Wide receiver Geremy Davis at Friday's practice.
Aug. 2, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team held its first practice of preseason camp for the 2013 on Friday. UConn fans are reminded that there will be three open to the public practices during camp this year: Tuesday, August 6 (3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.), Tuesday, August 13 (3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.) and Saturday, August 17 (8:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.). All three practices will be held on the practice fields behind the old Memorial Stadium and new UConn Basketball Development Center site and are off of Alumni Drive. Parking for these practices will be available for free in "D" lot. In case of inclement weather, please check UConnHuskies.com for updates.
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Here are quotes and video from Friday's practice.
Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni
Opening remarks: "First day of preseason...as I said to the kids, we had so much to do today. We did a lot, there's a lot on their plate plus we had some conditioning this morning. I think considering everything, these kids have been going since early this morning, everything went well. Obviously we've got some things to clean up, but the approach, I'm happy with their enthusiasm and their effort. We'll be working until late tonight on the film, but that's what preseason is for."
On the team's conditioning: "Some guys have come back in outstanding shape, some of the big guys are in outstanding shape. To be honest, some of the guys have to do a bit more conditioning work through preseason, but we kind of anticipate that and that's built into what we do. We'll be in tip top shape come August 28. It's very important that we're in great shape and we're fresh...as soon as it starts."
On Scott McCummings seeing time in practice at wide receiver: "We just felt that Scott is a very good athlete and we wanted to do something to utilize him more. I want to see him out there for a good solid period of time to see if there's any chance he can help us out there. He knows all the formations, he knows all the plays he knows the routes because he's been a quarterback, so he's the one guy you could say `okay Scott here's the formation,' he knows the formation...he knows all that stuff so it made sense for us to get him out there. Plus it will give us a chance to get him out there and get him running...I'm excited about it. And he can catch the ball, I didn't see him drop one out there. He is excited about it. He wants to help the team, so this may give him a chance to give him more plays."
On Yawin Smallwood and E.J. Norris returning from injury: "E.J. was back, he looked pretty good today he ran around pretty good. We wanted to start with Yawin today and I thought he looked pretty good so we'll go from there."
On Jesse Joseph also returning: "He's running full speed, we just have to make sure nothing flares up. If we can keep him healthy, he's a player. He's got a ton of snaps under his belt, he's got that competitive edge to him. He, along with a guy like Shamar Stephen who's played a lot of football, those guys do nothing but help you."
On Martin Hyppolite: "I was worried about Martin today but I asked him towards the end of practice and he said `coach I'm fine'. I thought he cut well, it wasn't bothering him, so that's a big plus for us."
On replacing NFL talent on defense: "I like the guys we have that are going to replace the guys we lost. I think they will do a good job of replacing those linebackers we lost. I think Byron Jones will help us replacing one of those corners. Between Taylor Mack and Jhavon Williams, we'll be pretty solid on the other corner. On the line, Julian Campenni has come back in great shape, Andreas Knappe is in great shape for a 6-9, 300 guy and he's come a long way in a year, so he may be able to help us. We have a lot of work to do, we have 28 practices to go and we need every one of them. But I think the guys that need to step up are going to step up."
On Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's comments that UConn was the toughest defense he faced last year: "That's something we want every quarterback that faces us to say, we want to put fear in every offensive player, every offensive coordinator and we take pride in that."
On UConn players in the NFL: "Those guys were just in here last year with us, went through everything we did. Guys like that just work and compete and try and be the best players they can be, and we want to be like those guys."
QB Chandler Whiter and CB Byron Jones
General thoughts on practice: Whitmer: "It was a good practice, just knocking off that rust. A lot of things you have to improve on and continue to work on but it was good to get out here." Jones: "I agree, in concurrence with Chandler it was great to be out, knock the rust off like he said. I haven't guarded a receiver since spring ball so it's nice to be out here." On Jones' interceptions during practice: Jones: "Yeah, I got lucky (Whitmer) made a couple little mistakes so I had to show him you can lose your mistakes now." Whitmer: "Definitely, good players take advantage of that and that's what he is. I'll get him back, there's 27 days of practice left and I'll improve on that."