This time last season, Rich Rodriguez had a pretty good feel about the Arizona Wildcats without ever coaching them in a game.
The reason was really because of one player: Matt Scott.
"This year, there's as much uncertainty or more because of some of the key positions like quarterback and other spots," Rodriguez said after the team's first workout of the day this morning. "I knew Matt Scott was going to be a player from the first practice last spring. This year, I think we have some guys with some talent, but there are certainly some concerns there."
When the coach was asked by an out-of-town TV reporter if B.J. Denker and Jesse Scroggins were the top two guys at the quarterback position, Rodriguez replied: "Nope. That tell you enough there?"
So the QB competition carries on without a clear leader or leaders.
Some other news and notes from today's two practices:
• The night practice featured a handful of players in yellow jerseys--signaling they weren't allowed to participate in practice because of an injury. Some of the players in yellow included safety Wayne Capers Jr., receiver Trey Griffey, defensive end Reggie Gilbert and linebacker Dakota Conwell. We'll check in tomorrow as to what's ailing the sidelined players.
• The Wildcats wore full pads for the night workout. It was just the second time this camp the team has been in full pads. Rodriguez and the UA will practice at 6 p.m., tomorrow and then go back to two-a-days on Thursday. The team was back in its normal practice space at Kindall/Sancet Stadium. The field was being resodded over the past week, forcing the UA to practice at Arizona Stadium when they weren't at Fort Huachuca. But, it was determined today the field was ready to go, so the team moved back in for now.
• The UA announced its game against University of Texas-San Antonio on Sept. 14 will kick at 7:30 p.m. Four of the team's 12 games now have set kick times. The USC game, UNLV contest and now UTSA will all begin at 7:30 p.m. The team's opener against NAU will kick at 7 p.m.
• If you missed the blog on the UA earning a commitment from former Texas wide receiver Cayleb Jones, check it out here.
Here are a few quotes from today's morning workout. There was no media availability after the night practice.
• Rodriguez on Dave Sitton, who passed away on Monday: "He was one of the first guys I met. He was a great person, great in the community, great U of A guy. It's really tragic. I heard the news yesterday. I was new, but he was one of the first guys that welcomed me and my new staff when we got here."
• Rodriguez on targeting: "You shouldn't be coaching targeting from before. Anyone who was teaching or letting kids target before, teaches them wrong. I don't know any coaches that taught that way. I just think they're going to be calling some hits that maybe you thought was legal in the past as a target. So you have to make sure you clarify that. But a true targeting--there's no place for that anyway."
• Rodriguez on WR Clive Georges running with the first-team: "He's not. There's no first group. It's by attrition a little bit. He's gotten bigger, he's gotten stronger. It's important to him. Clive's going to be able to play a little bit. There's nobody that has a starting job on offense yet."
• Rodriguez on when he would like to determine a true first and second team: "By game week. I don't feel a sense of urgency to do it before then. I think what's more important to us is to limit who is going to get reps. Our first and second group and anyone that shows they're good enough to win with--it could be three at every position. If there's three at the position to win with, they're all going to get reps.
"By the end of the his week, two weeks before the game, you have to pare down who is going to get the quality reps. Not so much who's one or two. I've never been a big believer in that. Our twos get as many reps as our ones. The biggest thing for us is finding the guys we're able to win with and then getting those guys down to get all the reps the two weeks before the game. We have four or five days before that happens."
• Rodriguez on if the defense will be more aggressive this year: "I hope so. If you give up 500 yards a game, you have to do something. Hopefully we'll be more aggressive."
• Rodriguez on the offense: "I don't like anything where it's at on offense. But I'm probably in that same mode every year at this point of camp. Our offense probably takes a little bit longer to execute and get all the things cranked out. We've got some good running backs and I think we'll be OK up front although I don't know how much depth we have."
• Running back Daniel Jenkins on the second week of camp and his role: "It's tough. It's always tough during camp, especially when you get into the meat of camp. You start two-a-days, it's hot out here, guys get tired and their legs are sore. It definitely has be leadership, vocal and by action. I'm trying to do my best."
• Jenkins on Rodriguez's unhappiness with the offense: "It's definitely not something we want to have. Coach is telling us to do something over and over again and we're not getting it right. It's going to take more on our part. They've been running this offense for 25 years. They know exactly what they're doing. It's going to be up to us to execute and take to what they're learning and get in the film room a little bit and start paying more attention to detail and what they're asking of us."