectations of our program. We expect to build young men into grown men. We expect them to do it while getting their degrees. We expect to win championships. Where we are at right now in our program, we need to prove that we can do that. I think our players understand that. We embrace the expectations. I think if you ask any college football player in the country if they want to win a championship next year, I think they’d all tell you yes. And I think our players are no different. They’d tell you the same thing.

    “I think as coaches, we have high expectations for ourselves. You want to be at a program where the expectation level is high. I think every coach would embrace that.”

    On the quarterback situation, whether a permanent starter will be named: “I don’t know that we’ll make a decision in the spring. That’s really going to be more about the players and how they perform. I want my players to come to every practice in the spring with the same attitude that they are competing for their job. With that being said, as we all know, some players have stronger resumes than others. And some players have earned the right over time because of their performance in pressure situations that if they have a bad day, it’s going to happen every once in awhile. At the quarterback position, I do think it’s important that the team has a leader, that the team has one quarterback going forward. When that will happen, I can’t tell you. I have not put a timeline on it, other than to say I think it’s really important that 10-14 days before you play your first game, that you have that guy in place, because the reps that a quarterback and backup quarterback get in practice are significantly different.”

    On CB Mason Robinson receiving a sixth year of eligibility and LB Kevin Snyder’s role at linebacker: “Mason did get his sixth year. To have a young person of that caliber and that quality back in our program, I think he will bring a level of leadership that you can only understand if you’ve spent time in a locker room with Division I football players. He can do things for me in a leadership role, as a head coach, there’s nobody else on the team can do because of what he’s been through in his six years. We’re really excited to have him back with us.

    “Kevin Snyder is a guy that I think can play at a lot of places for us. We thought the best way to give him a lot of experience this spring was to move him into the position that Khaseem (Greene) has played for us. Will that be where he plays going forward? It could be, but I don’t think that he needs to be boxed into that one spot. I think he’s a linebacker that gives us a lot of versatility.”

    On the pro-style offense and OC Dave Brock’s influence: “I don’t think there’s a lot of changes that’ll occur because Dave Brock’s running the offense. I think what you’ll see is an offense that gets shaped to the best playmakers on the offense. Now obviously we lost a significant one in Mohamed Sanu. A good portion of the offense last year was shaped in terms of getting Mohamed Sanu the ball. A lot of times, a certain formation was used, certain motions you might use, certain pass plays you may use, just to tailor to his strengths and because he was the playmaker, that’s how you did the offense. That’s how Frank (Cignetti) did it. With Dave as the offensive coordinator, it’s not a difference in structure. What you might perceive as a difference is really not a difference, just an emphasis on getting the playmakers the ball.”

    On the type and capability of players being put on the field, in terms of size: “I think what we would all say is we’ve always tried to put the best players on the field. We’re always going to recruit explosive athletes. What we’re looking for us guys who can run, can change direction and have strength. When we go recruit a player, it’s never about his weight. That’s not one of the criteria. Now that being said, we have recruited some guys that are bigger than some of the guys we have recruited in the past. So you’ll see some bigger guys out there. But it was not a conscious decision to say we need to get bigger players. We happened to have some players available to us that were bigger, who still could run and still had explosion and still had great change in direction.”

    On expectations for new arrivals K Kyle Federico and OL R.J. Dill: “I can’t wait to see them. I don’t put any expectations on them. Every rep they get, they are going to have to earn. I would think, if you were to ask either one of them, they expect to compete for the starting jobs. Now one certainly has a longer resume than the other, R.J. having started over 30 games in the ACC. I think he’s a guy that brings a certain amount of experience that you would be surprised if he didn’t contribute for us.

    On how up-to-speed the assistants are with knowing the strengths of the team: “I don’t think they’ll know that until they get on the field. I know they’ve all watched film from last year, whatever was available, game or practice, to get a feel for what players there are. But at the same, those players are now almost a full cycle older by the time we play our first game next year. I think it’s a feeling out process for all of the coaches. Even as a returning staff, we always wanted to keep an open mind when we went into spring because of the advancements a certain player can make, whether it be in the weight room or through the offseason program. You want to give them an opportunity, because there could be a player in your program that may be better than the player you were playing with. So as a returning coach, we try to keep that open-mindedness. With these guys being new, they certainly don’t have the full understanding of what every guy can do. That’s what spring practice is for.”

    On how much focus he’ll give to K Kyle Federico and the kicking position: “I do want to see one guy emerge. What we will do this spring is try to create as many scenarios as we can to simulate a game day, even though it’s hard to do in the spring. We’ll have a plan for it. I would like to see one guy emerge. I’m anxious to see them play under pressure.”

    On the feeling out process between him and the coaches, as well as the players and the coaches: “There won’t be a feeling out process between myself and the coaches. I know the quality of the person and the teacher that we’ve brought in here. That’s not going to be an issue between me and the coaching staff. There will be a little bit of a process going forward with the coaches and the player because we’re not allowed to work with them in the offseason. It will take some time for those guys to get a feel for each coach and what their personality is. But, what we ask of them and what we demand of them as players is not going to change.”

    On RB Savon Huggins health: “He’ll be ready to go, first day of spring.”

     

    OFFENSE  
    WR 17 Brandon Coleman (So., 6-6, 220)  
      5 Tim Wright (Sr., 6-4, 220) OR 18 Jeremy Deering (Jr., 6-2, 210)
         
    LT 72 Kaleb Johnson (So., 6-4, 298)  
      66 Andre Civil (Jr., 6-3, 278)  
         
    LG 55 Betim Bujari (So., 6-4, 295)  
      71 Devon Watkis (Sr., 6-7, 320)  
         
    C 65 Dallas Hendrikson (Jr., 6-2, 295)  
      68 Matt McBride (Jr., 6-6, 290)  
         
    RG 59 David Osei (Jr., 6-4, 290)  
      75 Antwan Lowery (Jr., 6-4, 301)  
         
    RT 78 Taj Alexander (So., 6-4, 290)  
      74 Keith Lumpkin (R-Fr., 6-8, 310) OR 76 R.J. Dill (Sr., 6-7, 315)
         
    TE 10 D.C. Jefferson (Sr., 6-6, 270) OR 89 Paul Carrezola (Jr., 6-2, 240)
         
    WR 81 Mark Harrison (Sr., 6-3, 235)  
      7 Quron Pratt (Jr., 6-0, 180)  
         
    QB 19 Chas Dodd (Jr., 6-0, 200) OR 15 Gary Nova (So., 6-2, 230)
         
    FB 46 Michael Burton (So., 6-0, 230)  
      41 Robert Joseph (Jr., 6-2, 220) OR 44 Sam Bergen (So., 6-0, 235)
         
    RB 23 Jawan Jamison (So., 5-8, 200) OR 28 Savon Huggins (So., 6-0, 200)  
         
    DEFENSE  
    DE 90 Michael Larrow (Jr., 6-4, 270)  
      48 Marcus Thompson (Jr., 6-2, 260) OR 92 Jamil Merrell (Jr., 6-4, 255)
         
    DT 95 Kenneth Kirksey (So., 6-1, 270)  
      93 Djwany Mera (R-Fr., 6-4, 260)  
         
    DT 94 Scott Vallone (Sr., 6-3, 275)  
      72 Isaac Holmes (Jr., 6-3, 275)  
         
    DE 13 Ka’Lial Glaud (Sr., 6-2, 240) OR 56 Marvin Booker (Sr., 6-2, 240)
      22 Jawaun Wynn (So., 6-3, 210) OR 49 Myles Jackson (R-Fr., 6-4, 240)
         
    LB 20 Khaseem Greene (Sr., 6-1, 235)  
      45 Kevin Snyder (So., 6-3, 225)  
         
    LB 42 Steve Beauharnais (Sr., 6-2, 235)  
      31 David Milewski (So., 6-4, 235)  
         
    LB 37 Jamal Merrell (Jr., 6-4, 220)  
      50 Quentin Gause (R-Fr., 6-1, 220)  
         
    CB 25 Brandon Jones (Sr., 6-1, 185)  
      24 Mason Robinson (Sr., 5-10, 185)  
         
    FS 32 Duron Harmon (Sr., 6-1, 200)  
      82 J.T. Tartacoff (Jr., 5-11, 190) OR 8 Rashad Knight (So., 5-11, 195)
         
    SS 21 Lorenzo Waters (So., 6-0, 190)  
      27 Wayne Warren (Sr., 6-1, 205)  
         
    CB 11 Logan Ryan (Jr., 6-0, 190)  
      12 Marcus Cooper (Sr., 6-2, 185) OR 2 Gareef Glashen (So., 5-10, 180)
         
    SPECIALISTS  
    P 97 Justin Doerner (Sr., 6-0, 195)  
      96 Anthony DiPaula (R-Fr., 6-1, 190)  
         
    PK 95 Nick DeLouisa (So., 6-3, 200)  
      1 Kyle Federico (Fr., 6-0, 185)  
         
    PR 24 Mason Robinson (Sr., 5-10, 185)  
      14 Miles Shuler (So., 5-10, 175)  
         
    KR 18 Jeremy Deering (Jr., 6-2, 210)  
      24 Mason Robinson (Sr., 5-10, 185)  
         
    H 82 J.T. Tartacoff (Jr., 5-11, 190)  
      97 Justin Doerner (Sr., 6-0, 195)  
         
    SN 85 Robert Jones (Jr., 6-0, 205)  
      43 Nick DePaola (Jr., 6-0, 210)  

     

     

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