How did the scrimmage go?
The guys we're depending on at receiver had too many drops, the tight end position had too many drops. Just as a total offense we had too many dropped passes. Now, the best thing about it was the running backs really performed well. Damien Berry performed unbelievable today, Lamar Miller did some great things, Storm Johnson did some great things and Mike James. Each one of them had an opportunity to carry the football and make somebody miss in space, which was a positive thing. We went about 100 plays. Every play wasn't electrifying. They might get tackled for a two, three yard loss, but they came back and would have a 40-yard run or 20-yard run. They were patient. On defense we had too many missed tackles. We had opportunities to make tackles. Yeah, we've got running backs that can make people miss, but we have defensive players that should make those tackles. I'm very disappointed by the way we tackled. I thought we chased the football hard on defense, but that's the first scrimmage. You're going to miss tackles. We have a long ways to go, but a lot of positive things happened.
Who did really well on defense?
I can't really say. We had some sacks and things like that, but you can't ever tell till you watch film. They chased well, just the missed tackles stood out. We had a couple of tackles for loss, had some gang tackling, some hard hits collectively as a group. But you always want more. We had balls hit defensive backs' hands, dropped about five of those. Those can change the momentum of the game. We have to capitalize on things like that.
How did the quarterbacks look?
Don't know, too many drops from the receivers, tight ends and running backs. They throw the ball, hit guys in the hands. A guy drops a pass, that kills a drive. There were too many of those to give the guys a full assessment.
Some players said they were impressed with the poise of true freshman Stephen Morris.
All of them are poised. When you're recruiting quarterbacks, you have to have quarterbacks with confidence in themselves. All those four quarterbacks we have have those qualities. If a receiver dropped a pass they didn't get down, just keep going. And then they moved the ball.
Have you seen a change in AJ Highsmith from last year?
Yeah, he's a whole lot different person than last year, totally different. When you're a different person you get a lot of confidence and the players look up to you that way.
Kylan Robinson started in the scrimmage. What have you seen from him?
His body has totally changed, the structure of his body has changed. He has more confidence. He just looks more toned. He takes things seriously. He looks better, is feeling better, playing a lot better, he's making tackles. We're excited about the way his progress is going, and he has to keep progressing. Is he where needs to be? No. But we put him in those situations now to make it tough on him and he's accepting it.
He wanted to play running back at UM and was put at LB. How do you deal with that?
You do what's best for the team. Not saying he can't play running back, but like Sam Shields - we had a lot of receivers. I'm not saying Sam is not a real good receiver, it's just for our team, who can play cornerback? At that point in time we moved KRob we were trying to find out who else could play linebacker. Because at that time we had no linebackers. Those are things you try to do is find a body and a mentality. He's a kid, body structure and mind mentality, he can do it. It just depends.
Ken Dorsey was at the scrimmage. Talk about the impact he made on this program.
When Dorsey was here I was a coach here, so it was great to see him. You had Ed Reed, Dorsey, Jon Beason out here today. It's always good to see those guys come back and watch practice. They continue to be part of this program. Dorsey, you remember the days he was here. I've been fortunate enough to be around him and a lot of great ones.
* Orlando Franklin and Jared Campbell continue to be held out due to injury.
Scrimmage stats released by UM:
Wieclaw 3-for-3 Field Goals (32 yards, 25 yards, 22 yards) (!!!!!!!!!!!)
Highsmith 5-yd TD pass to Hankerson
Miller 9 yd TD run
Highsmith 17 yard TD pass to LaRon Byrd
Spencer Whipple 15 yard pass to Travis Benjamin
A.J. Highsmith 14 yard TD pass to Thearon Collier
Miller 3 yd TD run