Aug. 12, 2004
General Quotes: "It's nice to see you all again. This morning we had our first conditioning tests down at the stadium with the 12-1-10 running test with a second interval of rest between the runs. And we will scale down our afternoon practice according to NCAA rules. We will do the same thing tomorrow, except the conditioning test will be in the weight room. The third day we will be out of the testing phase and the practice will be more than two hours. After the first five days of the acclimatization period we will be at the end of the two-a-day period. At the end of the two-a-day we will have pretty long walk through meeting in the morning and then a longer practice in the afternoon. That's our schedule that will take us through the camp until we get back here. This morning our guys did well at the conditioning test for the most part. You know going in who is going to do well and who didn't work as hard over the summer. You know that most of the guys take it seriously, and for those who don't pass they will have extra duty after every practice until we get them in what we consider good enough shape to play." Outlook for the year: "It feels like a clean slate. Last year was an interim year, whereas now we had the chance to put a staff together and do our own recruiting and it looks like a really good class. Those kids were not held to the same standard during the conditioning tests but they did really well and we won't be holding them to extra duty like some of the returners. They are a tremendous group of youngsters so that is really positive. Coming into camp there are just not so many things surrounding us as there was last year. We couldn't go five minutes without answering the same type of questions so it is just fun to get back to talking about coaching." Expectations for the team: "My expectation for the team is for them to just play as hard and as intense as they can play. I would like to see us a little more steady from week to week, whereas last year we had some real emotional highs and then we would fall to a tremendous low. I would like to see us be more emotionally stable from week to week. We are an awfully young team, but I think there are some places where our youth will really be an advantage." On the offense: "I don't know if you're going to replace a Reggie Williams. I would say that the quarterback issue has got to resolve itself, and sooner or later we are going to have to make a decision. We have some tough opening games so we will get that squared away. The quarterback issue will figure itself out. I think we ran the ball okay last year, I don't think we were a bad running team when we had to run the ball. I think we were pretty good at it. I like our backs; we have a lot of strength. In terms of receivers I think Charles Frederick is going to have a breakout year. What we need to do is find a guy to go with him; someone to balance him out in the second and third receiver spot. We are not going to try and replace Reggie." On the team as a whole: "I think we need to work on being more of a team. We are not as divided as we were in the previous years, and we're not as `big-named.' We are going to play as a football team and we do not have a real big margin for error. We are going to play as a team and get enthusiastic about each other. This has to be a team effort to be successful." On being dubbed an underdog: "I don't spend a lot of time walking around here thinking that we are. When you play at Washington the expectations are already high, and it should happen." On team cohesiveness: "I think we are a lot closer as a team; I think we're a team that likes each other a lot better. We're not as susceptible to big mood swings, but this team has not had to go through what the team last year had to go through. But I like this team, it's a fun team to coach and it's going to be a fun team to be around all year. That's what I'm looking forward to." On the quarterback situation: "Casey [Paus] is the veteran of the three, but I think in the Pac-10 our position has the fewest attempts of any school in the conference. I think just about everyone but us returns a starter in the league. He is the most veteran and he knows the systems better than the others. He has really improved himself athletically; he gets stronger and faster all the time. Isaiah [Stanback] is an unbelievable athlete and is really easy to coach. He is a great runner. Carl Bonnell is the best athlete of the group, and the best combination of runner and passer in the group. He is really a newcomer, but was a really successful quarterback in high school. I like the group, and I enjoy the competition and I'm not sure that we won't play a couple of guys in every game. I don't know that anyone is going to eliminate themselves from the group. The thing that is so exciting is that it is a position that can actively improve all year, which is kind of the expectation for this football team. We are young and relatively inexperienced and will just go like heck to get better and if it doesn't go well, can't get down, we'll stay positive and it will pay dividends down the road." On how long he will wait before choosing a QB: "Until somebody jumps out. But if somebody doesn't jump out soon we'll have to make a call. A couple days before game week we would have to make a call. I think somebody will step out though." On the option: "I have the option to not use it or use it." On the incoming freshmen: "We have impressive guys. Jordan White-Frisbee's a big guy, can really run as can Greyson Gunheim, Caesar Rayford, all those guys. Darin Harris will have a chance to compete for playing time. I know Keauntea's (Bankhead) not here and Matt's (Tuiasosopo) not here but the rest of the group is pretty impressive. And Keaunea will be here." On the running backs: "We've got them all back in fact we have the starter back from two years ago, Chris Singleton. So, we've got five good looking guys at tailback with Kenny James, Shelton Sampson, Chris Singleton. Louis Rankin I think is a very impressive athlete, fast, nice size. We've got Johnie Kirton coming off the all-star game. Johnie's a little bit slowed up, he got kicked and cut in the all-star game and got a staph infection in it, so he's been laid up pretty much since the all-star game. So he's a little heavier than he wants to be and has not been able to work out. So we're going to take our time getting him into shape and getting him into practice because he's been injured. But I like our group of talkbacks. At fullback, I think Zach Tuiasosopo's a really good player, I think he will play at the next level. I think James Sims the move was positive for him. And we moved Durrell Moss, who was playing safety and outside back to third fullback. So I think we've got good depth at fullback, these guys have been evaluated as fullbacks and we finally got them in that spot. So our running back situation's pretty good." On if the offensive line was healthy: "Seemed to be. Robin Meadow had a great run this morning, looked like his old self. Khalif Barnes, Tusi Sa'au, Clay Walker, Brad Vanneman, Stanley Daniels, Ryan Brooks. I like that group, we've got to keep them up. But I think it's a group of guys that's going to surprise you. It's a good group of players, I think they're excited about playing. As long as that group stays healthy we've played well. When we've not played well it's because we ended up losing a lot of guys and had to play a lot of guys that were inexperienced. Juan Garcia probably won't be back until the end of September. But we're taking him to camp, he's out there but I don't think he'll be ready to go until September." On Joe Toledo: "He's doing well, he looks great, his back feels great. He looks real trim for 288 pounds. He looks good and feels great. Put he and Tusi and Robin Meadow back on our group, that'd give our front unit a big boost. They're veterans with a lot of minutes so if you put those guys back in there we'll look a lot different." On the Pac-10 competition: "Everybody says it's USC. They've got everybody back from a national championship. They've had good recruiting class after good recruiting class. I think they have a lot of things going for themselves. I think California has a good-looking football team, they've done a great job there. Then I think Arizona State, Oregon and Oregon State have got good-looking football teams. I think there's a lot of teams that probably look the same. I think USC probably stands out given what they've done and the players they have back. They're the prohibitive favorite." On the defense: "It's hard to say on that defensive line. We have a lot of guys who have played. Brandon Ala, Ty Eriks, Manase Hopoi, and Dan Milsten and Donny Mateaki all have a lot of minutes. Manase has been a starter for two years. Now Casey Tyler has a chance to come in and impact us. A guy like Mike Mapu who redshirted last year or Jordan White-Frisbee or Greyson Gunheim have a chance to get in the mix. I don't think we're as set on the defensive line as we are on the offensive line. I see more moves, and I'm not so sure that we're not closing in on being way more situational in terms of how many linebackers or linemen we have on the field in certain situations. I think we have three really quality corners, I think it's a real quality linebacker crew. Timmy Galloway, Joe Lobendahn, Scott White and Evan Benjamin and then you take Tahj Bomar. So I think we've got the makings of a much more situational defense with playing a lot more people. It may not happen to have four down lineman on the field at all times." On the kicking game: "I'm excited about our punter. Sean Douglas has got a live leg, a big leg. If you saw him in the spring I think he's really got a chance to be a fine punter. We've got to get better at placekicking. We're going to spend a lot more time on it in camp than we have in previous years. We've got to find a kicker. Evan Knudson is the starter, then Michael Braunstein." On what players are in the best condition: "Khalif Barnes' really in great shape. Stanley Daniels ran very well. Guys like Brandon Leyritz, Chad Macklin, Robin Meadow, Ty Eriks, Greyson Gunheim can really run as can Caesar Rayford. Caesar ran his ten and then he ran more just for something to do. Jordan White-Frisbee can really run. Tim Galloway's in great shape, really did a nice job. Trenton Tuiasosopo, of course James Sims could always run. I thought the quarterbacks all ran well. Louis Rankin ran very well. Derrick Johnson, Sam Cunningham, Bobby Whithorne ran extremely well. Charles Frederick can run all day. So I was pleased, there were a lot of guys you could say really got some quality work done over the summer. I think the NCAA law now that you can't mandate summer workouts and you can't monitor them and you can't even ask about it, I think it's a ridiculous rule. If you're going to spend the money we spend on strength and conditioning coaches and summer school and guys are around I think for their own safety you ought to be able to monitor what guys do during the summer. So I think it's incumbent that you have to have the conditioning test to find out where guys are at." Notes: Gilbertson announced at his press conference that Durrell Moss has moved to fullback and Graham Lasee switch back to defensive end after playing on the offense during spring drills.