Coach Whittingham's Quotes From Media Day

Coach Whittingham's Quotes From Media Day

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Article From UtahUtes.comHead coach Kyle Whittingham's quotes from the University of Utah football media day press conference:

Opening Comments: Well, we're five days into practice and I think we've seen some good things and I'm pleased with the team so far. Today we put on the pads and it was the first live action of the season. It also ended the NCAA-mandated acclimatization period and things are progressing as expected.

The main areas of competition have been at the tailback and at the secondary. Those two positions are a battle for "who's going to be the guy" or "guys," in the case of the secondary.

Matt Asiata has looked good at tailback. He injured his foot today and when he returns to practice, we fully expect him to be back in the mix. Ray Stowers, Darrell Mack and Darryl Poston have also done some good things.

At wide receiver, we have the "Six Pack." That's what we call Freddie Brown, Brent Casteel, Bradon Godfrey, Brian Hernandez, Derrek Richards and Marquis Wilson, the six veteran wide receivers on the team. All of the returners are doing well and Jereme Brooks, a freshman, has stepped in and shown some solid play.

We return our entire offensive line and they have looked good in the early going. Brian Johnson is our guy at quarterback and Tommy Grady will be our backup.

Our defensive front is as deep as it has ever been while our linebackers are anchored by our seniors.

The secondary, however, is painfully young. It has the makings of a very good group of players but they are very raw and need to be sorted out. There's a lot of development that we need to do in the secondary.

Q: What have you been pleased with in camp thus far?

A: I would have to say the continuity of our offense. But, that has not been a surprise. Brian Johnson and our offense have shown some good execution. They have hit the ground running and that's what we expected.

Our offense and (our punter/kicker) Louie Sakoda are what I've been most pleased with. Louie is lights-out and has picked it up from where he left off last year.

Q: How did Matt Asiata hurt himself in practice this morning?

A: He was participating in a blocking drill and he came away from it with a sore foot. He's been talking to our trainer (Bill Bean) and we're taking him to the doctor as a precautionary measure, so we're hoping it's nothing serious.

Q: How do you feel about the schedule you're going to play this year?

A: We are going to be tested. We open at Oregon State and then we come home and open league play against Air Force. We also have to play UCLA and at Louisville. It's going to tough, but it's going to exciting. Believe me, there isn't anyone whining about it around here. We're going to play some big-time Division I programs and we embrace that. We don't duck away from any challenges.

Q: Brian Johnson has been out for a year now. How has he looked since he returned?

A: Brian Johnson looks good. His knee is a dead issue. It's not injured anymore and there's no pain or swelling. He hit the weight room pretty hard last year and he has added 20 pounds. To go along with that, he's a smart quarterback. He's a lot like Alex Smith in that regard.

However, this isn't just the Brian Johnson show. We got to have wide receivers for him to throw to, an offensive line to protect him and a tailback to take the pressure off of him in the backfield. He's just a catalyst, but the success of the team depends on weather his supporting cast steps it up.

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