The Main Stream

Aug 20, 2014 10:00 PM by Paul Cicala

Coach Rich Rod chimes in after Wednesday practice for U of A Football

The Arizona football team is less than a week and a half away from opening up the season against UNLV.

So how ready is the team? Coach Rich Rodriguez answers that very-question after Wednesday evening's practice:

"Sometimes I think we're there and sometimes I don't think we are," said Rodriguez. "I had the same concerns last year and the year before. There is a lot of stuff we need to do. Tomorrow night is a light walk-through but during the day we will have an extended walk-through, which we would never do on a game day. We just need to do that to work on some situations. We have no exhibition games at this level, and every other level has preseason games. I think we should be able to practice against another team."

As was the case last year, there is a battle for starting quarterback. Last season, BJ Denker came out on top. In 2014, with just nine days until the opener, there are still unanswered questions at QB. Who will start?

Another question directed at Coach Rich Rodriguez: Are there -fewer- concerns this season at this point than last year?

"Not really because we have to replace the key position at quarterback and we have to replace an All-American at running back," said Rodriguez. "I have just as many concerns this year."

With Ka'Deem Carey off to the NFL, the question also remains: Who will replace the Tucson native and All-American at running back?

At Wednesday's practice, Rich Rodrigues said, "there hasn't been a guy who has taken charge of the position. Terris Jones-Grigsby and Jared Baker have the most experience but some freshmen are going to play, too. You get better by taking more reps, and these guys have had to do it with limited reps."

On the defensive end, Coach Rich Rod and his staff will have to replace a number of players from last year. Also, at this point, TreMayne Bondurant most likely will -not- suit up in the first game. Coach Rodriguez talked about another defensive player, sophomore linebacker Jake Matthews:

"Jake is going to play a lot. He is on almost every special teams formation and he is competing for a starting spot on defense. He is still young and we are really proud of him."

One player Tucsonans are certainly interested in, is former Salpointe standout Cam Denson. He's hoping to make a name for himself in college football as a cornerback.

"He has done well and he played it in high school," said Coach Rodriguez, "This biggest adjustment for him is the speed, size and strength. There are some guys who will be 6-4 and 220 pounds. As good of a program as he played for in high school, he didn't see receivers like that every week."

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FOR MORE ON THE ARIZONA FOOTBALL TEAM AND ALL TUCSON-AREA SPORTS, TUNE IN TO NEWS 4 TUCSON AT 10 P.M.

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