BYU keeps improving as fall camp enters new week
PROVO, Utah – Kicking off a new week of fall camp, BYU football concluded another practice at the Student Athlete Building fields on Monday morning.
Check out the photo gallery and read below for quotes from coaches and players following practice.
Head coach Kalani Sitake
Impressions after watching film from scrimmage
I think we’re right where we need to be as a team and we’re looking forward to this next week. For a full week of practice, there are some things we need to work on and polish up before the game, but for the most part, we’re right on track.
New receivers capable of stepping up
The key is we have really good quarterbacks that can get them the ball. I think they’ll be fine. They’re very capable, they’ve been waiting for their time and their time has arrived. It’s their time to shine, so I’m looking forward to it. It helps having two quarterbacks that have lots of experience getting them the ball.
On forming two-deep roster after scrimmage
We kind of knew what we were getting into going into fall camp, so there will be a few changes here and there. But I think for the most part, we have an idea of who our best guys are. And then there are some guys that just have to compete for a starting spot, the quarterback being one of them. There are a few others that are battling for it, so that can only be settled on the field. We’ll take this week to really hone in on who our best guys will be and who will take the first snap. We feel really good about developing the depth that we have on this team, both on offense and defense. So far, the competition is providing a lot of opportunities and it’s improving our depth at each position.
On the tight end position
It’s getting better. Overall, time will tell. We have a lot of good bodies. There are some inexperienced guys, but the skill is there. Coach (Steve) Clark and Coach (Ty) Detmer are doing a great job at bringing those guys along. Putting the best 11 on the field at different times will be important to us, but we’ll definitely need a tight end and having Alema Pilimai, he plays a lot faster there for us than he did at outside backer.
Philosophy on selecting captains
I think the team is the best gauge for selecting captains. We’ll do that later, as soon as we get our two-deep. One step at a time. We’ll get closer to game. I imagine 10 days out of the first game is when we’ll probably select that.
Vitality of playing man-press in the defensive philosophy
It’s huge. Every zone becomes man anyways, so as a defense, we want to become aggressive. I feel the offenses nowadays are so good at picking you apart that you have to impose your will some time. If not and you just sit back and wait, you bleed slowly and you die. I’d rather go out swinging and that’s the scheme we’re thinking about doing quite a bit. We recruited some guys to come in here and help our corner position out. It’s not going to be all one scheme, but we feel comfortable with the things we’re asking our guys to do, and that involves covering man-to-man.
On more scrimmages
We’ll do more live stuff tomorrow. It will be more situational than the whole day. We’ll do that a few more times and some things we think we need to work on. I’ve said before, the O-line and D-line is live every time they put on pads. We need to be creative in ways to get our skill to tackle each other and block. We did a little bit of that Saturday, but I think we can do a little more now as we get closer to the game.
How guys are coming along physically
They’re doing well. Like I’ve said before, this is a great group of young men. They’re always willing to learn new techniques and the things we’re teaching. We haven’t had any issues with that—they’re buying into what we’re teaching them. They’re trying to put it on the field. When you have guys that are willing to do what you ask them to, only good things can happen. We’ve taken what we’ve seen Coach Mendenhall and his staff establish and try to build on those strengths, and also add some new things that can help us win. There are ways to be physical and also to be safe and to do what needs to happen to get your team ready.
Sophomore WR Moroni Laulu-Pututau
On the progress of the wide receivers
They’re looking good. A lot of young guys are getting the opportunity to step up. We’re getting a good feel for the offense and we’ve focused on improving every day. We always set goals as a receiving corps so that we can see visual progress as a whole and so far we look good.
On changes from last year’s offense
With the coaches it has changed a lot. Their approach of how they coach us and how they handle us is a whole different world. It’s gone from fire and brimstone to, I don’t know, feathers and pillows. It’s different. Both are effective and different guys respond to different things but in the end it’s all about making plays and helping the team win.
On focusing beating a man press
Considering that’s the defense we play, we see it a lot. But the emphasis is to be ready for both. We get more reps against press because that’s what our defense plays, but really there’s no emphasis.
On Ben Cahoon
You just have to be close to him because he’s probably going to whisper. He’s not going to yell at you on the field and you’re never going to hear him yell, “Catch the ball!” Listen, look for it. He’s not going to be yelling that because he knows we know that we need to make the plays and he’s not going to be putting us down. As a coach, when its 1-on-1 he says, “Hey guys, this is what you need to do…” or “This is what you’re’ doing well…” and I like it.
On taking a bigger role in the offense this year
Of course, I think everyone is looking to do more this year. My mentality is to be a bigger part and to make the plays that my team needs and I think that’s everyone’s mentality. My mentality is to be the best I can be and help my team win.
On the incoming receivers
They’re doing really well, especially with this new offense since its not too complicated, it’s more of a pro-style offense. They’re doing really well stepping in. You can tell that they’re getting their jitters out and the nervousness but they’re starting to make plays. I think they’ll be big for us. Aleva Hifo is doing really well and so are the new guys, Beau Tanner and Jonah Trinnaman. All three are new to the program and doing really well for their first year.
On the progress of the offense at fall camp
We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I think we’re where we wanted to be at this stage of camp. We knew coming in that we wouldn’t be perfect at this point, but we’re where we need to be and on track.
Senior DL Sae Tautu
On the defensive line
I think we’re doing really well. We’re right on track for our first game and where we want to be. We’re running a new package so everybody had a learning curve, but everyone is doing it and we’re right on track and where we want to be.
On the new defensive scheme
It’s starting to feel like an old habit. With Bronson Kaufusi being here the last couple years, although we ran the three-man front, it had a four-man emphasis because he was such a good pass rusher. Really it’s not too much different than what we’re used to. A lot of the hard part is terminology and getting down the new words for everything and the new signals, but that’s coming along.
On Harvey Langi
With the defense running a four-man front, we’ve got to get to the quarterback faster because we’re putting our DB’s in a tough situation. Harvey, that guy is a beast. We all know he is a giant, fast and strong guy so it’s fun to see him coming off the edge. That’s what I think the coaches have in mind right now trying to press the pocket as fast as possible, so it will be fun to see him blazing off the edge.
Confidence with the linebacker group
We have some of the best linebackers in the nation. Fred (Warner) is a beast. Francis (Bernard) is turning some heads. He came from the offense, but he’s just a football player: big, strong and fast. Having Butch (Pau’u) back there, that guy has a good mind, knows where to be at the right time and has a nose for the ball. It’s easy to do my job knowing they’re going to come fill in and I don’t have to worry about doing anyone else’s job.
Difference in self from last season to this season
I’m a little bit bigger and stronger because of the position change. It made me gain a little bit of weight, but it’s been fun. It’s kind of like driving a new car. You get out here and test out the stuff you didn’t have before. As far as scheme goes, I do a lot more pass rushing than in the past and I like that a lot.