April 10, 2012
Download Podcast Of Coach Tony Levine's Presser
Download Podcast Of Mack Rhoades Presser
Houston, Texas - HEAD FOOTBALL COACH Tony Levine:
"Excited to be here right now. We finished our 12th (practice) opportunity last night in spring practice. I am pleased where we are at right now. In early March we released a depth chart with many blanks. We are excited to see those spots being filled and most of all the blanks will be filled after Friday's spring game."
On the Depth Chart Being Competitive:
"We will have most of those blanks filled out but there will still be a few spots that are left open. We had a few guys who have been bothered by injuries, and (others) just have not performed up to their potential this spring. We have had guys in our program the past few years that have came to spring practice and showed us what they can do as well. We will also have some newcomers this fall that will also have the opportunity to move in."
On the Quarterback Position:
"David Piland will be our starter. He separated himself from the others. He has done a great job this spring. Competition will continue for the number two spot. Bram Kohlhausen and Crawford Joneshave both done a great job this spring and will continue to fight for the spot. I see improvement everyday for both of them."
On the Offensive Line:
"Our offensive line has done a tremendous job this spring. Our protection has been excellent. The unique thing about that is we moved around (players) really every two practices. We moved guys from each position. We are looking at who would be the sixth guy or seventh guy in case of injuries. This past year was very special in that we had the same five starting offensive linemen in all 14 games. We are giving our guys a lot of experience moving around. They are doing a great job using technique, fundamentals and playing physical."
On the receiver position:
"We have had a lot of questions on who will play the receiver positions. Daniel Spencer, Dewayne Peace, and Ronnie Williams have all been playing great this spring. We have had questions on who will fill the "X" position," which is the position Patrick Edwards played last season. For different reasons it is not clear at this point who will play that position. The three who are competing for that position are: Isaiah Sweeny, Mark Roberts, and Aaron Johnson. Johnson started off competing at the quarterback position but came to me wanting to be moved to the receiver position. He has done a great job the past couple practices. There is no clear cut starter at this point."
On the defense:
"I have been pleased with how quickly they have picked up the transition to the 4-3. They have confidence in what they are doing and can just react. Our defensive line has done a great job on their technique. We have had a few injuries. Jon Witten quickly moved his way up to working with our first team and went out with an injury and won't be back for the next couple weeks. Desmond Pulliam was another one that was moved to defensive end and Efrem Oliphantmoved (there) from middle linebacker as well.
At linebacker Phillip Steward and Derrick Matthews will be returning. The one that stands out if you have come to practice is Everett Daniels. He has picked it up this spring. I been pleased where we are. The competition has been at safety. Chris Cermin and Jeffery Lewis are the starters right now. Colton Valencia and Kent Brooks will continue to compete. At corner Thomas Bates, Chevy Bennett, and Alex Tillmanhave done a great job."
On the kickers:
"Matt Hogan is coming back. He has had a great spring. Richie Leoneis now a junior and has also done a great job this spring. Crawford (Jones) and Richie (Leone) have solidified the holder spots as well."
On the punt returners:
"There are eight guys that have worked at punt returner. The emphasis is on catching punts. Dewayne Peace, Charles Sims, Kent Brooks, Damian Payne, Casey Martin and Wayne Beadle, among others, have been battling for the punt returning position. This competition will continue into August. I am excited where we are at."
On David Piland:
"We were fortunate to redshirt him this past season. The last time you saw him play was 2010. He has had great growth since then, mentally and physically. In 2010 we did not teach him the entire offense but he did see every blitz (that could be thrown at him). His knowledge is going to bring great things to his position. We have an extremely young offense returning, which is exciting. In a year from now I will be standing up here talking how experienced we are going to be (on offense) heading into 2013. "
On the quarterback position:
"We were happy with what we saw from David Piland. Piland showed us in the first couple of practices that he should be the starter of this football team. The way he has played and handled our offensive showed us that he is right for this position."