STORRS, Conn. -
The University of Connecticut football team was on the field on Wednesday morning for its sixth practice of preseason camp. Wednesday is the first of five days during camp that are two-a-days.
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The practice was open to the media with an outstanding turnout.
Here is a media wrapup of the practice with quotes, video and a Twitter roundup.
Head Coach Bob Diaco
On the players' enthusiasm and work ethic one week in: "It's been great. No coach speak, it's just been great. They are excited, they want to get better, and they're working to get better every day. We've had our moments of some intensity in terms of guys getting rubbed the wrong way and not necessarily understanding coaching and care and love and respect. But they've been so few and far between and there has never been an issue so far with energy, intensity, and coming to the building with the right attitude. It's just been very positive."
On the players' ability to understand what the coaches are trying to install (compared to last year): "It's completely different. I'm sure it's not unlike any other program, but it's completely different when you can anticipate; anticipate what your coach is going to do and what the players are going to do. You can anticipate the system and the layers of what the defense might do -- if they're lined up this way or leaning this way, and then what the offense might do, if they come out in this particular formation. This is that next level of understanding."
On saying "believing in yourself": "It's not everybody. It is for everybody obviously, but there are particular young guys that the moments get big. We're down here, tightening down in the low red and on the goal line, as a point of reference, and practice six today as that critical situation from an installation and mind set standpoint could be a little bit much for some. You can see it in their eyes. When you're with them and you love them and you spend a lot of time with them, you can tell when they are feeling confident and when they're not. "
On how quarterback Garrett Anderson is acclimating to level of play: "Great. He's great. He's been a great teammate. He's made friends. He's already won everyone's respect as a teammate. He's a mature guy. He's married, battling through camp as a married guy, a newlywed, is pretty special. He's gained a lot of respect."
On coaches' thoughts on linebacker Luke Carrezola: "Carrezola is tough. He is the epitome of effort and energy. He has development to do as a young player, and a season kind of cut short or stalled based on a lower leg injury, but he's going to be a great player here."
On if there is one player who is more prepared than coach thought: "That's tough to say, and I'm not trying to give you coach speak, but that's hard to say. I've been really pleased with all the players. I think that Andreas (Knappe) has worked on his game. He looks better and better. The two safeties have raised to a level right now that we're expecting from them, which is greatness."
On the freshmen wide receivers and if they can play: "Absolutely. Whether they will or won't we'll see as things build in installation through practice six. Once the whole offense is installed, it starts to get coupled with opponent information, but then add math class and history class and where's this building and that building. The wires can get crossed -- but we'll see what it looks like at the end of camp for them. The freshman class just in general, and even the upper classmen, none of them really resemble what they did. They're all getting bigger, faster and stronger."
On running a "stable of running-backs" or one main ball carrier: "Yes and yes. We have jobs that guys are going to do better than other guys, but we'd like to have `a back.' I think that the style of offense facilitates that, but also have guys that have jobs and do jobs."
On Arkeel Newsome and if he's going to play: "He's going to play. He has to squeeze the ball. If he doesn't squeeze the ball, he's not going to play. If he squeezes the ball, he's going to play a bunch. He's electric and we have to get the ball to him in many different kinds of ways. He'll hold onto it and he has, knock on wood. Our security has been strong so far in that group through camp. He'll get a bunch."
On how things have been for him through six practices with the tempo and the way they're installing plays: "The offense is moving along really well. We've installed so much in such a short period of time. The older players are helping the younger players but, it's been extremely productive. As far as personally, I've been happy, but never satisfied, as none of the offensive players are. We're all excited and ready to keep making strides forward from practice to practice."
On what he likes best about what he's seen from the offense so far: "The versatility. We have an offense that fits to the players. We use all the strengths that we have on offense and we can run so many formations. The things that we can do with the strengths that we have is what really excites us."
On the wide receivers: "The freshmen are big kids, all of them. They're still learning the offense. They came up at the end of June and we got to help them this summer, learn the offense and run the routes. I've been really satisfied with the receivers and the offensive line, all the players."
— Jim Fuller (@NHRJimFuller) August 12, 2015
UConn JUCO transfer QB Garrett Anderson is an interesting story. He got married June 5.
— Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) August 12, 2015
— Desmond Conner (@desmondconner) August 12, 2015
— LCS.com (@TimothyGaffney) August 12, 2015