Cats experience up-and-down of training camp

2014-08-11T22:31:00Z 2014-08-21T12:05:46Z Cats experience up-and-down of training campDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

It was a quiet night at Arizona Stadium after the Wildcats wrapped up an evening practice after a day off on Sunday.

The UA is in the dog-days of training camp, and it’s starting to show, according to coach Rich Rodriguez.

“What happens now is we’re right in the middle of camp, and guys start to get tired and start to feel sorry for themselves,” Rodriguez said. “Practice becomes a drag. But this is one-a-day. It’s not like three-a-days back in the day.”

Rodriguez said the practice stretched a little longer than normal tonight, because they had to repeat some drills or stop the clock to perfect some things.

It sounds like the normal up-and-down of training camp. There have been some good days and bad days.

The Wildcats will have a closed walkthrough tomorrow morning and then a full practice at night.

In the time being, some notes and quotes:

• The Wildcats are still dealing with a decent amount of injuries. Jared Tevis is still out with a hamstring injury. Josh Kern, Jordan Allen, Dwight Melvin, Kaelin DeBoskie and Reggie Gilbert all remained out tonight.

“Some of the guys that are not practicing much are falling way behind as far as the depth chart is concerned,” Rodriguez said. “They aren’t going to come back and jump in the middle. A guy like Jared Tevis, it’s still going to take him a while to get back, but he’s a proven guy. The unproven guys, the more they miss, the farther they fall behind. It’s just bad luck.”

Jared Baker, who tore his ACL last season, nicked his knee on Saturday, but had an MRI, and it came back clean. He practiced today with no problem.

• Rodriguez had said earlier in camp that he could possibly play multiple quarterbacks in the opening game against UNLV.

That now seems less likely after getting his thoughts tonight: “This thing will separate itself eventually. I don’t think it will be to (playing three guys). We have three more weeks of practice. I think it will start to separate itself by then. I’m not worried about it.”

The coach shared his general philosophy for playing two quarterbacks: “It depends on how well they play. I don’t look at it differently than any other position. If a guy is playing well, performing well, or two guys are playing well and performing well, you’re OK. If one guy is clearly than the other, you want to play one. It’s pretty simple. I’ve played two before. Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson at Michigan, they were both young guys and Adam Bednarik and Pat White at West Virginia.”

• I asked Rodriguez if the talent level is noticeably higher this year than it was in his first. His answer surprised me a bit: “It’s a fair question. I looked out the first year and we had Ka’Deem Carey and Matt Scott. Those are two NFL players. There was pretty good talent there. Defensively, we have a whole lot of different bodies than we had the first year. At some of the skill positions, we have more bodies and speed. But I think our opponents do too.”

• Rodriguez on the experienced offensive line: “Physically, I’d like to see us be a little bit stronger at the point of attack. I certainly wouldn’t expect any missed assignments or mental mistakes. We may have a couple. They should be handle to any blitz or any kind of look they see defensively.”

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About this blog

Daniel Berk began covering UA football in 2013 after spending two-plus years as the Star's high school sports coordinator. Previously, he served as the sports editor and NAU beat writer for the Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff for three years.

A University of Kansas graduate and St. Louis native, Berk is still getting used to 350 days of sunshine, the relentless "dry heat" of the summer and the fact that Tucson doesn't have a real hockey rink.

Contact Daniel at dberk@azstarnet.com or by calling 573-4330. Follow him on Twitter @DSBerk.

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