April 16, 2016
Head Coach Bob Diaco "We're just really excited about the spring, collectively. Excited about the team, excited about the direction, excited about the energy, the sites, the sounds -- it just feels right. I loved the crowd, it was energetic. You could hear the crowd, you could feel it --- and really want to thank them for coming out today. It's going to be a great team to follow, a great team to be a fan of.
"Specifically, we got a couple of guys in and out right away. (Quarterback) Bryant (Shirreffs) and (wide receiver) Noel (Thomas) really have been sick for the lion's share of the week. They were cleared to play and were fine, but I didn't feel comfortable pushing the envelope. They came in, they got a little taste, led their unit down for a first-score drive, and then we wanted to get them out.
"We played a lot of players, especially on defense. There were a lot of situations where we needed to take a hard look at the next man in, and the next, next man in -- and even fours at some positions that we needed to get work today, to get an evaluation on. So that was the real idea and energy for the day.
"There was so many positive things to focus on. Ron Johnson's (91 yards, 1 TD) evolution as a runner came about because of his evolution as a worker. He approaches the day differently than he did. He's just now settling in to who he is -- as a professional, mature worker. Very coachable, no excuse-making. There's big things ahead for Ron.
"We got 15 practices. We installed a myriad of different things at a much higher level. It's being installed at that level, coached at that level, talked about at that level and absorbed at that level. We're going to end the spring healthier than we started, and that's awesome."
Junior running back Ron Johnson (9 carries, 91 yards, 1 TD): "I work on my game every day and I've tried to emphasize my speed this off-season and I'm happy to see that it's paying off.
"Whatever the coaches want me to do (next season), I'm ready to do --- if it's one play, then it's one play, if it's 100 plays, then it's 100 plays. I'm just going to continue to do my job, That's what I can control.
"I think I just have a much better understanding of the playbook and being able to mold myself into the back that I need to be to be successful in this offense. I have more confidence in my work and in my ability to go out and make plays.
"(On his 63-yard TD run): "My mentality there was that you can't get run down from behind. That's embarrassing. My home boys would pick on me."
Senior quarterback Garrett Anderson
On how important this spring has been for him to get comfortable in his role:
"It's been great. I mean it's nice to get to focus on quarterback by itself and not have to do a bunch of different roles so it's good to do that. I love playing plays quarterback so it's good to get to do that full time."
On how important it is too put good drives together in a spring game:
"I think its huge. Once you start getting some throws that you start stringing together it goes one after another. It worked out nice on that drive was good. We really click in all ways communication wise and those guys made great plays and got open. It takes everybody to do everything right and I think it worked out well."
Senior offensive lineman Richard Levy
On changing positions:
"Learning the new position took a good amount of time, but still felt great after you got it and it cam on natural to me because I'm right handed and I adjusted to it fairly easily."
Junior quarterback Bryant Sheriffs
On the continuity of the team:
"It's unbelievable how much more comfortable everyone is. In the one's huddle in the team there was no nervousness we just knew what we were going to do. We were just talking in the huddle and having a good time. We know what we need to need to do. We've been drilling in our heads so long it's a great feeling."
On what improvements the team has made this spring:
"Just all around. Just winning everywhere and communication is the biggest thing. Everyone is communicating better and there is more clarity with everything."
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