First up some impressive highlights, featuring some quick feet by Walter Tucker and Joe Yearby among others, and nice nice hands by Tyriq McCord:
Here's what Coach Golden and the players had to say:
Head Coach Al Golden
Do you want your players to think of Saturday’s game as a critical game?
“This is moving day. Today and tomorrow are moving days, if you’re going to do it. Thursday is basically a walkthrough, Friday is game simulation for 40 minutes, but we’re not evaluating anybody there, and then the game is Saturday night. So, this afternoon and tomorrow, if you’re going to move, it’s time to move because when we wake up Sunday, we’re setting a team – and not that guys can’t grow and develop, and some guys are better in October than they are right now, certainly. But, we got to move forward.”
How do you feel about the linebacker depth?
“It’s coming. James King has been a real bright spot for us. He’s physical, he’s gotten his weight up, he’s fast. He’s 4.7 as a freshman so throwing him in the mix has helped a lot. [Marques] Gayot, [Charles] Perry… obviously, Juwon [Young]’s going to be back at some point and that’s going to help. Darrion Owens, [Tyriq] McCord…so we’re working our guys at a lot of different positions, including our speed package. So, we got a long way to go there… [Terry] McCray… but we got the bodies for sure.”
How do you assess the defensive backs at this point?
“There’s a lot of competition. I don’t know what the final combination is going to be but there’s a lot of competition and we got a long way to go before that is settled there, for sure. [Jaquan] Johnson, Jenks (Rayshawn Jenkins) is really mature and looks good and his core strength and flexibility is awesome and it’s showing up. He’s so much lighter than he was, too. He got heavy when he hurts his back. So he’s different. Jamal [Carter] is having a great camp. Jamal, on the GPS – him and Darrion Owens are on a different planet in terms of how they’re working. So, there’s going to be a lot of competition for us. Dallas [Crawford] is of course a great leader for us and we have a good battle at corner as well.”
How good will your offense line be?
“Competitive. Competitive today. Joe Brown is having a really good camp, Danny [Isidora] is working at guard and tackle. He gives us flexibility. It’s a very bright group and that was handed down to them by the group in front of them. Everybody plays other positions and that was handed down by the group in front of them. [Nick] Linder at guard, [Hunter] Knighton at guard, Linder at center, Knighton at center, Joe Brown has had a good camp. Tyree and Gauthier are in the mix right now. We got [Tyler] Grimsley and then all the other guys you know, Trevor [Darling] and Kc [McDermott] and all those guys.”
Cornerback Corn Elder
How do you assess the race at cornerback?
“We got three corners that have experience. We all played last year, between me, Tracy [Howard] and Artie [Burns]. Then we got some young guys coming up right now. They’re getting better every day. But, it’s just a fun competition. We’re making each other better every day. We know we’ll all run a play and we’re just out there having fun.”
How important is this scrimmage?
“Every day is key. We want to just work hard every day, in practice, and just keep playing. Every day is a new day to get better.”
How hungry is everybody for the scrimmage?
“Everybody’s hungry. It’s the last real game experience before our first game, so we just want to go out there, execute, and just get ready for the season.”
Offensive Lineman Joe Brown
How is Brad Kaaya looking?
“He’s looking great. He’s looking a lot better. Last season he was doing great, you know, ACC Rookie of the Year, and this season he’s ready to take off again. I really think he’s going to be a man that the defense is going to single out most of the time.”
Where have you mad the most strides from last year?
“From last year, where I made the most strides is getting my weight down because last year I had a problem with that, and that just carried me to a low place. Now that I got my weight down, I’m able to move a lot [better] and I have older guys helping me out with my technique. So, I think technique-wise and weight-wise, it’s been a lot better.”
Safety Jamal Carter
On how well he’s been performing during training camp
“I’m just trying to come out and compete every day, just be the best I can be, hold that high standard, and my teammates hold me to that same standard.”
How is this year different from last year?
“I feel more comfortable with my teammates. They push each other. If I come out having a bad day, they’ll push me to have a better practice. We always hold each other to that high standard.”
How much does the scrimmage on Saturday mean to you?
“We treat it like game week. We’re very focused. Everybody is going in there to be the best, trying to compete and have a good scrimmage.”
Quarterback Malik Rosier
What does this scrimmage mean to you?
“The scrimmage for me just means more ways to show the coaches what I can do. I’m going to take it like every practice. I’m going to prepare like every practice…I’m not going to try to make it bigger than what it is but at the same time, I’m going to be fully prepared to do my job on every play.”
Offensive Lineman Trevor Darling
Did you expect to be playing left tackle this early in your career?
“No sir. We just come to work to fight for a position. We’re all just working hard together, developing together.”
How is the battle between you and Kc McDermott coming along?
“We’re both doing good. We’re both working hard, fighting for the position. So, it’s going good for us.”
Safety Dallas Crawford
How much has your mental game improved?
“Every chance I get, I’m in the playbook. Probably spending two hours a day after meetings in the playbook. I just know that I don’t want to feel like I used to feel after the games last year. I can’t let the team down like that and play like that again.”
Was there a game last year that you felt like you really performed well?
“It got better towards the end of the year. I got the chance to learn from Nantambu [Fentress] last year. He sat me down and explained the playbook to me and it got better towards the end.”
On the depth of the team
“There’s depth everywhere – every position, especially at safety. Like I said earlier, we have five safeties that can go into the game at any time and hold their own. But at receiver, there’s a lot of depth, at linebacker, there’s a lot of depth, and the D Line – there’s more depth than there’s ever been since I’ve been here, so it’s great right now.”
What have you seen from the D Line and how they’ve come together?
“First thing is [defensive line] coach [Randy] Melvin. He brought a different element to the entire defense, not just the D Line. It’s crazy the way that they’re getting off the ball and trying to make plays now, and work on their pass rushing skills. He’s just brought a different element to our defense.”
What have you seen from what the coaches are able to do this year versus what they were able to do last year with this kind of personnel?
“It’s crazy. They’re coming from everywhere. You think they’re going to pass, but we got running backs that can come out of the backfield and catch, and then you got Stacy [Coley] who can catch the screen or catch the reverse and take it 60 yards, or whatever. You have to really be locked in on your keys and stay at home because they’re coming from all directions.”
Tight End Standish Dobard
How would you assess the tight end group right now?
“I feel like we’re playing our best ball altogether. All of us do different things – we’re different tight ends. I think our group is real talented right now.”
On the strengths of the tight end group
“I’m known as the physical tight end. Chris [Herndon] is fast and [David] Njoku can jump high…Jerome [Washington] brings to the table the same thing that I do. He’s big, fast, and he can block really [well].”
How much different is the offense compared to last year’s?
“I think the difference is the depth that we have, especially at running back and tight end. The depth at running back is crazy. The third string, fourth string – anybody can go in there and make a big play.”