Coach Toledo's Comments Following Wednesday's Practice



March 26, 2008

His thoughts on the team's first spring practice
"My initial thoughts are that we are way ahead of last year on the first day. (A year ago), we didn't know the offense, we didn't know the defense and the coaches really didn't know the players very well. So there is a much better understanding. For example, we ran more plays today than we did the first day last spring."

On who is penciled in to replace 2,000-yard rusher Matt Forté
"Right now, the two people who are practicing there are André Anderson - who played a little bit last year, did a nice job and is a talented player - and then Andre Agers - a freshman who we redshirted last year. He was the other guy running today and he showed really good quickness. J.T. McDonald has a hamstring pull right now so he's not out there, and then there are a couple of freshman coming in in the fall so hopefully then can help us out as well."

On if there is a front runner to replace Forté
"Coming into the spring, I think the guy is André Anderson. He's the leading candidate and the other guys are going to have to beat him out. I see them playing as well, but he's the starter and he's a good football player. He had a good spring last year. We even contemplated redshirting him last year, but because of some circumstances, we wound up having to play him."

On if he has a favorite right now to win the starting quarterback's job
"No I don't. I'm really going to leave that up in the air and see what happens. I want to give them all an opportunity to compete. I think they all realize that they're not the starter right now. Scott Elliott started last year and he's in the mix. Kevin Moore played a little bit last year and has some experience. And we have a young freshman named Joe Kemp who's getting some reps as well. Of course, Anthony Scelfo is playing baseball so he's out of the equation at this point."



On if Scelfo's playing baseball is going to put him behind the others
"I don't think it sets him back in the sense that he has played. He understands the offense. He's got experience. We don't need to see what he can do. We've seen what he can do. We need to see what some of the other guys can do under pressure."

On if there is any particular area he is pleased with going into spring practice
"I don't know if there's any one position that I'm really satisfied with because we don't have a lot of quality depth at this point. We don't bring in junior college players so freshmen have to come in and contribute. We don't have a lot of depth. We only have probably 60-65 players out here. I just think it's one of those situations where we let everybody have an opportunity to see what they can do and then make decisions in the fall. We don't have to play a game right now, so I don't get hung up on that."

On what he liked most about today's practice
"I think the thing that is pleasing is that it shows that they worked extremely hard in the offseason. We can't coach them on the field, but they've come out here on their own, they've worked throwing the football and doing those kinds of things and it showed today. We just kind of took over where we left off last fall and that's kind of a nice feeling as a coach."

On if he felt the players seemed to respond better today with a year under their belt under Toledo and his staff
"Yes, particularly the guys who have been here. Some of the young guys made some mistakes and they'll learn from it. That's why we video practice. We'll coach them up tomorrow when we meet with them before practice again. But the veteran guys did a pretty good job. They know what they're doing and they move around pretty well."