Quick hitters from the Arizona Wildcats’ media availability after their ninth practice of spring Thursday afternoon:
* Arizona held its final practice before taking 10 days off for spring break. UA coach Rich Rodriguez welcomed the warm weather. He knows it'll be sweltering in August and expects the team to be in better condition by then.
* Rodriguez on the progress of quarterbacks Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate: "I like the way they’ve thrown the ball. It’s not been perfect. But I think we’re better."
* Rodriguez’s overall assessment of the team entering spring break: "I like the way they’ve worked. I think we’ve gotten better."
* Rodriguez said he’s glad to have the break. It will give banged-up players an opportunity to get back and others a chance to "re-charge their batteries,” he said.
* Rodriguez’s message to players regarding spring break: "Don’t be in a hurry to get home. Be safe. And then also remember that you represent the U of A and everybody else in our program. No matter what you do, you’ve got to uphold our standards.”
* Rodriguez said most of the scheme installation is done. The Wildcats’ main focus will be on fundamentals for the last six practices.
* It appears that new special-teams coach Brian Knorr's primary defensive responsibility will be to work with the "Stud” linebackers. The LB-DE hybrids have been working with defensive line coach Vince Amey for most of spring.
* Rodriguez said personnel is more significant than scheme when it comes to improving the special teams. He expects the influx of players arriving in summer and fall to have a big influence on that.
* Arizona had field-position issues all season. Rodriguez said it's a multi-pronged problem, including the offense not getting first downs and the defense not getting three-and-outs
* Rodriguez on talented but injury-prone Stud linebacker DeAndre' Miller: "He’s a good football player when he’s healthy. He just hasn’t stayed healthy.”
* Miller said he's up to 245 pounds. He’s listed at 6-3, 236. He has the ideal physique to rush the passer.
* Defensive lineman Larry Tharpe Jr. said he has lost weight and is down to 270 pounds. He’s listed at 6-5, 275. He wants to get up to 285. He has increased his bench-press from 315 to 405 since arriving on campus in August.
* Defensive end Jalen Cochran had a yellow jersey as he left practice. The promising redshirt freshman hasn’t been able to do much on-field work this spring because of an undisclosed injury.
* Defensive lineman Darrell Cloy Jr. also had a yellow jersey as he left practice.
* Rodriguez’s son, Rhett Rodriguez, a 2017 quarterback signee, has been a regular at practice. Said RichRod: "He’s been hanging out with me for 18 years. Why stop?"