khaner | Posted: 16 Aug 2016 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Cougars keep grinding at fall camp

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PROVO, Utah – BYU football held its 10th practice of fall camp on Tuesday morning. Watch video from practice and read below to hear from coaches and players following practice.

Head Coach Kalani Sitake
Day 10 assessment progress and pace
We had a really good day, especially with the offense. They did some really good things. Taysom (Hill) and Tanner (Mangum) threw the ball well and our O-line has started to come along. The competition is ramping up and it’s really good work. We’ll bring them back this afternoon and work on a few more things. I like the way it’s all coming together.

Structure of two a days
It was way different even before I played. They give us so much time to do so many different things. People use a lot of it for working out in the weight room. Others use it for walk-through type of deals or true practices or half of them. There are a lot of different things you can do. There’s a lot of flexibility in it. We’ve given ourselves some freedom so if we need to do some extra work or add some more time we can do that, especially in the back end. We’ll bring them back this afternoon to do a few extra things we need to work on. We’ll do that a couple time this week and a few times next week then I think we’ll be in good shape.

On tight ends
They’re doing well. I said it before that we want to use a tight end, but if it’s not the best scheme or talent out there we won’t force it. We have to be prepared to use a tight end on different parts of our offensive scheme. I guess it all depends on their progress and what Coach (Ty) Detmer is trusting them with. So far they have done great things, but there are also some things they need to work on. There are a lot of guys in that group. It’s a work in progress and we’ll keep working with it.

Committee aspect of choosing tight ends
That’s kind of how we have to do it until someone steps up and takes the spot for themselves. There are some that block better than they do as a receiver and there’s others that receive the ball better than block, so hopefully we can get everyone up to where we feel like they can be an all-around tight end. If not then we’ll have to do it by committee. There are a lot of guys who I feel like with the time we have left, they will be ready.

Advantages of being in the gun or being under center
I think getting under the center helps the quarterback a lot more with his eyes rather than having to catch a snap. They can have their eyes more on the defense and not catching the ball. There are also advantages of being in the gun where you’re already set at five yards deep with your footwork. They can get set up and not have to worry about dropping and planting their foot and throwing. They’re pretty much set already with the depth. I think our guys are used to being in the gun quite a bit because that’s what they did a lot last year. We try to take the approach of doing a lot more under center so that we can, if need to, go to the gun. We plan on using both but obviously we need more work under center because that’s something that’s new to them.

Tight ends coach Steve Clark | Video
How the group’s going
The group is good, getting better each day. That’s all I can ask for. They’re doing a good job. 

Anyone stepping forward
They’re all doing well. We’re getting there, but we’re not there yet. We’re still giving them some opportunities to prove themselves. In my mind, that’s how I see it right now. It changes daily. 

Things he saw in Alema Pilimai
Speed. His explosiveness and speed. He’s been a great addition. He’s picking up the offense. He came in and only had a couple of days, and he’s picking it up really well. He was a quarterback in high school. He was with the D-line at BYU and the D-line said ‘we need some tight ends. What do you think of him?’ He’s done a great job. We’re really happy about it. 

Solomone Wolfgramm’s progress
He knows what to do, he’s just not natural playing the game. It's the first time playing the game, first time with a helmet on. He knows what to do, the speed of the game, he’s trying to catch up with that right now. He’s come along. We’re really happy with his attitude.

On Troy Hinds
Troy Hinds has had hip problems and he’s still battling that. We’re going to try to get him out hopefully towards the end of this week, maybe next week, and see what he can do. But it’s giving him some problems right now. 

On Tanner Balderree
He can block, he can do a great job with his hands because of the D-line. Now it’s running the routes and running with speed. And that’s what he needs to work on. That’s what he’s focused on this camp. 

Having a blank canvas to work
Hunter Marshall came from Snow, he’s the one that’s played it the most. You can see some instinctive things he does that the other ones haven’t picked up on yet. You’re trying to teach them that. But they are very willing to do anything that you can tell them because it is a blank canvas. 

Frame of reference for group of unheralded players that became stars
It’s a mindset. The first thing I tell them is I want tough guys, I want fighters. I don’t care how good you are, I need you to be tough. Right now, being stars isn’t what we’re looking at right now. We want to be contributors and solid. It’s a daily process. Each day, we build on the last. We didn’t have a drop yesterday. I think we caught 11 passes and didn’t have a drop. We didn’t have a drop today in team. We’re getting there. I don’t want to put too many expectations on them yet until I see them actually compete in a game. 

Junior RB Trey Dye
On fall camp
Fall camp is going well. They are doing a good job of taking care of us and keeping us healthy. We have ice baths out here so we definitely have all the resources to make sure our legs and our bodies stay fresh. I’ve taken advantage of that so I feel good.

On his role with the running backs
I haven’t quite figured it out yet. We have a lot going on. There is a lot of fun stuff that Coach Detmer is doing, and we’re just having fun with it. Coach (Reno) Mahe is doing a great job as well. Anything from running in the tackles or catching a screen or anything like that, so time will tell. We have a little bit of camp left so we’ll see what happens.

On differences in his game this season
I’ve definitely been paying attention to detail, to all of the little things. I’ve had less mental errors and have paid more attention to the little things in the game, like when you go into the huddle and it’s third and short. This offseason the biggest thing I’ve paid attention to is just the small and simple things.

On involvement with kick, punt returns
Definitely kick return. We have a bunch of guys going right now so they’re getting looks at some of the guys that are new. They have film on the guys who have been here. So I’m definitely on the kick return depth chart. We have a couple of weeks until the first game so we’ll see what happens.

Junior LB Fred Warner 
On the cornerbacks
When I think of that position, I feel like we’re just young in that position. I feel like everybody is competing on a high level right now. I’m not too worried about it. We have a lot of good athletes in that position and they’re fast.

Playing man press
When they play man press against the rush, it gives me a better chance to get to the quarterback. They don’t have to cover for that long as we have pass rushers who are getting into the QB.  

How well the offense is doing from the defense perspective
They are adjusting well to the new scheme. Obviously when you’re learning a whole new offense there’s going to be bumps and bruises, but I like what I see with what they’re doing. They’re running the rock a lot, mixing it up with play action pass and stuff like that. We have such great athletes like Taysom, Tanner and Jamaal (Williams) so I’m not worried.

Overall defense progression
The only struggles we are having in defense is because of injuries happening in the D-line. But a lot of the younger guys are getting reps, which is good for them. For younger guys to play in games you want to be able to rep them a lot in practice and sometimes you don’t have that luxury because you have to play your ones and twos, but other than that if we were to play a game tomorrow I would be comfortable with who we have and what we’re doing. I feel like we’re doing a really good job on defense. 

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