Monday with The Fridge
Here is most of Ralph Friedgen’s interview with a handful of beat writers in his office this evening. And I will be back bright and early tomorrow morning, and I mean very early, for the start of what will be a long and winding day:
Ralph: Let it fly.
Q: Given how much depth you have talked about at linebacker, is this as deep as you guys have been there?
A: Yes, it is. We have kids who have played, we have kids with talent. The only one who has not played is Ben Pooler, and I think he will develop. And I think Demetrius Hartsfield will develop. They are giving us a very good look down on the scout team right now. Trey Covington and Rick Costa are having a real battle at LEO right now. Moise Fokou and Adrian Moten have a battle at SAM. Chase Bullock and Dave Philistin have a battle at WILL. Alex Wujciak is ahead of Pooler only because Pooler is a young guy, but we can move Chase or Dave over there. We have good depth at that position and I anticipate playing all of them and keeping them fresh. Today was hot and humid. We felt it today. We started out with a pretty good practice. Our practices are pretty fast tempo and it wore them down today at the end. It is a concern of mine.
Q: Does it feel like game week right now?
A: You’d have to ask the kids. It feels like it for me. My eligibility is up.
Q: What do you think about your running game right now?
A: I think we’re still struggling with it. We’re were better earlier today than later. We have a lot of guys that have not had the reps they need to be good right now. We’re still limited in that capacity. I think we’re much further along in the passing game than we are in the running game.
Q: Have all the quarterbacks sustained their strong performances from last week?
A: Uh, yeah, I haven’t seen anyone really have a bad practice. I think Jordan Steffy has been really steady. I think Chris Turner had three or four really good practices. I don’t think he has had a bad practice. His percentage is not quite as high as what it was. They are getting most of the reps. Josh Portis gets his plays and his package.
Q: How excited are you about seeing Portis in a game?
A: You’ll have to ask James Franklin [offensive coordinator]. We want to change the pace then I think we’ll get him in and get his feet wet. How many plays he gets, I don’t know. It probably depends on how he does and how the game goes.
Q: [inaudible question about condition of running back Morgan Green]?
A: Doctor said he is okay, I don’t know what the problem is. He said he couldn’t go. Something must be really wrong with his leg.
Q: What do you expect from guys like [running back] Rashad Henry?
A: Rashad is very good right now when he gets the ball in his hands. He has very good speed and quickness. What he is struggling with is pass pickups. He says he knows them. But every night I find out he doesn’t when I look at the tape. He has been working extremely hard. We don’t want him to blow a pickup and then someone gets killed. That is what is holding him back right now. It’s not that he won’t go in and block. He has to learn what his responsibilities are. Running the ball, we get the ball in his hands and he does some good things with it.
Q: Has Davin Meggett come along far enough where he will be in the mix at running back?
A: No doubt about it. He is going to play. Let’s hope he doesn’t get freshmanitis. He is going to be the second guy in.
Q: When you have guys come off knee injuries, do they always have it in the back of their minds?
A: I think you have that with almost every injury when you start out. I think you have to get hit a few times or build up a confidence before that apprehension goes away. Mack Frost has had limited practices. He had three ligaments reconstructed, so it was not like we didn’t expect any swelling. I am hoping we can get a whole season out of him because he brings a lot to our defense.
Q: Are Travis Ivey, Carl Russell and Tyler Bowan still on the original time schedule to come back?
A: Yeah, we have two more weeks until an X-Ray or MRI to see where Ivey is. If everything is good, it’s healed, then I think it would probably be a couple more weeks. Tyler Bowan is a similar situation but a little bit longer, probably six weeks for him. The guy doing pretty good is Russell. I think he will be a couple more weeks.
Q: So those guys and Russell are the only guys you are holding out from the opener, injury-wise?
Q: Did everything go right Saturday night with no curfew? Did you have to do any bar sweeps over at the Cornerstone?
A: I didn’t have any incidents over the weekend. I had one guy overslept for walk-through today, which didn’t make me very happy. We’ll see. I didn’t have any problems as far as that was concerned.
August 25, 2008; 9:54 PM ET
Categories: Football | Tags: Ben Pooler, Da'Rel Scott, Davin Meggett, Morgan Green, Ralph Friedgen
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