Fall Camp Quotes

August 25th

Jon Embree’s post-practice quotes

On the first back to come in after Tony Jones … “I don’t know who the first guy is … It’ll be Macolm Creer, Donta Abron will be the guys … Josh Ford … some combination of that. We really haven’t sat down and established a scenario like, ‘Who’s the next guy in’. I’m sure Eric (Bieniemy) has an idea, and would probably be able to answer that a little better.”

On whether he is happy with the depth at running back … “I am. I am. And you can throw D.D. Goodson in there as well. I feel like the different skill set that each of those guys has, I feel like that gives us a lot of flexibility, and those guys have had good camps, doing a good job of running and being physical on their runs. Sometimes, you get those young guys, and every time they want to score, when a four yard run is a good run. Donta, and to a lesser extent Terrence (Crowder) understands that.”

On whether sophomore Kyle Slavin will be in the mix at tight end … “Yeah. Kyle is doing well. He’s continued to work and improve this summer, worked on the things we wanted him to get better at. He’s got very good hands. He works the short to intermediate routes pretty effectively. Kyle will be important for our ballclub.” Can Slavin block as well? … “Yeah. He can do both. I don’t want our tights ends to get locked into, ‘Well, he’s this (a pass catcher) or he’s that (a run blocker). I want complete tight ends, guys who can do it all.”

On senior safety Ray Polk, who came to Colorado as a heralded running back, and is now the leader of a very young secondary … “This first thing I think of when I hear ‘Ray Polk’ is leadership. He’s done an excellent job this summer with the younger DB’s. That’s probably one of the reasons why Marques Mosley has done what he’s done (Mosley is listed as nickel back No. 2 on the depth chart). Ray, you see how he prepares, how he practices, and Marques is following up on that. (Junior starting strong safety) Terrel Smith is also following on that lead, so the first thing (about Polk) is leadership. He’s tough and physical, and he can run, he really can. I expect him to have a big year. He’s a lot more comfortable in the defense. He understands what we want out of him. This spring, I really challenged him to become a better tackler. He’s a hitter right now – he’ll run up and blow you up.  But I think he needs to become a better tackler, and that was something that, this spring, I felt he got a lot better at.”

On the progress of sophomore linebacker Woodson Greer III, listed as the number 2 outside linebacker (behind senior Jon Major) … “I was, but not (Friday). He was just okay today. I know you are going to have your moments, but I expect more out of him. As far as the season is concerned, I expect him to be an important player for us. He’ll be a guy who will make a lot of plays for us. I was not happy with his performance today, but he has had a good camp.”

On having some players sit out Friday’s practice … (Ray) Polk, (Greg) Henderson, (Jon) Major, Chidera (Uzo-Diribe), (Parker) Orms. Orms is a guy, we’ve been working on getting him back in it (listed as the No. 1 nickel back). Those other guys, we just want to heal them up. They have got nagging injuries. We’re at the stage right now where we want them to rest. It gives the younger guys a chance to get some more reps, some quality reps with the ‘one’ units. It was just a perfect time to do that with those guys. Although they didn’t have their helmets on, they went through a pretty good workout.”

On naming captains … That’s a good question. We may do game captains, and vote on captains at the end of the year. That’s what I am leaning towards. Just do different captains each game, and then let the team vote on who they thought were their best leaders at the end of the season.”

August 24th

Jon Embree’s post-practice quotes

On Thursday’s practice … “Better. You could tell the energy. We’re starting to get our legs back (after skipping the second practice on Wednesday). Sharp practice today; a lot faster. They’re starting to lose their ‘Camp legs’ and starting to get their ‘game-speed legs’ going. We did some situational stuff – we got a lot of good work done today.”

On taking a practice off ten days before the first game … “It’s a fine line. You’ve got to get a little bit of rest, but at the same time you’ve got to make sure you are working and doing things, whether it’s doing certain things in our walk-through, situational stuff, or just changing stuff up. I think the most important thing is that it can’t be a routine. If we’re going to ask them to come out and practice with a purpose, then it can’t be a routine. I think our staff has done a good job of changing things up, making it so that every day there is something different to try and get them to think, whether it’s a situational deal, or different drills in different periods.”

On whether three-fourths of the 2012 recruiting Class (or about 21 of 28 original signees) will play this fall … “Yeah. I’ll sit down and look at exactly who will be playing. I’m just thinking, off the top of my head … probably five of the D-linemen, a receiver, probably two or three running backs, the offensive linemen will play at some point, three, maybe four of the DB’s. I don’t know what that adds up to be, but that’s just off the top of my head … tight ends, at least one … so it will be up around that area, I would imagine.”

Nervous or excited to have 15-20 freshmen playing … “Excited. I played as a freshman. I know what that was like. As a coach? Ask  me next Saturday about six o’clock (after the CSU game). I remember what it was like as a freshman playing, in my first game at Michigan State (in 1983, a 23-17 loss in Bill McCartney’s second year as head coach). The difference is that these kids have been here all summer. They’ve been working out, lifting, running, learning our system, being around our players. They’re (already) a big part of the team. They are probably going to have a better comfort level than I did … going against (All-American and future NFL All-Pro linebacker) Carl Banks.”

On gray-shirting freshman wide receiver Jeffrey Thomas … “Yeah. He had some stuff going on back home. I just felt it was better, from a focus standpoint, for him to just go back home, and get it all figured out, and then come back in January. That’s the best thing for everybody involved. He’ll take some junior college (classes), he’ll be normal (five years to play four) when he comes back. It was just some personal stuff, some family stuff. For him, it was better for him to be back home, if he is going to have long-term success. Short-term success is yeah, keep him here and see what happens, but when you are always worried, and thinking about other things … When you walk through those gates, you’ve got to be thinking about (foot)ball. I don’t think he was at that point with some of those things, so it was better for him to go back home and take care of that stuff, take some classes at a community college, and come on back.”

August 23rd

Jon Embree’s post-practice quotes

On conducting one practice on Wednesday instead of two … “Yea. They put in the work. They have done what we’ve asked them to do, so we’re at the point, from a physical standpoint, we’ve pounded on each other, we’ve done a lot in pads. So we’re going to freshen them up a little bit … and then start on the Rams on Monday … We’ve been pounding on each other pretty good. We went through a stretch where we went nine straight days of basically pads or shells, and we practice the same way whether we are pads or shells. They understand how we want to practice. The guys are a little weary. We can get more stuff done through a walk-through, through film work, instead of just coming out here and going through the motions. I want to make sure that if I tell them we want to practice with a purpose, I’ve got to make sure that we are not just coming out here and going through the motions, and that is what you are setting yourself up for, if you get to a certain point, you get to diminishing returns. They’ve done what we’ve asked them to do from the workload and from the physical aspect of it. We can still get a lot of stuff done without banging on each other.”

On Jordan Webb making the transition from a spread offense and a shotgun to a west-coast offense under center … “He’s a gym rat. He’s works at it hard. He’s done what he’s been asked to do. Obviously, he has good instincts, and understands what we are trying to do, and our concepts, and was able to pick it up quickly.”

On what makes Webb ‘tick’ … “His heart (laughs) … He’s very competitive. He’s a fierce competitor. He plays with a chip on his sholder. He’s always out to prove. So he has that kind of mindset, and that is what drives him everyday when he comes out to practice. We always talk about making sure that when we come out, we practice with a purpose. You don’t have to wonder what kind of purpose he has when he comes out here.”

On getting motivated for the CSU game, now ten days away … “As coaches, you always want more time so I don’t think there is a coach in America that wouldn’t want more time. But having said that, I know the players are tired of beating up on each other. You start being able to know what each other is doing before the ball snaps so sometimes you get a false sense of security, or a false sense that you are doing it right on one side of the ball, and you have players making adjustments. I know they are excited and ready to get going. It has been a long time since our last game against Utah. All the work they’ve put in during the off-season conditioning and coaches weeks and all the stuff they did this summer. So I know they are definitely anxious to get started on the Rams.”

On the depth of the offensive line … You have ‘Danno’ (senior Ryan Dannewitz, who has been an invaluable sixth man, able to play all of the guard and tackle positions), you have (true freshman) Jeromy Irwin, so you have a few guys but that is obviously an issue.  That is why we went out and recruited five [offensive linemen] in this class and [will] probably do another one. You’ve got to stay healthy. A lot of programs have numbers (along the offensive line) but (the question is) what is the quality of it? It is obviously important they (the starters) stay healthy and that will be key in us having success this year.”

On whether he feels comfortable with the talent of the offensive line … “Yeah, I do. feel that the job (offensive line) coach (Steve) Marshall has done, they understand now. That is probably the hardest transition, when an offensive line coach comes in, because they all have their own language. (The seniors) all went through three offensive line coaches. They went through (Jeff) Grimes and they went through coach (Denver) Johnson and then Marshall so there were times you could see they were thinking and their head was spinning. We weren’t as good as we could have been up there (last year) and I think a lot of it had to do with just the communication issues because they are always talking up front. They are always communicating, changing calls based on a linebacker, on a safety or a defensive lineman moving so now it is second-nature for them.”

August 22nd

Jon Embree’s post-practice quotes

At Tuesday’s practice, how did the team look? … “Tired. A little ragged. The Camp is hitting them. We did a little conditioning today, too. We didn’t have as much balance as you normally would like, where one side would win entirely one side of a drill, instead of there being a little bit of give and take. But they worked. It’s just a matter of us learning how to work when we get tired … We’ll be better tomorrow. We’ll be in a little different set up tomorrow. They’re tired, and rightfully so. They’re working hard. Every team goes through this in camp, so I’m not overly concerned, but we hit the wall today a little bit.”

On when “Camp” officially ends … “Never. Officially, I guess Saturday … Once school starts (on Monday, August 27th), you can only go so many hours (Buffs will practice 4-6 p.m. on weekdays during the season), so that’s really when it ends, but we’ll keep taking advantage of the maximum number of hours we can have the guys, whether it’s classroom stuff, walkthroughs, and stuff like that.

On how CU will handle kickoffs this season, with the line moved up to the 35, but endzone kicks will be placed at the 25 … “We’ll keep working at it. We’ll keep going back and forth, whether to just kick it out, or try and hang it down there (near the endline) and cover. I’ve got to get a better feel for what our kicker does best, and base it off of that, rather than asking our kicker to do something they are not comfortable doing.”

 

 

August 21st

Jon Embree’s post-practice quotes

On Monday’s practices … “We did some good work. We got to understand a little bit better on situations – we had an interception at the end of the game, and the guy kept running with it. He ran about eight yards with it before he went down. But he needed to go down right away, so I made that a turnover. We need to understand that, at the end of the game and you’re up, get the ball and that’s it. You don’t need to run with it. So it’s just the little things like that we need to keep emphasizing, and get on them.”

On players’ attitudes … “Overall it was a real crisp practice. A lot more energy. You could tell that they had had a day off (on Sunday).”

On sophomore defensive end Juda Parker (after Saturday’s scrimmage, Embree said Parker is “starting to get a little more comfortable, making some plays instead of just being comfortable doing his job”  … “Juda is a very conscientious player. I don’t want to make it sound like he’s not doing anything. I want him to move from, ‘he’s just doing his job’ to ‘he’s doing his job, now go make the play. Trust your instincts’. He’s doing a bit better about doing that, instead of just doing his job, being in the right gap. He’s made a lot of great strides – Chidera (Uzo-Diribe) has helped him a lot.”

On tapering down practices, and starting to get ready for CSU … “We’re still in Camp. There is still some stuff I want to get done, some things I want to look at and evaluate. As we get more of that in, then we’ll start worrying about CSU (later in the week)”.

On scaling back on hitting, in order to avoid injuries … “(Paul) Richardson was injured in a non-contact drill. You get too cautious that way, then when it’s time to hit you don’t know how to”.

August 18th

Jon Embree post-scrimmage quotes

On where the team is at in preparation for the season after the first scrimmage … “I would say that we are probably … we are about halfway there. We’ll do some more situational stuff, but the way they came out and got after it, and did some things, it was good. I say that number because some people didn’t play – (linebacker Jon) Major, (safety Ray) Polk didn’t play, we held some guys out. We’ve got to get some work done with all of our guys in. There were some mistakes made on one side of the ball or the other, and generally it was a guy who was playing who wouldn’t normally be playing in that situation.”

On the scrimmage itself … “I feel really good. We came out of it healthy. It was physical. A lot of good live work on special teams, as far as punt and kickoff return. So now it’s just a matter of us looking at the tape, getting back to work tomorrow. Then we’ll get back to ‘camp’ next week, have a few two-a-days, and then start getting ready for our first game.”

On quarterback play … “All three quarterbacks played well today. We had one bad miscommunication, just a young guy not running the right route, which was a pick. But other than that, I thought our ball placement and decision-making was pretty dang good at the quarterback position, and allowed us some opportunities to make some pretty big plays.”

On players who stood out in the scrimmage … “(Sophomore linebacker) Brady Daigh; (sophomore cornerback Greg) Henderson; (sophomore running back) Tony Jones. I thought the first (offensive) line played really good. The D-line, it was the same usual suspects, Tyler Hennington, Tupou, Solis – all three young guys made some plays at different times. (Sophomore defensive end) Juda Parker is starting to get a little more comfortable, making some plays instead of just being comfortable doing his job. (Sophomore linebacker) Kyle Washington is another guy who showed up. He’s coming back from a concussion; he’s showed up the last couple of practices. We’re going to have some depth there (at linebacker). (Freshman defensive back) Marques Mosley showed up on special teams; showed up on defense.”

On the scrimmage itself … “It ended up being about 100 plays, when it was all said and done. A little bit more than that, probably. The guys were doing a really good job of getting after it. You remember last year’s press conference, after the scrimmage. It was not acceptable, and we came out and played that way. The guys knew how to practice, and what was expected, and they came out and did it, so I’m real pleased with that.”

On freshman defensive back Marques Mosley’s position … “We’re working him at both safety positions, primarily free (safety), but we’ll do interchangeable stuff. He’s a smart player. He has real good football instincts, and he can run. He likes to hit, he really does. And he made some great returns in the kick game”.

On physical play in running game … “We’re getting real close, to having an identity in the run game, we really are. I feel so much better. It’s night and day from where we were last year to where we are now. But we’ve got to continue to improve and get better.  We’re still in camp mode, so we’ve got to continue to grind a little bit more. I know we’re tired; we’ve got a little (bit of tired) legs, but we’ll keep working, and we’ll get freshened up when we need to.”

On picking a kickoff returner … “We had four kickoff returners. We looked at a bunch of different guys back there. So I’ll look at the tape, and see who looks the best.”

On punt returns … “We just did fair catch and coverage … but they wouldn’t have been returned anyway. It was great hangtime; good placement of the punts, so (punt returns) would have been a moot point.”

On what he has learned about the team halfway through camp … “They want it. Their actions – they don’t come out and say it – but their actions have gotten better. They want it. They really do want to be good. They do want to win. So that’s refreshing to be around a group like that. And they really care and respect each other a lot. There’s a lot of camaraderie there, so, it’s been a good camp.”

Compare … Embree, above, stated, “You remember last year’s press conference, after the scrimmage. It was not acceptable, and we came out and played that way.” That might sound like hyperbole, but, when you compare his actual quotes from last season, there is a difference.

This fall’s scrimamge … “The guys knew how to practice, and what was expected, and they came out and did it, so I’m real pleased with that.”

Last fall’s scrimmage … “Defense played well; offense wasn’t good enough. We’re going to have changes on the depth chart. It’s the same three or four guys on offense that are consistently making the mistakes at the critical times. All it takes is one guy and you can hurt a play.”

Read into that what you will, but it certainly sounds as if the coaches are expecting more from the opener than a 17-0 halftime deficit …

August 17th

Jon Embree post-practice quotes

NoteCoach Jon Embree has been telling his players throughout camp that if they work hard in every practice he will “take care” of them at the appropriate time. Thursday afternoon was the appropriate time for care and maintenance. After their meetings, the afternoon walk-through was canceled and a night at the movies was scheduled. Also, Friday morning’s practice was moved back 45 minutes, allowing a little extra time to sleep in . . . . Saturday’s scrimmage at Folsom Field (closed to media and public) won’t differ greatly from some of the Buffs’ daily situational work. However, one difference, noted Embree, would be some live special teams scrimmage snaps.

On the team being ready for the first scrimmage … “Yeah, we are. Not much is going to change, we do much of the same stuff in every practice. So now, it’s just putting the ball down at the 20 and doing it. The biggest difference is that we’ll get some special teams play in, do some snaps live. It will be stuff we’ve been doing all week, and now we get a chance to do it up at the stadium and have some fun.”

On the play of the offensive line … “They’ve done well. I just got on them a little to communicate a bit more, but they have done a good job of coming together as one unit. Along the offensive line, everyone has to be on the same page.”

On starting quarterback Jordan Webb transitioning from a shotgun offense to taking snaps from center … “He’s had maybe one or two issues with the snap, but other than that, he’s been able to handle the snaps … Obviously, if you can do that, you can’t play, but that has not been an issue.”

On senior Nick Kasa, playing his first season at tight end … “He’s a physical player. His running game is really coming along, so that’s been a positive, his working on his running game blocking. He’s worked really hard on learning to catch the football … He’s worked real hard to make himself into a complete player.”

On sophomore left tackle Alex Lewis, fitting in as one of the two new guards to start this fall … “He seems real comfortable there. He’s also working at left tackle – we work all of those guys at different positions, so if we have an injury or something, we can keep our best five out there. So we put (Lewis) in at left tackle, because he’s the next left tackle (behind starter David Bakhtiari). (Lewis) has got some work (at left tackle), (senior Ryan) Dannewitz has got some work at left tackle.”

On having a depth chart after Saturday’s scrimmage … “I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t know when we’ll set it. I’ve never been a big ‘depth chart’ guy, like having it set by a certain date or anything like that. Usually, it’s Dave Plati calling me and saying, ‘Hey, I need a depth chart to put into the program’.”

On any change in the team’s mood after the naming of Jordan Webb as starter … “The team has come out every day with good energy and enthusiasm. I don’t know whether there was a boost or anything. The practices have continued to be high energy, high intensity each day. We took  the pads off (Thursday), which always gives the guys a little more bounce in their step … But Webb has done a good job of asserting himself as a leader of the offense.”

On junior Paul Vigo, who has switched from defensive back to linebacker this fall … “He’s showing up; he’s making some plays. He’s a physical guy, he loves to hit, so that’s not the issue. It’s just when you’ve moved up 12 yards closer to the line, you don’t see things as easily. It forces you to look at some different keys. But Paul’s done well, Kyle (Washington)’s done well (backing up Derrick Webb at inside linebacker), so, between those two guys, we’ll have some depth behind Derrick.”

On running back situation … “I haven’t been paying much attention, as I have been focusing on the quarterback situation, but we have some capable guys behind (Tony Jones). Donta Abron is showing up a lot. Then we have Terrence Crowder (another true freshman) who has flashed some, as has (junior) Josh Ford. You know, I feel good (about the running backs). (Sophomore D.D.) Goodson has been out with a concussion, so we haven’t seen much of him. That will be some of the things we’re looking at when we get to the scrimmage.”

August 16th

Jon Embree post-practice quotes

On Paul Richardson’s return … “We’re always going to come down on the side of caution. There’s a lot of football left for him … ultimately (the decision to return in 2012) will be his family’s . . . they’re the ones at the end of the day who will have to live with the consequences. We all hope it’s a Cinderella story, but if it isn’t . . . I don’t want to jeopardize his career. Yet if he’s cleared and the family feels great and he feels great … I’m going to reach out to a few people who have gone through it and just try to get (Richardson) on the phone at the same time and make sure he understands what it’s about.”

On Thursday’s practice … “There was good energy, good enthusiasm. We’re starting to take shape as a team on both sides of the ball. We finished practice with some different categories, some different scenarios. (Practice) wasn’t one sided, which is good.”

On whether the first practice with a named starting quarterback was any different … “I fell like our team from the beginning has had a good ‘vibe’. They have come out every day, practiced with a purpose.”

On whether he saw any difference in Jordan Webb on Thursday … “No. It’s not off. You have to perform everyday. We told them all that, when we talked with them individually, Rip (Scherer) and I. And it’s not just with the quarterback position, either. You have some quality players competing for a position, they have to understand that every day, they have to come out and keep their job, or we’re going to bring the next guy in.”

On the play of Nick Hirschman and Connor Wood, the day after learning they would not be the starter on September 1st … “They both did some good things today. They both did some good things moving the ball. It’s not like they are coming out and raising their game, but they’re coming out and competing. That’s good to see, it would be easy to come out and say, ‘Well, this is what I am going to do. I’m not going to compete anymore and try and get better.’ But they didn’t do that this morning.” Embree said a backup quarterback – either Connor Wood or Nick Hirschman – could emerge from the scrimmage. “That’s one of the things we’re focusing on now, so we’ll see if it shows itself then or if we have to continue on. But we’d like to get that done.” .

On jobs which may be claimed at the first scrimmage on Saturday … “There are a lot of jobs up for grabs. We’re going to see what happens up front in the D-line. We’ll see what’s going on in the back end. The offensive line is pretty much set. Receivers, got to get a feel for what that rotation looks like … there are some guys playing for some stuff.”

On the structure of Saturday’s scrimmage … “It’s always one’s v. one’s. I just believe that that is the way you play. So whenever we do scrimmage situations out here, it’s one’s v. one’s. So, we’ll do one’s v. one’s, two’s v. two’s, we’ll do a couple of different rotations.” As to special teams … “We’ll do some game situations to work that in … we’ll work that into the scrimmage.”

Injury Update … Freshman receiver Gerald Thomas and sophomore linebacker Brady Daigh might miss the scrimmage due to concussion symptoms.

August 15th

Interview with Jordan Webb

Full video of interview From cubuffs.com

Excerpts from the Webb interview after Wednesday’s practice …

Reaction: “I’m very happy to say the least … We’ve got a lot of goals. I’ve got a lot of goals for myself, but as a team, that’s what really matters. We’ve got to get to that sixth game win mark, got to get to that bowl game.”

On believing he could be named starter …  “I came here with the mindset that I knew I could. That’s the reason I came here. Nick and Connor really pushed me. I think we all made each other better.

On being surprised at the timing … “I am surprised. I guess the coaches just decided it was the right time … I’m not going to argue with it. I think it was good to get it done now, so we can get used to it … I actually thought that they would let it play out, and see who did well in the scrimmage.”

On his strengths as a quarterback … “My competitiveness … I want to win. I want to be a leader. I think that’s the most valuable thing you can have as a quarterback.”

On his greatest weakness … “I wish I was a little taller (his listed height is 6’0″).”

On reaction of teammates … “It was great. When the coach made the announcement, a lot of the guys were really happy. I’ve only been here a little over a month, and the guys welcomed me with open arms. That says a lot about the type of team that we have.”

August 14th

Jon Embree post-practice quotes

On Tuesday’s practice … “It was good. We got a lot of teaching done in the first part of the practice. Then we were able to do some situational scrimmaging. We did some two-minute (drills), some four-minute, some red-zone. It was good. Some guys are separating themselves. You start seeing some guys making plays, gaining confidence. This is our ninth practice in a row, five of them we have been in full pads, with four in shells – but we get after it in shells. So that’s nine straight practices being very physical. So it was good to seem them come out, not flinch or blink – just come out and get after it.

On the rest of the week’s practices … “We’ll temper some of the stuff we do for the next couple of days. We’ll still practice and get after it, but not as much banging, so we can protect those big guys up front a little bit.”

On red-shirt freshman offensive lineman Stephane Nembot, who was recruited originally as a defensive lineman … “Stephane’s doing well. Every time he does something, it’s sort of his first time doing it. But, having said that, he’s a fairly quick learner. There is a lot of moving pieces, especially with our defense, and the things that they are doing with all of their different fronts and schemes. Sometimes his guy runs in Scot-free, but for the most part, he has a good feel for it. He’s such a competitive kid, a conscientious kid … I know he’ll be successful.”

On sophomore wide receiver Tyler McCulloch … “He’s done well. He got a hip-pointer (Monday) making a diving catch in the end zone. You can see he has gained some more confidence. He kind of hit the wall last year. It’s hard to go thirteen weeks in a row – I can’t imagine doing that as a freshman, with all that was put on him. But he’s stronger; he’s quicker. His footwork is better. I’m anxious to get him back, because he was making some strides, but, with a hip pointer, you don’t know. It could be three days, he could be back this afternoon. It’ll be good to get him back.”

On whether sophomore Darragh O’Neill will return as punter this fall … “Darragh’s doing (fine), but will still throw it out there, if he slips up. All the guys out there need to understand that. You need to keep your job every week. It’s like that at every position. It’s kind of like what we went through with Tony (Clemons) last year. You don’t just get the job, and it’s yours no matter what you do. So those guys (the kickers) have to continue to do what they are doing, be consistent. Zach (Grossnickle) is pushing him. Zach’s forced Darragh to be better at some things that maybe he wasn’t as good at … And they have a good relationship with each other, too, which also helps.”

On whether players are developing a sense of urgency, with a scrimmage coming up on Saturday … “The way they came out today. They are working with a sense of purpose. There is no doubt. I’ve been impressed with each practice. They’ve come out with a sense of urgency, and a real good tempo. They have been sharp with their effort and intensity. They are making mistakes, but it’s been at full speed, which has been very pleasing.”

August 13th

Jon Embree post-practice quotes

On the status of the team ten practices into Fall Camp … “We did some situational stuff, we did some two-minute (drill) stuff, some third-down-and-long, and some nine-on-seven. It was physical … I want us to be tackling better. I think every coach feels that way. But, having said that, I like where we are on both sides of the ball.”

On sophomore defensive lineman Kirk Poston, listed as a starter at defensive tackle … “Kirk’s doing well. Kirk’s a utility guy for us. He’s playing inside and outside. I just keep mentioning those other guys (like true freshman Josh Tupou) because they keep making plays. (Poston) flashes and does some stuff, but he’s not Tupou.”

On red-shirt freshman cornerback Sherrard Harrington, who has been out with an ankle injury … “This was his first day (Monday), so I haven’t really been able to see anything out of him. You could tell he hasn’t really been in it … Now he’s missed (ten) practices, so he’s got to get it going quickly … The way (former Washington D.C. high school teammate Kenneth) Crawley’s been playing, and his competitiveness … Kenneth has a chance to do some really good things here. He really does … So now that Harrington is back on the field, he’s got to get it going, and get it going quickly.”

On the return of sophomore cornerback Jered Bell, who missed all of last season after suffering a knee injury during Fall Camp last season … “I don’t think he is where he was, before the injury, but he has got back, at times. He looks like he gets stuck sometimes, like he can’t quite transition sometimes, like he did in the past. We’ll have to see if he can do that consistently.”

On the true freshmen playing against the “1’s” on the team … “I want to see what happens when we scrimmage. A lot of them have done well in the situational stuff, but I want to see, when everybody’s off the field, and we scrimmage this weekend, see how they do. There are some guys who have consistently shown up, but I want to see them in a scrimmage before we keep moving forward with them.”

On whether he expects much of the depth chart to clear up after Saturday’s scrimmage … “I hope so. I’m ready to sleep. What’s today? Monday? I would hope that by Saturday, things will start to clear themselves up.”

On how the freshmen look, now that the team has had several practices in pads … “They match up. They play fast. They are not afraid to hit, especially the big guys. They like it . I’ve been having to tell some of those guys to slow it down.”

August 11th

Jon Embree Media Day quotes

Lengthy, but worth the read. Note the player quotes, below …

From cubuffs.com

On Training Camp“We had our first day of pads yesterday, this is our first two-a-day today, so we are really starting to hit camp so to speak. It has been very good so far, I’ve been impressed with the retention that our offense and defense players have had of our scheme, and really impressed with the freshmen that have come in and started to assimilate themselves into, not only our program, but what they’ve been able to do on the field and take what we’ve done in the classroom and transfer it out there. I’m excited about the task in front of us, our goal this year is to try to find a way to go to a bowl game. Our players have worked with that in mind. I think they’ve done a very good job of keeping that at the forefront of everything they’ve done. Obviously, we’ll find out here in 12 weeks whether or not were going to get a 13th game. As you guys know me, I’m not afraid to talk about accomplishing those kinds of things. I think it is important that we put it out there whatever it is we are trying to accomplish. Whether it is me, or their mom and dad, or a fan sees them; just remind them, how you doing towards getting that bowl game, just like last year I challenged our former players and fans to ask them what they did to end that road streak.”

On The Quarterback Competition-“We’re in a quarterback competition right now and three guys, it’s (Connor) Wood, (Jordan) Webb, and (Nick) Hirschman all competing and they have all had their moments. It will get down to it now, we just finished summer school so we haven’t maybe done as much because finals were Friday. But now that school is done we will really put the screws down on these guys. We would love to get it down to two, if we can or one as quickly as possible so that the offense knows who the guys are that are leading them when we go out there to play CSU. We will start doing some more situational things and start evaluating those guys, not just 7-on-7. As I’ve said before, that’s all fine and all that but I want to see who can bounce back when they make a poor decision, see who can make things happen when there’s some pressure in their face, see who can just move the team and lead them down the field.”

On Tradition At Linebacker-“Well our linebackers, everyone has been saying they’ll be the strength, but if you would have asked me on June 20 I would have said I don’t know because (Doug) Rippy was still dinged up and (Jon) Major was still coming back from an injury also. Those two guys have stepped up, Derrick Webb has had a very good camp so far, he really has. And Brady Daigh has had a really good camp, he’s very physical and it’s starting to click for him. He’s a very instinctual player and yesterday he had two really good plays that he wouldn’t have made last year just because he would have been thinking his way through it. I think it is important that those guys are always the heartbeat of your defense.”

On The Defensive Line-“One of the reason (the linebackers) are able to do some things is because of what the guys are doing in front of them. We have some (defensive lineman) that are allowing our linebackers to run and make some plays. Will Pericak from a technique standpoint has gotten so much better, it’s just night and day. I remember the first spring in the first practice watching him and thinking like really, because his technique was all over the place, his footwork his hands and really understanding stuff. He has worked so hard with (defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo) to get things right and now he is such a good technician. His pass rush is becoming even better, which is something he has struggled at, and just his whole game has really improved. When guys like him have a Nate Bonsu back, and what Nate did to get back, he loss probably 30 pounds and his athleticism, I didn’t think I would use that word when describing Nate Bonsu but he’s another smart player. So watching those guys yesterday in 9-on-7 and what the young guys did it was very encouraging, but it allows our linebackers to be linebackers.”

On The Quarterback Competition – “I think to play that position, there has to be a little bit of swag about you, a little bit of the ‘I can do this.’ Your teammates are going to feed off of you. When you are 3rd-and-8 and you have to step in the huddle, you can’t be the guy that is whispering the play. If you are one of those guys, the rest of the offense will sense it. If you step in there and take control and let them know what the deal is when you’re breaking the huddle and heading to the line of scrimmage. You have to have that. I think every good team has that position. That’s a position that you can’t compromise that. If you have a guy that is just taking care of himself and if you don’t have a lot of upperclassmen that are around them that have played, that can help them through it; you are going to go through a lot of growing pains. At times (all three guys have it). You can tell when a play comes in, that that is there favorite play, so to speak. Then you send them the play where they aren’t so excited. I want them to feel that way about every play that comes in. They have the grasp of it and what we’re trying to do. We have it at times.”

On Connor Wood – “Connor Wood has a big arm. He can make all the throws. He has a good grasp of the offense. We need him to be more consistent in his decision-making. He needs to continue to work his accuracy. He sometimes erratic with his throws.”

On Nick Hirschman – “(Nick) Hirschman, the guys really like Nick. I’m not saying that they don’t like Connor, but the guys really gravitate towards Nick. Again, he is another guy with a big arm. What he has to do is improve from the mental aspect of the game. Sometimes when you have a big arm, you can throw your way through mistakes. I want him to be better about knowing where his issues are and not trying to throwing through mistakes. With him, it is just slowing the game down a little. Part of it is the mental preparation, feeling comfortable enough with what we’re doing.”

On Jordan Webb – “Jordan Webb’s biggest attribute is the fact that he’s played in 19 games and none of these other guys have played in a game. Nick played a little bit against Arizona State, but none of these guys have played any true meaningful minutes. With Jordan, having played in some games, you can definitely see that. He does a good job of working the pocket. He doesn’t have the biggest arm, but he gets it there and generally gets it there on time. It’s a fairly catchable ball. Those are the guys basically in a nutshell.”

On Making A Decision On Quarterbacks – “My timetable, I wish I could do it tomorrow so I could sleep. We’ll have to let it play out. We’ll have a scrimmage next Saturday. I’d like to come out of that having a better idea of where things are. I’m not going to rush it just to rush it. If we know before that, then we know before that. I think it’s fair to everyone involved. When we know, let’s do it. Whether it’s a battle for the backup position or whether it’s our backup, we have to get the reps going for that guy. Right now, we’re splitting the reps equally. As soon as we know, we’ve got to give that guy a good dose of reps. Right now, whether it’s the guys that haven’t played, they still need the reps. If it’s Jordan, he needs the reps because he’s new on the offense. There’s a reason that we have to get it done sooner than later if we can, so we can get those guys going on the offense.”

On Coaching Changes In The Pac-12 – “In the past, each coach was required to be an expert on a certain team in our conference but because of changes, we are not really doing that this year. We are focused right now on Colorado State and Sacramento State. Those are the only two programs that we have focused on right now. We’ll see. We’ll have enough time once the tape starts running in, we’ll have time to evaluate those new coaches. From our defensive standpoint, you have an idea of what UCLA will do. The same goes for Arizona and ASU. You’ve got a good idea. It’s the same with (Mike) Leach (at Washington State). They aren’t going to change. It’s just getting a feel for what they are going to do on the other side of the ball. We’ll have enough time to get ready for that.”

On The Class of 2012 – “I feel good about it. I do. I feel like the guys we have in, I feel good about it. It’s a big step in the right direction. We addressed some positional needs and they are good players. I think that they will help us as we continue to build this thing back.”

On Which Positions The Freshman Will Make An Impact  – “They are going to have to play everywhere. Defensive backs, d-line, receivers, running back, maybe as returners. Quarterback is going to be a young, new guy. Make sure you get a program.

On The Run Game – “Now that we’re in pads we’ll get a better feel for that. We’ll get a chance to see who that guy is that will be behind Tony [Jones]. Whether it’s Josh Ford or D.D. [Goodson] or Donta Abron or Terrence Crowder – all of those guys have had their moments. Right now, out of the younger guys, Donta and Terrence are a little farther ahead than Davien [Payne].”

On Full Backs – “A guy that has had a very good camp is Christian Powell. He can run and catch. He’s physical. He came in here about 12 to 15 pounds lighter than he was on his recruiting trip. He is a legit 235, ripped up. He can lift the world. He’s not stiff; he’s very athletic, very fluid, good hips. He can run routes so he’s a guy that Coach Bieniemy is real excited about. Clay Norgard, having him for spring, he’s made improvements. Alex Wood, so we have some fullbacks. Last year, we were kind of piece-milling at a few positions to try to get people out there. This year, we don’t have to do that. This year we have depth. This year we have players that are natural players at their position. That helps. When the ball snaps, your instincts have to come in because it’s not going to happen how you drew it up. When you’ve played that position, when you’ve been in it and seen it several times, you know how to react. That’s a positive. We’ll see this afternoon. We’ve got a lot of teamwork going on and a bunch of live stuff in there. We’ll see what backs can do it when they know they are going to get hit.”

On The Quarterback Competition – “It’s healthy. I think part of that is because the offensive line, they usually don’t know who is behind them. That’s good. We’re young enough everywhere else where there are not a lot of preconceived ideas about who should be the guy or favorite. Connor Wood has been here just a year and Jordan Webb, a few months. Nick Hirschman is kind of the incumbent due to his time here. There’s been so much turnover in our roster with new guys coming in that it’s kind of a wash. I don’t anticipate it being controversial. I don’t know why I said that.”

On The Pac-12 – “The Pac-12 is good. When I started at UCLA, I was surprised at the overall depth of this conference. It’s a very deep conference. It’s a good conference. I think that the changes that were made make it even more exciting. To be the Pac-12 Champion, you’re going to have to earn it. It’s not going to be where you play one game and the rest of the games you can get by with your backups. If you get nicked up, it can be enough to cost you a championship in this conference. You come to Colorado in late November and it’s one of those days, if you’re a warm weather team, that’s enough to cause you problems. That’s the great thing about this conference. The skill guys, the quarterbacks, it’s a heck of a conference.”

On National Awareness Of The Pac-12 – “When I was in Washington D.C. I remember trying to watch my son (Taylor) play (at UCLA). If it was a night game, I would be in the locker room the next day, double fisting coffee. If you don’t have an invested interest, you’re not going to stay up late for a game that kicks off at 7 p.m. out here. It’s amazing living in D.C. how you wake up and they are just playing. It’s 10 o’clock and it’s going all day. By 10 that night, you can’t take another game. That will always be an issue that you have to battle. I think Larry Scott has done a great job with the TV contract and with the Pac-12 Network, getting us in situations where we can get into homes, where we can have better times as far as playing. I think what he has done has really helped put our conference out there and given us a chance for people to see why we are such a good conference.”

On Colorado’s Coaching Staff – “It does a lot to have the continuity. We’re learning each other, too. I think when you sit back and look at it I recall the USC game, standing on the sideline. Coach Brown is sitting there just beside himself. I told him that everything was okay, that we would have some help on the way. We were playing with a patchwork secondary. All the work that he puts in; what a coach. It’s funny, we go out there now and we’re getting two or three interceptions a day. Last year, that would be a month. He’s got those guys playing. The coaches understand what we want in a scheme standpoint. Kanavis [McGhee] has done a very good job with the defensive ends. I’m excited to be able to see Chidera [Uzo-Diribe] and those other guys, how their game has gone to another level. Offensively, just being in the same room, it’s different being on the offensive side. They are all idea guys. There are five ways to run this pass route and they all argue for their one way to run it. Then you have the O-line coach saying “I don’t care as long as it’s not a seven step drop.” Going through all of those arguments and having the guys understand that they all want the same thing, which is to win and be the best that they can be. There’s a lot more comfort level with the whole staff. We can get on each other and everyone knows where we are coming from when we tease each other or say something. That translates down to the players. They can feel it; they can sense it and they are hearing the same message from everyone. It’s all the same message. All of that stuff really is important. When you look at successful programs, they are able to keep their coaches together and have that kind of chemistry. We all understand what the goal is. There is no confusion about what is expected. The kids are hearing one consistent message.”

On Wide Receiver Paul Richardson– “He’s running on the side. He’s trying to help the younger receivers. I don’t know what the next step is for him, when it comes to routes or cutting or any of that. He’s still progressing. He’s already ahead of what he should be doing. I know those injuries are typically nine months, so whether he’s a six month guy or a seventh month guy, I don’t know what the time table will be. We probably won’t know the answer to that until we get a little further along with his rehabilitation.”

On Challenges Freshman Defensive Backs Will Encounter – “They’ll face it. Part of the reason is that we had some suspensions and injuries that have forced us to this patch work. We have Parker Orms back, so that helps. When Parker played, we seemed to be a little bit better back there. He’s very smart. He gets the guys lined up. Terrel Smith is a guy that has really grown and matured. Last year we played him at corner, he’s not a corner but we had to do it. Some of the guys that were playing out of position are going to get to play their natural position. The younger guys, Crawley, Wright, Hall, Mosley. Walker, we’ll end up redshirting him. He had a finger injury that he’ll need to get surgery on at some point. Those other four guys, they all get it. If you play for Coach Brown, you’re going to be prepared to play on Sunday. If you’re going to play on Sunday, you can’t play one-coverage. There are different ways you are going to play man, different ways you are going to play cover two, different zone pressures – these guys all get it. I hate using coach clichés but they get it. From the jump, it all makes sense to them. It’s all natural for them. For now, it’s all technique and little things for them. We’ve got to get them out of some of their high school habits. When you’re the best or the fastest one out there, you aren’t worried about a guy running by you. We’ve got some guys that will go by you. We have some things that will put you in a bad position. For Coach Brown, that’s great because he can focus on technique and that says a lot. I tell the players that their job is to know what to do. Our job as coaches is to teach them how to do it. When we can get to the point where we’re teaching you that, and we’re teaching you the game within the game. Then you’re playing at a higher level. The fact that these guys have come in at a point where they understand what to do, Coach Brown is more focused on how to do things, and that says a lot about Coach Brown. Having said that, Greg Henderson is a very good player for us. He played well. This year, he’s continuing to improve. He had his moments last year. Still, as a freshman, you’re going to take some lumps. When Lane Kiffin gets up there and gives a scouting report, he says “so and so, freshman corner”, trust me, they are going to design stuff to see just what kind of corner he is. You’ve got to know what’s going to happen. So you take your knocks, just like you do as a rookie in the league. I expect them to win more battles than they lose. Greg did. These guys will continue to help us improve. They allow us to blitz. They free up a lot of stuff, just from a defensive standpoint, when you know you can cover longer than two seconds. You know you won’t have to sit back there with your fingers crossed and hope.”

On Recruiting Players That Understand The Game – “There are certain things that I believe you can find out about a kid when you’re talking to him. You can find out if football is something that is really important to him. You can really tell. They can say it, but there are certain things that I think you can really find out about how football rates for them. I believe that if football is really important to you, then you’ll go to class, you’ll do your schoolwork and you’ll life. If it’s really important to you, you’ll do the right things most of the time. When it’s really important, you’ll make sure that nothing gets in your way. You’ll be able to go out there and do what you love to do. When you go out and you’re recruiting these kids, I don’t get caught up in the three or four thing, you’re all zero starts when you get here. At the end of the day, some of these kids, that’s it for them. They want to collect as many offers as they can. They have to fight and compete for it, and then they shrink, they disappear. They don’t know how to handle adversity. When we’re going through that process, that’s one of the things we really try to talk about. We try to get a good feel for it. A lot of these kids, it’s all they have. However at the same time, part of our job is to help them figure out what else is out there. Football is going to be done at some point. So what are they going to do once it’s done? There’s a lot that goes into it. I think that our stuff does a very good job at evaluating players and finding out from guys if it’s something that is truly important to them. When I look at this class, there are a lot of guys that understand it. They understand it.”

On Wide Receivers Making Progress– “I’ve seen it out of [Nelson] Spruce. I’ve really tried to focus on getting him on a lot of little things. I think those are the things that can help him become a very productive player for us. He very rarely drops the ball. That’s obviously one of the first things you want out of your receivers. He runs good routes. Right now we’re trying to work on different ways with him to create space. He’s a guy that we can definitely lean on. Tyler McCulloch, he’s a guy that is really starting to take that next step. I’m always telling him to be a big guy that plays big. Let’s play that way. He’s starting to understand what that means. Last year, he was lacking the strength that he’s getting now. Malcolm Blacken has done a great job with all of our guys this summer. Once you get that strength and that confidence, I see him continuing to grow. Those are the things that from a receiver’s standpoint that you can see some of the transformation that you want to see out of those guys.”

On This Year’s Recruiting Class Compared To Previous Classes – “From a D-line stand point, I feel like this class is up there with the class when we had [Justin] Bannan and [Tyler] Brayton. On the back end, I don’t know if we’ve ever recruited that many guys in one class like we have that have the talent that those guys have. We’ve had talented guys, one here and one there. I don’t know if we consistently in one class got some guys that really have the opportunity to be impact players – that many of them on the back end. The depth of this class at those two positions, I don’t recall us every having the depth that we’ve got in this class. I talk about the guys up front, [Tyler] Henington and [Josh] Tupou, [Justin] Solis, Samson [Kafovalu], all four of those guys consistently show up. In one form or another, they show up. They don’t always do things right, but they are passionate about how they play. I’m always telling those guys that we’re not tackling, to stay away from the quarterback. I’m always telling them to not grab them, to just let them go. They know one way. We have a lot of depth there. I don’t recall us every having a class like that.”

On The Tailbacks – “When you know you’re not going to get hit, there are a lot of skill guys that when we’re running around, they all know no one can hit them. The second you have to put all the gear on, guys get slower and they can all of a sudden see everything. One guy I know that is like that is Gerald Thomas. He had a play the other day where he made one guy miss him twice on the same play. It was funny, it really was. He has it. He had a nice touchdown yesterday in the scrimmage. When he turns up the field, he explodes. He just goes.”

On Opening The Season Against Colorado State – “It doesn’t really matter to me. I think it depends on your team. When you have a veteran team, you don’t care who you play. When you have a young team, I’d like to get Creek [Cherry Creek High School] on the schedule. You want the guys to just be able to get the kinks out. It is what it is. As a player and as a coach, it has been all over the map. I don’t know when it dictates when it goes first or when it goes third. I had the opportunity to spend a little time with Coach [Jim] McElwain in Arizona and he seems like a very good guy. I know he’s trying to do some things. I think he’s a good coach and I think he’ll get them going again.”

On Patience With A Young Team – “We’re continuing to change, continuing to develop our system. That will keep going. I have had to have more patience. I think I’ve done a good job, but the other coaches may disagree. I feel like I haven’t had as many animated conversations with the players as I did last year. I think I have gotten better with that. Part of it is that I know that they are young guys. I expect the seniors to know. I feel like I’ve been better with having patience. Our staff has also been better. We understand that there is going to be some growing pains. The things that I will never get over are when it’s effort and when it’s flat out going to the whistle. If you can’t do that, it doesn’t matter if you are a freshman or a senior, it’s not negotiable.

On Veteran Leadership – “A lot of guys are stepping up and doing the right thing. We have a leadership council that has fourteen players on it, from freshman to seniors. It shows me that this summer we did things as a team. It also lets me know that we know each other. Last year I asked one of our players, who was a senior, to tell me about Tony Jones. All he could tell me is that he was a running back and that he is from the eastern United States. As I tell our players, we’re not going to have the best players, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be the best team. We can’t be the best team if we don’t know each other. If we don’t care for each other and don’t respect each other, we don’t have a chance. I feel like that is there. I had about 60 of the guys over to my house before camp and it was great. They were playing pool, playing PlayStation, shuffle board, poker – they were having a great time. It was great having them around. I think there is a true respect and appreciation for each other on this team this year.

On The General Perception Of CU’s Football Program – “I don’t know what the perception of our program is. I got a lot of e-mails, if you’re referring to the incident that we had. I can only speak for when I’ve been here, the last two years. We had an incident last week. I’ve had a lot of people come up and tell me that they appreciate the way that I handled things. That is was done quickly. There are 105 kids that I have to take care of and do they do it right all the time? No. Do I want them to? Yes. Do they know what is expected of them? Yes. If they don’t do what they are supposed to do, they will be punished. To sit there and say how I think people perceive our program, I can’t honestly do that. I can just tell you what people say to me. I got some e-mails about how I handled the incident and they were all good.”

On The Kicking Game – “We’re a work in progress there. [Will] Oliver has picked up where he left off. Justin Castor has become more consistent. I can see us using him in long field goals or as the kickoff guy. Darragh [O’Neill] has become stronger, more consistent with his hang time. Zach [Grossnickle] is competing and pushing them. That’s good to see. Our kicking game is expected to improve from last year. Will [Oliver] hit a dry spot, but I think he’s bounced back. We’ll be better in the return and in the cover game due to the fact that we have more speed and more athletes. We’ll see, we practice it a lot. It will not be from lack of practice.”

Will Pericak, Senior Defensive Tackle

On improving as a player
“I picked up technique from playing my freshman and sophomore years. Then we got this new coaching staff in and they were teaching a new technique, so I had to pick that up. Right now, I feel very comfortable with what I have to do. Now it’s all about improving on the fundamentals and getting everything right.”

On becoming a more physically fit player
“We did a before and after picture. It was pretty impressive. Afterwards, I had definitely thinned down. It is definitely impressive what [strength and conditioning] coach [Malcolm] Blacken has done.”

On making a bowl appearance
“That’s our goal. We’ve got to get to a bowl game. I haven’t been to a bowl game and I’ve been here five years. A bowl game is definitely what we’re looking at and we’re going to get it.”

On the freshman class
“The coaches definitely got their feet under them with recruiting. They know the type of players they want. You can definitely see that the recruiting classes are getting better and better. This will put pressure on everyone to get better and compete. In the end, that’s what a good program is.”

Alex Lewis, Sophomore Offensive Lineman

On the offensive line
“The O-line definitely is different this year. Last year, there was some confusion with the line’s job. There were struggles. We didn’t trust each other. This year, everyone is a lot closer. The camaraderie is definitely there. We trust each other a lot more. We are a lot more confident with our calls. We’re constantly talking; no one is quiet on the line. We’re trying to grow as a unit.”

On offensive performance
“You can’t just play football with nine or ten guys. All eleven guys need to be playing at once. Everyone needs to be on the same page. We’ve been watching film and correcting our mistakes. We’ll come out a lot stronger.”

On offensive performance during camp
“You can tell it’s a young team, but you can also tell that this group gets it a lot more than last year’s team. We may be young, but we understand the playbook. Being young players, we know that we have to step up. We can’t slack off. We have to get in the weight room every day and get in our playbooks every night. I think being young is an advantage because we’ll have time to grow. That’s going to make us that much better.”

Connor Wood, Sophomore Quarterback

On offensive performance during camp
“The defense has had some good days the past few days. They’ve done a real good job. Our offense needs to step it up, including the quarterback position. We all need to step it up. We know the plays; we just need to execute them better. The potential is absolutely there. The effort is there. As long as the effort is there, then we’re good. We can make mistakes, as long as we correct them. As long as the effort is there, then I’m comfortable with it.”

On quarterback competition
“I don’t think we’re feeling any tension. I think we’ve done a good job with letting the stuff that happens on the field, stay on the field. When we’re off the field or in the meeting room or hanging out, there’s no competition. That’s really good, that’s what you want.”

Paul Richardson, Junior Wide Receiver

On overcoming injury
“I’m progressing really well. I’m having fun training and watching my team every day.”

On being a leader to a young team
“Basically, I’m trying to do what Scotty McKnight did for me. I’m just trying to be a big brother and constructively criticize them. I’m trying to let them know that you need to continue to make plays and not take any steps back.”

On the freshman class
“I like the energy that the freshmen have brought in. Usually when freshmen come in, they are very timid. With these young guys coming in now, they come in with a lot of swagger; they come in with a lot of attitude and a lot of confidence. As far as contributing to the team, they are doing really well.”

On the defense’s performance during camp
“Right now our defense is doing really well. We have a strong defense. A lot of people don’t respect our defense. We’ve had a lot of injuries; however, we are going to be led by our defense.”

Nick Kasa, Senior Tight End

On making the switch to tight end
“The switch was really good for me. I’m really excited. It’s kind of like starting football all over again. The excitement is there. I love playing tight end.”

On leading a young team
“I definitely see myself taking on a leadership role. I think all of the older players can do that. All the freshman players coming in are really good guys. It will be easy for us to be put in that leadership role.”

On offensive performance during camp
“We’re putting in new plays. We need to get those down. Once we get them down, the physicality will definitely be there.”

Nate Bonsu, Junior Defensive Tackle

On training camp so far
“Practice has been going real good working with the D-line. With all the freshmen, there are going to be some mistakes, but everyone is coming along and working really hard. Everything starts with the defense, and as a unit, we’ve been doing pretty well. We need to carry the defense and go out there and ball hard.”

On the freshmen
“It’s difficult and fun at the same time working with the freshmen. We do have some older guys at key positions and we’ve been trying to help [the freshmen] learn to get into the books and study their plays. They’ve been doing well with that. Obviously, there’s going to be some growing pains when you come from high school and they expect to contribute as soon as they get here, but we’re all behind them trying to help out.”

On if any freshmen have stood out
“My roommate right now is Tyler Henington, and he’s a good guy so I’m trying to help bring him along. John Tuso and Justin Solis and all the freshmen D-linemen are real close and we worked hard all summer to get those guys into it so that the first week of practice won’t be a shock to them. We’re going to need every single one of them to contribute.”

On the team’s work ethic
“We’ve been working hard in the spring, and guys continued that in the summer, watching film together and studying. I’m proud of all the guys and the way they’ve been working.”

On his expectations for the season
“I want to be healthy, I want to be able to contribute and go out there and work hard and do my best for the team. I want to be a leader out on the field for all the freshmen and the rest of the team.”

Tony Jones, Sophomore Tailback

“It’s been going great, we’re all looking good, we’re all getting better and better every day. [Offensive coordinator and running back] coach [Eric] Bieniemy has been hard on us about everything. We’re definitely getting better and we’re looking forward to the season.”

On Eric Bieniemy as a coach
“He’s always going to be tough on us. He wants us to play at a high level at all times. He expects us to be the best that we can be. I definitely give him credit for that. He yells a lot, but we definitely know where he wants us to be.”

On helping the younger running backs
“Rodney (Stewart) passed it down to me, and now I’m going to pass it down to these young running backs. I’m trying to get them straight and get them ahead. We’re coming together well as a group and we’re definitely getting better.”

On being winded at points last season
“I wouldn’t say I got real tired, sometimes I got winded and needed a breather for a couple of plays. Strength and conditioning coach Malcolm Blacken is doing a great job of conditioning us in the summer and in the spring too. My personal goal is to get over 1200 yards this year and to help us win a bowl game.”

Parker Orms, Junior Defensive Back

On the upcoming season
“I’m just excited. I’m having a lot more fun this year just knowing that at any moment I could go down and be on the sideline again. I’m just trying to stay healthy the best I can. I’m just having fun and enjoying it.”

On training camp so far
“This camp, we’ve had a lot of competition and a lot more defensive backs that can go in there and give the No. 1’s a break. We’re not even sure who the No. 1’s are right now. We have had a lot of competition that I think will make us stronger overall. I definitely want to take a leadership role this year, along with Ray Polk, who is the leader of this group. He’s taking the lead for us, we’re following him.”

On possibly playing safety next season
“I made it five practices so far at safety – I haven’t done that since my freshmen year. I’m picking it up a little bit. Every practice, I pick it up a little bit more.”

On the depth at defensive back
“Depth is a key for our defense; we have a lot of guys who can play corner or safety. We also have some other packages where we can use other DB’s. Everybody is running to the ball right now, and if we can get all 11 guys running to the ball on every single play, than that’s going to help us a lot.”

On finishing the year at a bowl game
“A bowl game would be huge. Last year, our goal was to win some away games. We won that one against Utah at the end of the season, and now it’s a bowl game. We don’t want to be known for winning one road game, a couple home games, or beating a high ranked team, we want to make it to a bowl game.”

Nelson Spruce, Freshman Wide Receiver

On training camp
“First week of practice, it was just good to get out there and get the pads back on and start running around with the guys. I think our team is going to be better compared to what it was last year.”

On the differences from last season
“The main difference from last year is everyone has a better knowledge of the playbook. Last year, it was our first year and everybody was kind of struggling. We were installing new plays every day, and now we are installing plays every couple of days. I feel like everybody is really comfortable with the offense and just executing.”

On the wide receivers
“We have some young guys coming in like Jeff Thomas and Gerald Thomas. They have stepped up, I really think they’re learning our playbook and I’m really looking forward to them contributing this season. I think we’re going to have a solid rotation of young guys.”

On redshirting last season
“Sitting out last year helped me in a bunch of ways. Having to sit on the sidelines and watch helped me get a little extra push this year. I’ve played football my whole life, so not being able to play in games was tough and that’s what is really pushing me to get better this year.”

Nick Hirschman, Sophomore Quarterback

On training camp
“The first week of practice went really well, the offensive line is playing incredibly well right now. Some of the younger guys are starting to pick up the system. The running backs are running the ball hard. It’s been a good first couple of days.”

On his injury recovery
“I feel a 100 percent now. I have felt a 100 percent since the B-term of summer school. Now it’s just getting into the swing of football. I’ve been more anxious than I have been in the past.”

On the progression of the team in training camp
“I think the team has made great strides in the first week of camp. The first week, it can be tough for some of the younger guys; this is their first college practice and their first experience of picking up a new offense. I think they’ve done incredibly well. We are going to keep moving forward from here, I think the first week went very well.”

On the youth of the team
“I think our youth is something we definitely embrace. The younger guys have really put it on themselves to learn the system. They are practicing well every day, they really are committed.”

On the QB competition                                                                                                                       ­
“Every day, you want to go out and not really think about the quarterback competition with the other two guys. You want to focus on yourself, making the right reads and right decisions. If you can do that, everything else will work itself out on its own.”­­

Jon Embree 8/10 after-practice quotes

On the defense in week one … “The defense is continuing to do some good things up front. I have a sense that we are beginning to develop a little bit of an identity on that side of the ball, so that’s encouraging.

On freshman wide receiver Gerald Thomas … “Gerald Thomas had a really good day today. He makes some mistakes, but when he gets that ball in his hands, he can do some things.”

On the offense … “The offense bounced back. From a head coaching standpoint, it was a good practice, because you don’t want to see it dominated by one side.”

On players, other than linebacker Doug Rippy, who are being limited in practice (to limit the chance of re-injury) … “No. Parker (Orms) is a guy to try and watch a little bit. Other than that, we pretty much letting the players go as is.”

On the play of the young defensive linemen … “I think we have some guys over there,” Embree said, citing freshmen Josh Tupou, Tyler Hennington, Kory Rasmussen, Justin Solis as being “stout in there. They were physical, they were causing some havoc . . . they’re big strong guys that play strong. And they’re very quick. Good athleticism. Every day when Tupou does something different … Every day he surprises me.”

(Here is a link to a cubuffs.com interview with Josh Tupou).

(Senior Will Pericak agrees with his coach on the progress of the freshmen defensive linemen … Defensive tackle Will Pericak, the lone senior at his position, called the new linemen “definitely a good sight to see. We’ve been pretty thin depth-wise in the D-line. Getting these new faces . . . they’re playing well in there, they’re producing. And that’s exactly what we need. They’re increasing competition, which is always good. I saw them on their recruiting trips; I knew how big they were. Josh Tupou didn’t look 325 when he was on his trip. But when I saw him on the scale, I was like, ‘Dang, that’s pretty big.’ I knew these guys were big.”)

On senior defensive lineman Will Pericak … “There’s a lot of things about him. He’s very consistent. He’s one of those guys that, when you look up and something good is happening, he’s involved in it. He’s not a flashy type player, and yet, he consistently is around making plays … He’s getting better about getting on the edge (on the pass rush). He’s a guy who can move the pocket now. Last year he wasn’t consistent at that. This year, I feel he could be a guy who be consistent at doing that. He’s versatile.”

On junior safety Parker Orms … “He’s a very good football player. He’s real smart. He’s very instinctive, so having someone like him back there goes a long way. If you look at the games he played in last year, they were some of our better games. (CU went 3-2 in games Orms started; 0-8 in games in which he did not).”

On junior running back Josh Ford … “When he’s been in there, he’s made some plays.” For his part, Ford believes he will be able to translate Spring Game success (he led the team in the April game) into the fall. “I think it did carry over,” Ford told the Daily Camera after Friday’s evening practice. “It was a good spring game, but I’m still trying to get better at every little thing. Right now, I’m trying to get better at just the basic stuff.”

The ability to turn the ball doesn’t really impress offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. Most running backs at this level can run the ball well. In order to gain “EB’s” confidence, players oozing with potential like Ford must prove in practice that they’ve mastered the details — selling play-action, blocking, reliable pass-catching skills, and so on. “What EB wants us to be is complete players. That’s the goal,” Ford said. “Just having a better understanding of the position and being more valuable to the offense.”

August 10th

Jon Embree after-practice quotes

On freshman class … “Ironically we’ve got to rein them in a little bit. They’re full-speed players, which is good. Those guys go full speed. It didn’t take much to show them or let them know how we practice or how we finish drills. That’s allowed us to continue to move at the pace that we’re moving at because we’re going at a quick pace. They’ve done a good job of absorbing information and not a lot of mental errors out here, which is good.”

On Thursday’s practice … “Really good on the defensive side. The offense had its moments, but the defense is continuing to do a good job of getting turnovers. (Yuri) Wright and (Kenneth) Crawley each got one, (Greg) Henderson got one. They are starting to get a little bit of an identity, a little bit of a swagger about them. Now we’ve got to get going a little bit offensively, get a little more consistent … As a coach, you don’t want one side dominating, but I want those turnovers … I just don’t feel like the offense’s intensity was matching that of the defense. But we’ll see tomorrow (Friday, the first day in full pads). I expect to see a good practice out of the offense tomorrow.”

On sophomore linebacker Kyle Washington … “He got a concussion (Wednesday), so we’ll hold him (out of practice) for a few days, make sure he’s ready to go.”

On depth of the team … “We’ve got some depth, but we’re not to the point where we can just roll in the next guy. So it’s key that we keep healthy in a lot of positions.”

On installing more of the offense (last fall, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy estimated that only about 25% of the offensive playbook was utilized) … “We’ll be more. I don’t know what the percentage is, but we’ll be more, as we continue to get more comfortable with what we’re trying to do. Last year, there were so many non-football things … now that we’re doing more football stuff, we’ll be continually putting things in, do things more differently than we were able to do last year … When you’ve got most of your offensive line back, they already know most of the calls. When you have to worry about making calls, you don’t have the opportunity to do things differently.”

 

August 9th

Embree after-practice quotes

On quarterback battle … “Each guy has only had about 15 plays with the “1’s” (first-team), so it’s way too early (to make any decisions)”.

Is Jordan Webb at a disadvantage, not having any practice time with the CU offense … “Well, let me ask you this question, ‘How big of a  disadvantage do those two guys (Connor Wood and Nick Hirschman) have having never played in a game?’. So it equals out. Terminology may be a little different … but it’s the same concepts, different names. (Webb) has done a good job of managing that. He had some summer to learn the terminology.”

On the benefit of having freshman report earlier in the summer … “It’s huge. They’re in shape. They’ve been able to run and lift. They’ve got a chance to know their teammates. They go through the homesickness, get that out of their system. Everyone was in for at least one term (of summer school), and most of them two.”

On Paul Richardson … “He’s doing a lot of stuff on the side, some running. He’s not doing anything with the team … catching passes, watching practice, getting some mental reps. We’ll have to see as he progresses, and increases his workload.”

On Sherrard Harrington … “He’s been rehabing his ankle. I’m not sure when he’s expected back. I’d imagine in the next few days, he’ll be back.”

On potential candidates for returning punts … “There’s a lot of guys. Most of the skill guys; freshmen skill guys … (Marques) Mosley, (Keenan) Canty, (Kenneth) Crawley, (Greg) Henderson, Gerald Thomas, Terrel Smith … some running backs, 18 (Donta Abron), 34 (Terrence Crowder) … most of the skill guys.”

On offensive lineman Ryan Dannewitz … “He’s our sixth guy. He’s real valuable. He can play all the positions, so he’s a key guy. Tackle, guard, he’s a smart guy. (You can play him) left or right. We just have to make sure he’s healthy with his back; we know what he can do.”

Senior defensive tackle Will Pericak

On putting on shoulder pads for the first time Wednesday … “It was about time we got some pads on, instead of just playing patty-cake. It’s good to get some hitting. For O-Line and D-Line, it’s pretty much full pads.

On getting more intensity with pads on … “Absolutely. When we get the pads on and start hitting, we start playing real football.”

On goals for fall camp … “For me, it’s to get much better in the pass rush. I’m working on being both a run defender and a better pass rusher at the same time.”

On a sense of urgency to get to a bowl game … “Absolutely. I’ve been there (in 2007), and I want to get there again. It’s my last season, so we’re trying to get the freshmen going, get them playing right, get that culture going.”
August 8th

Embree on discipline of three players

After the team’s second practice Tuesday, Colorado head coach discussed his decision with regard to junior wide receiver DaVaughn Thornton, freshman wide receiver Jeffrey Thomas, and red-shirt freshman Jermane Clark.

Said Embree: “It was three guys making poor decisions … DaVaughn Thornton and Jeff Thomas will miss the first two games; and Jermane Clark is no longer in the program”.

Embree indicated he met with the players on Saturday, and met with the parents on Sunday to discuss the discipline handed out to the players. “The Boulder police were great, they let us know what was going on … For the most part our players, with an exception here or there, have done a great job of being the type of citizen that we want, and that we want our fans to be proud of. I know no charges were filed, but at the end of the day, we don’t behave that way, so there is no grey area when those guys behaved like they behaved, and so they have been punished appropriately.”

“To me, it’s a testament to them (the Boulder Police department officers), that it ended up being a minor (incident) … All the stuff that’s happened recently, I know that if I was a policeman, I would be a little bit on edge, so you’ve got to have better judgment than that, at the end of the day.”

August 7th

Embree on first practice: “I thought it went well”

The first practice of the 2012 Fall Camp went well, according to head coach Jon Embree.

Comparing the first day of this season compared to last … “Oh yeah, oh yeah,” Embree said Monday afternoon when asked if 2012’s first practice went better than the first practice last fall. “Whether it’s effort in finishing, whether it’s running to the ball on defense, whether it’s staying up off the ground, knowing when it’s your opportunity to make the play or not – they understand that now . . . . A lot of little things that we were coaching last year we don’t have to coach this year.”

I thought it went well – not a lot of mental mistakes, more technical stuff, so that was good,” Embree said. “It shows they’ve been working hard all summer and been in their playbooks . . . that was good to see. We moved faster and that was good to see, too.”

Embree on freshman defensive back Marques Mosley … He’s been taken under Polk’s wing, or Embree put it, “He’s in Polk’s hip pocket. That’s good, having someone like Ray, with his work habits, showing a young kid how to do it. Marques has been working at safety . . . he’s got a good chance. He’s got great hips and he’s into it, really into it. He’s really smart, so I’m excited. I like all those guys; it’s a little different from last year, no doubt.”

Senior tight end Nick Kasa, on the influx of 25 new freshmen … “We’re just all a bigger family now. We know what to expect. We know they (the coaches) are going to be hard on us but it’s not like they’re being mean to us; they just expect us to be better.”

Kasa called the influx of newcomers “a little confusing because there’s a lot more young guys that aren’t really attuned yet to the practice schedule, our plays and things like that. They’re still working in but that makes it a lot better for us because we’ve got seven tight ends now instead of three, like we had in the spring.”

After switching to the position last season from defense and spending spring drills trying to hone his receiving skills, Kasa termed the first day of August camp “really good for me . . . there were no dropped balls. I enjoyed it a lot. It was good to just play some football again, but I’d rather put the pads on.”

Kasa said he felt “so much more comfortable” at tight end than he did during spring work. “I started feeling a little more comfortable then, but just the whole summer doing all stuff, doing research and studying, I’m really more comfortable with the offense.”

August 6th

Eric Bieniemy: “We’ve got to find a quarterback, that’s the No. 1 deal”

Ted Miller at ESPN.com has published an interview with Colorado offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. The entire interview can be found here.

Some interesting tidbits:

Seems like it’s completely wide open at quarterback. How long do you want to wait before you make a decision?

Bieniemy: There really is no timetable. Obviously, everybody would like us to say, ‘Such-and-such is our starting quarterback’ today. But that’s just not the case. We want to make sure we give Nick Hirschman a fair opportunity to show what he can do. Before he got injured last year, he was coming on pretty strong. He could be the future of this university here. We want to make sure we are providing all of our guys an ample opportunity to compete and show what they can do. When the time is right, we’ll make that decision.

The biggest drag of spring practices was WR Paul Richardson’s knee injury. There have been whispers of a rapid recovery. How is he doing and who steps in for him?

Bieniemy: First of all, yes, it was a tremendous disappointment. But if you saw him and spoke to him, he has the greatest attitude. He’s doing everything and anything to make sure he can make it back this season. He’s making tremendous strides and growth in his rehab process. As far as a player stepping up, there are some huge shoes to fill. We’ve got some kids coming back. Nelson Spruce did a hell of a job this spring for us. Tyler McCulloch came on late in the spring. He played a lot of games for us last year. Keenan Canty has stepped up big time. We’ve also got two young kids coming in, Jeffrey Thomas and Gerald Thomas, who we’re counting on seeing big things from them. So there are a number of guys that we are counting on. But we want to see the developmental process early in this camp, to see who we can count on.

Seems like you guys might be sneaky solid on the offensive line: What’s your take there?

Bieniemy: The beauty of our offensive line is every guy in that room has played. That’s the good thing. The other good thing is they are the heart and soul of our unit. Those guys work their tails off. They are very smart. They have a high football IQ. I’m looking forward to watching them take their game to another level. We’ve got some athletic linemen who can do a lot of great things for us. I’m excited to watch these guys play.

What is your biggest concern heading into for fall camp? What tops your to-do list?

Bieniemy: We’ve got to find a quarterback, that’s the No. 1 deal. On top of that, we’ve got to develop some depth at some key position — we’ve got to develop depth at the wide receiver position, we’ve got to develop depth in the tight end position, we’ve got to develop depth at the running back position. Those are the things that are at issue. Now, do we feel we have to talent? Yes. We as a coaching staff have to do a great job of teaching and coach these guys and get them ready for day one.

 

One Reply to “Fall Camp Quotes”

  1. RE: Fall Camp Quotes 8/21-

    Thanks, getting ready for CSU, couldn’t be mokre exciting. Really like what I hear about this staff, will see if it translates to success.

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