Aug. 24, 2007
HEAD COACH Bob Toledo
Overall thoughts on Friday's practice
"Well, we had a little lightening early, which made us cut some periods short. But we didn't lose much time - eight or 10 minutes. The big thing is they worked really hard. It's hot out there, like I said, they're trying to get better and we keep continuing to put things in to take us through the course of the year. They're learning things, they're trying to get better at things and they're pushing through that. I appreciate that."
On his approach to practicing special teams drills every day
"We always have PAT/field goal. We always have punt. And then we either do kickoff, kickoff return and punt return in the middle of practice. Kickoff was the thing we wanted to do today."
On the importance of special teams
"Every six plays is a kicking play. The thing about it is not only do you give up points or get points, but you change field position with it. And field position is so crucial. It's a lot easier to score if you're on the other side of the field than if you're coming out of your own endzone, and vice versa. Our defense would rather have them coming out than be on the plus side of the 50."
On how he feels about his kickers/punters Ross Thevenot and Darren deRochemont
"I was hoping that Darren deRochemont, the freshman, would be a little more consistent. That's been the thing that's holding him back right now. Thevenot has been much more consistent than he was in the spring. He initially didn't want to do the punting, but he's actually probably the best punter out there right now."
On Darren deRochemont's physical ability
"That's the thing. That's the reason why we recruited him. When he hits it, it's a boomer. He hits it long and he hits it high. I think he's going to be an excellent kicker once he gets his mechanics down. He has some flaws in his technique, and Greg Davis is trying to coach him to do things a little better with his drop and his plant foot and those kind of things. There's no question that he's got physical ability. He just has to become more consistent."
On the process of finding the right players for each special teams situation
"We've been auditioning, as they say. Tomorrow, when we go into the Dome, we'll have a lot of kicking situations and evaluate people for the last time. We're working to get the 11 best on all those special teams and have some backups behind them. We think it's important to get the best possible athletes on special teams. If you're not athletic, when you get put out in space your athleticism shows up. And that's why people with good athletes have good kicking teams and people who play backups and third stringers and such have a bad time with their special teams. It's important to get good players out there."