Rich Rod Speaks: Injuries, Mealer, & More
Rich Rodriguez
Rich Rodriguez
Managing Editor
Posted Aug 21, 2008


(TRANSCRIPT) Rich Rodriguez met with the media at the "Bowling for Brock" charity event yesterday to update his team’s progress thus far. He gave discussed the injury situation, John Ferrara's play on the offensive line, the quarterback race, the importance of helping the Mealer family, & more.

Question:  How great is it to just forget about football and talk about the family and teammate?

Coach Rodriguez:  “Well I think that is part of obviously the excitement we have and the players have coming here, because they know the cause and what we are doing this for and the fact that I have had many of the players come up to me and say, ‘coach, what else can we do?’  I think that is probably typical of a lot of places that would reach out, but I don’t know that if everybody would reach out as quickly and as purposively as we are, as the players are.”

Question:  What kind of bowler are you?

Coach Rodriguez:  “I am average; I am a straight line guy.  I don’t have to put those gutter pads up; I hope not.  Morgan Trent is the odds on favorite as the best.  He has got his own ball, his own shoes and everything.  They are the early favorites going into the place.”

Question:  Do you have any goals on how much money you want to raise for this family?

Coach Rodriguez:  “Anything that we can.  Obviously, there are lot of folks that may be here and a lot of folks that maybe can't that are sending checks.  We have already had several people send in very large checks for the cause.  So we are very, very excited about it.  I really didn’t have any set amount, I just know that we had to try and do something.  I think the players and the staff all felt the same way.”

Question:  Focusing back on practice, you said that on Sunday you guys were going to take these couple of days to sort out some issues and have some staff meetings and stuff.  What was some of the results of those?

Coach Rodriguez:  “We are pinning down who we think the travel squad guys will be.  We are certainly not determined on the 11 starters on offense, defense and on each special team, but hopefully by the end of this week, we will get more solidified with that.  We have a pretty good idea who the 70 guys will be on the travel squad and every day we are just trying gear down.  We will talk tonight about Utah.  We will go through the Utah scouting report tonight and practice will be more geared toward them from here on out.”

Question:  One other thing you said on Sunday, was right around now, if there is somebody that you thought for sure wouldn’t play against Utah that you might be able to share that with us.  Do you have anybody that you know is to be out?

Coach Rodriguez:  “We do have a few injuries.  Corey Zirbel is out and that may be a long term thing.  Terrence Robinson tweaked his knee.  He will be out for several weeks.  He is a true freshman, but he was likely to be in the rotation, as I mentioned Zirbel.  I don’t know if there is anyone else Dave.”

Question:  How is Donovan Warren doing?

Coach Rodriguez:  “Donovan Warren, he will be okay.  That was precautionary why he didn’t practice today.”

Question:  Do you have anything more about Corey as far as what his injuries is?

Coach Rodriguez:  “It is a knee injury.  It is pretty significant.  We are not even hopeful that he will be able to return this year.  We are just waiting to see how he responds to surgery and when they get in there and do an arthroscopic surgery, then we will have more answers on that.”

Question:  How are (Brandon) Minor and (Carlos) Brown?

Coach Rodriguez:  “Minor and Brown were practicing today.”

Question:  How is Mark Huyge?

Coach Rodriguez:  “He is another guy that he is kind of, I don’t want to say day-by-day, but more of a week-by-week.  We will see what he progresses to next week, but he had a high ankle sprain, so he will definitely be back, but I don’t know how soon.”

Question: Minor and Brown 100% would you say?

Coach Rodriguez:  “They practiced today, so yeah they are good to go.”

Questions:  You have offensive line issues and you said you were already having depth issues there.  Does that force some of the freshman?

Coach Rodriguez:  “Well we moved John Ferrara over.  I don’t know if that is a newsflash.  Yeah, we moved him over from defensive line to offensive line because of those injuries and because not only that, because we think John has a chance to compete for a starting job.”

Question:  For this year?

Coach Rodriguez:  “This year certainly; we wouldn’t have moved him if we didn’t think, because he was in the rotation on the D-line.  In two to three days, he such a smart guy and such a competitive guy, we have really been impressed with him.  I think it is a good move and he is going to be battling for a starting job at guard by maybe by the first game.”

Question:  He is on the right side?

Coach Rodriguez:  “Yeah he is on the right side.”

Question:  Anybody else move?

Coach Rodriguez:  “No that is it.”

Question:  So now with the injury to Corey and now moving John over there, how do you feel about the continuity of that?

Coach Rodriguez:  “It was okay.  Today, you know the O-line; Coach Frey is doing a great job.  We have a little bit of versatility with Moose (Dave Moosman) can play guard and center.  We have got a couple of other guys that can play guard and tackle.  We are getting some continuity there.  Obviously there is going to be some freshmen on the two deep.  Possible Rocko Khoury and Ricky Barnum, it makes you a little nervous when you have a true freshman that is one snap away, but that is where we are at.”

Question:  Any other moves you’re considering?

Coach Rodriguez:  “Not right now, not right now.  The danger is that we are getting close to game time, game planning and John was the big move.  It was a completely unselfish move on his part to help the team out.”

Question:  Any more games on that as far as tenacity or whatever…?

Coach Rodriguez:  “Yeah, I think so.  There was a little better intensity at times today.  The things we are doing live.  We are not doing a whole lot of live tackle to the ground, but you can still do those big guys, can pop a pretty good bit.  I thought the intensity was pretty good today.  I thought we got better today.  I am not sure if we got better in some practices, but I thought we got better today.”

 



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