Aug. 15, 2007
HEAD COACH Bob Toledo
Overall thoughts on Wednesday's practice
"Any time you go the first day (in full pads) after you've been running around for four days, it's going to be a little raggedy. You don't want to accept it, and that's what I told them. But it happens. They're a little tired and they're a little irritable. It's the first day carrying a lot of equipment around, and it's not easy."
On what part of practice the team went full-contact on
"We call it an alley drill. Basically, it's football. We have an offensive player blocking a defensive player with a guy running with the football. The offensive player has to sustain the block. The defensive player has to separate themselves from the block, get rid of him and go make the tackle. That's a five-minute drill that we'll do an awful lot of times when we have full pads on."
More on the alley drill
"It's more of an offensive drill than a defensive drill because there's only one guy and its hard to get off a block and make that tackle in a little five-yard square. We started off doing that in the spring and we weren't very good at it, but we got a lot better as it went along. Today, it proved that we need to continue to do it because we didn't do it very well. After a few days, I expect us to be much better at it."
On why the team did not go full contact on Wednesday
"I'm not a full-contact scrimmage guy. That's pretty much a scrimmage what we did today. When you're going full speed with no tackling, we call that `Thud' and we were just trying not to bring anyone to the ground. I don't want all sorts of bodies flying around, so we go full speed with no tackling."
On if there was another area the team went full-contact outside of the alley drill
"The one thing we did was we went some live PAT/field goal and some live punting. We had a couple of field goals and punts blocked, but that was one of those things where it was more of the backups than the starters. When they did it the first few days, it was just helmets or just shells and it's not like when you go live. They've got to realize that those guys are going to go hard and you have to match that intensity. They learned that today."
On who has stood out after five days of preseason practice
"The obvious guys are obvious every day. I think Gabe Ratcliff has really had a good camp so far. The three guys in the middle of the offensive line (left guard Troy Kropog, center Aryan Barto, right guard Michael Parenton) are getting to work with each other and we're getting to the point where we can double-team some people and really knock some guys off the ball in the middle. I think (Brian) King is doing a nice job at wide receiver. I think the back-up linebackers are doing a nice job. (Reggie) Scott and Sean (Carney) were both hurt in the spring and weren't able to do anything, but they've really caught our eye and they're doing some nice things. The safeties are really the strength of our defense, and both all of those guys are really good players."