Head coach Kalani Sitake teaches linebacker Morgan Unga at spring practice (Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah - With warmer weather and sunny skies, the BYU football team spent Wednesday morning outside during the second week of spring practices.
“I think they are excited to be outside," head coach Kalani Sitake said. "We couldn’t do it last week. It’s just good to get out and play on the natural grass. It’s what we play on in the stadium. Getting fresh air was good for the guys but football is meant to be played outside.”
Watch highlights from Wednesday's practice
The following quotes are from Wednesday's post-practice media availability.
Head coach Kalani Sitake
On helping coach positions on defense and Steve Kaufusi switching to coach linebackers
“Coach Kaufusi is very capable as a linebacker coach. We spent some time together talking scheme and football and he is very bright and understands the game. Coach Tuiaki has done a great job coordinating the defense so I’m just there to help out a little bit. Wherever I can help out on offense or defense I am trying to do that this spring.”
More on his coaching role and his staff
“I love every part of it. I am really appreciative of the role of head coach. I’m probably doing things a little different than most head coaches. My mindset is to help the players first and then do what I can to help take care of the staff. As long as I am doing that my job is fairly easy. I get a lot of good credit for things I don’t even control. I’ve mentioned it to a lot of different people; our coaches do an amazing job of helping mentor these young men, not just in football, but also off the field. I think we are all on the same page here. I happen to be the head coach but we are all working together going the same direction and it's a lot of fun.”
On the value of his staff members
“We have a lot of guys that have been at BYU and understand what it's about. We have a lot of guys that played Division I football that can be good advisers for our players.”
The offensive line's progress
“Our offensive line is so much further along than we’ve been before. I think they have a lot of confidence because they are big and we have a little bit of depth. Those guys are bigger and they are stronger. They are playing with a lot more confidence. The defense is bringing a lot of different looks at them and they are doing okay with it.”
Defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki
Thoughts on the linebackers
"They're unbelievable young men. It's great to have their leadership. They bring the energy and make big plays. Those guys are a great part of this team and we'll definitely be turning to them to be leaders this fall."
On the player response after shifting some position coach responsibilities
"It's been good; there's been nothing negative at all. The biggest positive is getting the head coach involved more on the field. There's a big difference with the way he teaches and the way the boys respond. The little things that I miss, that I don't see yet, he does."
On the defensive line
"We've got a lot of work to do. We've got three guys who have experience at defensive tackle, but they were all limited. It feels like we're still kind of starting new. There are a lot of young kids, especially at the defensive end spot, that need reps. Overall I really like the personnel. We've just got a lot of work to do and they know it. We're excited."
Quarterback Tanner Mangum
"Spring is fun, especially on a beautiful day like today where we can be out on the field. We're excited. There's a lot of energy. I thought the tempo was good today. There's a sense of urgency and wanting to get better. Spring is a chance for new guys to step up and a good time for veterans to improve their game."
"Tejan [Koroma] is amazing to have in front of you. Having him there gives you a sense of relief, knowing he's going to be fighting like crazy in there, and he's smart too. He knows how to pick up blitzes and read things. The more we play together, the more in sync we are. I think the whole line is doing a good job of taking the offense to another level. There are some good young guys coming up and Tejan is doing a good job of leading those guys."
On Coach Detmer
"I'm learning a ton. I think last year was good to be in the headsets every game and know his calls and what he likes. And then just to be in the meeting room with him, he's a great coach and a great teacher. He really helps you understand things and I'm loving it."