By Kelly Tuckwiller for MSNsportsNET.com
August 10, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart and coach Jeff Mullen quotes from day four of fall camp:
Coach Bill Stewart
It was a very hot, but very enthusiastic practice today. Coaches sometimes, we anticipate that they may be a little sluggish from the start when the sun is out, but today was good, and we were very pleased about that. It was very spirited practice, and I liked the competition.
The young quarterbacks, the young receivers, as well as the young defensive backs got better today. It was fun to see.
The team drills also went pretty well. We did short yardage drills. We worked on the third down a lot today.
Geno Smith played pretty well today. He has a long way to go as a lot of people do on the fourth day, but he looked really sharp at times.
I was really pleased with the way that Will Johnson caught the ball. He had a banner day. Probably the best day that Will has had in a long time.
Bradley Starks also had a good day with a couple of home runs. He just keeps showing up.
On defense, what I thought was really good, was again they did well at disguising and added some extra coverage which adds a little bit of a twist. We had three nice picks today. One was Pat Miller, the second was Casey Vance and then the last one was one of the rookies Ishmael Banks, who we went up and fought Ivan McCartney for the ball.
Today we worked on the kick off game without full coverage. We just did drills and things such as that.
On the kicking game
Right now I would say that on kickoffs, I may give the edge to Corey Smith, because he has been in the arena before. He hits them very well. John Howard hits the high ball and just needs to be a little bit longer.
I will not let Tyler Bitancurt kickoff unless it is an emergency. We have a fine field goal kicker in him. I believe he only missed two last season, and I don’t want to disrupt that.
On Will Clarke
He is a young man with tremendous character. He has so much enthusiasm and just flies around. I put him on our PAT team because of his length. He is a wing, and he can catch. He is really learning and getting better. Will can run and is getting better and better.
Will Clarke has a good chance to be very, very good.
On Brad Starks
I do believe that Brad Starks is a home run hitter and a deep ball guy. He is the threat. It is his time.
Brad Starks has stepped up this season and done very well these last four days. I am very pleased with that.
On Sidney Glover
I was in the weight room with Sidney today. He is a real joy. He is a guy that has been beaten up and I am really proud of what he has done for this football team.
If they are hard on themselves that means that they care. Sidney is that way. He has gone beyond the call of duty in lifting this year. He wants to have a great senior season.
Offensive Coordinator Jeff Mullen
I am very excited going into our third season. We believe in the whole theory of teaching, where we put in our offense in four days. It has been a bit of scramble for our younger guys, but I am happy to report that their progress was ahead of the curve a little bit.
Today’s practice we installed the short yardage, goal line, Ryan Clarke stuff. I was very pleased with the inside drill.
Our defense installed a blitz package that gave us a lot of problems. They are good on defense. If we can have any success this spring or fall against what we think is the best personnel, the best scheme and what I think is the best defensive staff in our league, then that certainly helps to prepare us for games in the fall.
It has been hot, but Noel Devine and Jock Sanders have been stepping up and guys have been following them. Individual drills are crisp and clean. In team settings, we are getting on and off the field, and the kids are giving good effort.
On the young quarterbacks
I am not really surprised at what Barry Brunetti or Jeremy Johnson has given us so far. We spent a very long time recruiting those guys. Talent wise – neither are a disappointment. Both are very talented kids. They are exactly what we thought they were on tape and what we saw live and in person.
Barry is perceived as a good thrower, but he runs pretty well too. Jeremy is perceived as a good runner, but he throws the ball well. There are small differences but at the end of the day they are both very talented.
On the progression of the offense
I don’t know that the offense has changed much since the Pat White era. We put in a system that can handle any type of quarterback. Clearly with Pat, we wanted to give him the opportunity to throw the ball a little bit and still maintain the running attack.
With Jarrett having the stronger arm, we wanted to call some plays that would give him a chance to shine.
You go from run to pass, and I think the short answer for Geno, is that he has the ability to distribute the ball.
Both Pat and Jarrett were both physically speaking the best players on the field. Geno is not that kind of guy. He has the ability to distribute the ball to those guys.