Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Notes a'plenty

As always, lots of tidbits and info coming out of the Tuesday media luncheon. A sampling...
  • No injuries. Or at least none that will keep anyone out of the lineup. Donta Moore (broken arm) and Jason Ward (ankle) are both back and will practice full speed this week. Ward will give UConn nine defensive lineman at South Florida as opposed to the eight Edsall has been using. Darius Butler and Danny Lansanah were noth nicked up against Navy, but are considered healthy.

  • Edsall addressed a comment by Lansanah that the defense gave up late in the Navy game. "He was dead wrong. I don't think anyone gave up. What happens sometimes is young people get a little frustrated they might take something and put in context. But we watched the film. No one gave up. Did we miss tackles in the end? Yes, we did. Were there maybe some guys who didn't have the same intensity at play 75 that they had on play 71? Yeah. But to say people flat out gave up or flat out quit, that wasn't a very good statement. I think it was frustration more than anything."

  • Edsall also discussed criticism the program has received from fans in recent weeks. Perhaps he's been reading some of the comments on the Runway blog? "It's great that we have rabid, enthusiastic fans. We want them that way. But we are still a program in progress. And I think that's what we are. We're going to continue to work and get better. The expectations because of past successes have been elevated. That's fine. Someone once told me the toughest thing to do is manage expectations. We just have to keep doing what we're doing and stay on course...If we do that, good things will happen. It wasn't like all of a sudden we become an overnight sensation and win the Big East championship in the short period of time we've been doing this. I mean, let's be realistic."

  • Scott Lutrus will redshirt the season. Aaron Bryant moves from scout team to fifth linebacker. Good for a pair of local boys.

  • Florida is a hotbed for Big East recruiting, and Saturday's game is an opportunity for UConn to fan out across the state and make its presence known. UConn will dispatch seven coaches to every corner of Florida a day early so they can watch Friday night high school football games.

South Florida coach Jim Leavitt held a teleconference with state media. What a waste of a phone call. Leavitt is about as interesting as a grilled cheese sandwich. I don't expect him to divulge his game plan or anything like that, but at least give a little insight. He was so stiff they might want to think about driving him to Saturday's game in a hearse. A few samples...

(On the health of his team): "We're probably about the same as everybody. When you get towards the end of the season, guys get banged up."

(On the development of his running backs) "It's a work in progress. They're getting better as they go. They are working about as hard as they can."

(On bouncing back after a tough loss to play UConn). "No one likes to lose. Nobody was real happy. You're happy when you win and when you lose you're not. We've lost a few games here and we've won a few. We have to figure out how to get better."

(On kick returner Ean Randolph): "He's pretty good player. He catches the ball well and tries to keep people from tackling him by running as fast as he can."

Good grief. Leavitt's an absolutely fantastic football coach. But as you can see he's not exactly the most quotable man around.


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