2016 fall practice begins
PROVO, Utah – In preparation for the 2016 season, BYU football began fall practices Friday morning under the new head coach Kalani Sitake and his staff.
Thoughts on the first day of fall camp
Good, good first day. A lot of good things I saw. But obviously you have day one issues with this being the first practice. It’s never perfect, but I’m really pleased with the way the guys looked. They’re definitely bigger, stronger and faster, so I’m excited to put it all together and see how we all progress during camp.
On having a game on the horizon
It’s a lot of fun now because there’s a goal and it’s not very far away. It’s a month away, and our guys are excited for the game, anticipating, getting to that game time. We feel that football is in the air; our guys are ready to roll. It’ll be fun.
Goals for first week of camp
We have to be familiar with each other and the scheme, and there are some new bodies here. So we want to be able to evaluate a lot of our guys so we can be in a position where we can compete and win some starting spots. The goal is to try to lay a foundation, something where we can be able to compete and find the best 11 on both sides of the ball and find the best guys on special teams. That’s going to be with competition throughout the month, and as they start sweating themselves out, we’ll start naming starting spots throughout the weeks.
On positions he’s working with specifically
I’m trying to be as available as I can for everything. I’ll be involved heavily in special teams. Today I did some stuff with linebackers. I’ll probably hang out with the backers quite a bit.
On surprises today
I think it’s too early to say that. We need to watch the film. I know there are a lot of guys that showed up today where we know these players are going to be fast, going to be strong. But I was really impressed with the way the O-line looked. A lot of our guys got significantly bigger as far as muscle mass, and hopefully that will work out in our favor.
Yeah, he’s 100%. It’s always about trying to hold him back. There was one moment where he split and was about to take off and run forever, but I’m glad he only ran for 10 yards and motored down. I’d rather be the guy saying, “slow down” than, “hurry up.” But that goes with a lot of guys on the team.
On training camp flashback
It’s great. I love it. I drive by the stadium every morning and every night when I go back home. And every time I see the stadium, it’s a good feeling for me. The same thing with stepping on this grass. There’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice that a lot of people through generations of football at BYU have sacrificed for our guys to be where they’re at right now. I’m so happy to be a part of it.
On offseason workouts
We had an offseason tougher than most people. I’d like to say we asked our guys to do a lot more in the offseason than most teams as far as the workout regimen. But these guys took it and they ran with it. That part is the physical part and the lifting and everything. But we’re going to have to hit. If we’re going to tackle better, we need to tackle live. So we’ll get to that. Right now, we’re just trying to get used to being in helmets. Getting pads on, hitting somebody. The only way to get better at tackling and blocking is to actually tackle and block. We’re going to get to that too. We’ll take our time to do it the right way.
On acclimation of coaches happened in spring, not during fall
Our preparation for fall camp was unbelievable. They’re recruiting well. Now we get to go do what we get paid to do, and that’s play football games. And this is the time that they’ve been waiting for. Everybody’s been anticipating this season and fall camp, there’s a lot of excitement going in, with our coaching staff and our support staff.
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ty Detmer
Thoughts on the first day
It was good to get out and get going. We’ve got a few new guys who are learning it on the fly. We’re starting pretty basic, but overall it’s great to get out and have the first day under your belt so you can settle in and get things going.
On fall camp
It’s kind of that thing you’ve been waiting for for six months now. Since you take the job, you just want to get to fall camp and get going. I’m excited it’s here. We’re on the field and in the meeting rooms and getting to actually teach football at this point. Spring ball is like, “let’s just get stuff in and see how it goes”. At this point, you know with 29 days, that’s your mark. You've got to have it ready and everything in within the next two to three weeks, and then really dial it in for Arizona that final week.
The first couple weeks you’re working on your stuff. You versus you, what you want to pull from as the season goes on. You’re going to install a lot of concepts and things you want to do. Then week-to-week you can pull from those. Hopefully the recall is there from training camp. You want to see guys in different situations and different combinations. Things may not always look great because you’re trying different things at that point, and you’re not game planning your own defense. Overall, you want to know that guys know what they’re doing and where they are supposed to go. The execution part will actually take care of itself when you rep it.
On two quarterbacks
It’s great because there is no drop off. Whoever is in, they are functioning at a high level. Beau (Hoge) got a lot of reps during the spring, which is great for him because he’s comfortable with it. That helps to transition, and then I can have my eyes other places and make sure we’re seeing it all.
On spring vs. fall
On the first day of spring, no one knows what’s going to happen because it’s all new. Now guys have had it, they’ve been working on it themselves over the summer. You’re able to call it and expect them to know what to do and not spend so much time talking through it before the play. This is a lot better, though we do have a few new guys and three tight ends in there that weren’t here during the spring. So there is some learning time for them, but they’ll learn quicker now that the guy next to him has a foundation for it already.
On an emerging tight end
I think we’ve got some guys there. It’s just going to take some time and reps and continuing to work it. If it doesn’t, we’ll go to three receivers and make it work. We’ll have a plan for game time when it comes. We’ll do what we feel is best with the best guys on the field and make it work one way or another.
Sophomore QB Tanner Mangum
On first day of fall practice
Day one was great. It was awesome. I think everyone is excited to be out here. There’s a very tangible buzz out here on the practice field, a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. Summer is a grind with the offseason workouts, but to be able to come out here and put the helmets back on and start playing football, it’s fun and it gets you pumped up. I think everyone is feeling the same way.
On the practice style with the new coaching staff
There are a lot of similarities, but some differences as well. All in all, it falls on us as players, regardless of the coaches and how they manage practice, with our energy, and I think we did that today. Obviously, we had some little mistakes today that we can work on, but I thought we did a lot of good things. Guys were flying around and hustling, and the main thing is that the guys have heart. We have to have effort from everyone and I think we did a good job of that today. I’m pumped to get back out there tomorrow. I was bummed when practice ended today.
On goals for fall camp
I want to improve my overall pocket presence. Last year I was a little bit jumpy and not as smooth or sound as I should have been in the pocket. I feel a lot better in that aspect and I need to make sure I have solid footwork. Also, just overall confidence. Having a year under my belt gives me a lot more confidence and I know what to expect and what I’m looking at.
Mainly, we’re just making sure we’re all on the same page, dialed-in and executing the new offense and new system. We have to know what we’re doing and know our plays and be able to go out and play. When you’re learning something you have the tendency to think about things but as you get more reps and get more practice you can just play and let it flow. The goal for us is to get in the groove so that we can come into Arizona confident that we’re ready to go and ready to win.
On excitement for the start of the season
We’re pumped. Right now we have to take it one practice at a time and not get ahead of ourselves. We’re not focusing on Arizona right now. These first couple weeks we’re focusing on ourselves and making sure that we’re executing and that we know what we’re doing. After a few weeks we’ll start game planning. But being out here is fun, there’s such a good energy with the team, and like I said, I was talking to some other guys and we were bummed that practice ended. It went by quick and we’re excited to get back out there and keep improving.
Senior QB Taysom Hill
On returning back to full practice
I think today with it being my first day in the offense with Coach Detmer, I didn’t feel totally comfortable. But I thought for the first day it was a pretty good practice. There are definitely some things that I can personally clean up, but overall I was happy.
On offseason improvements
My biggest thing was just being healthy. I needed to make sure that I was healthy and this injury was quite a bit different than the ones that I’ve had in the past, so it took a little more time than what I was used to or what I was hoping for, to be honest. My mindset has been staying healthy. From where I was at last year and going back to 2014, I was really happy with how I was playing and my mindset has been to get healthy and maintain where I was from a performance standpoint.
On the role of confidence at the quarterback position
It’s everything. Not only for me to go play from a personal standpoint to be confident, but more than anything if you don’t show that you’re confident in what you’re doing when you step in the huddle its hard for your teammates to have that same confidence when you call a play that its going to work and that you’re going to execute at a high level. I think it’s key.
On working out with Tanner
It was fun. It was great having him with us just like last year’s fall camp. Tanner is a good friend.
On adjusting to the new playbook
This offense is quite a bit easier than what we were used to. I feel really, really comfortable, and I think the biggest thing is to get as many reps as possible inside the offense. As we do that I’ll become extremely comfortable with what we’re doing. It’s a great offense and I think we’re going to be really successful with it.
Junior linebacker Fred Warner
On the first day back
The first day back, everyone was excited to come back and be out. You know, Coach Sitake came back yesterday in our team meeting and said that we are a giant just ready to wake up.
On the identifier as defense
We like to do the little nitty gritty things in off season like squats, running stadiums; those are the things that will set us apart when the season comes around, when things get tough. That’s what’s going to make our team.
On new terminology and defense
Everybody is getting things down pretty quickly. It’s a little more simple than what we had before with Coach Mendenhall and the other staff, but we’re learning a lot of the same concepts. Everybody is just being told to play fast and physical, and I think everybody loves it so far.
On chemistry between player and coaches
Oh it’s great. Coach Tuiaki comes out and he’s a very good teacher, same with Coach Sitake. He is good with teaching the linebackers and promoting us to play fast and physical. They give us a lot of freedom, which I think is good. I really love all the coaches.