- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Some quotes from the Pac-12 coaches conference call earlier today.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez on how his players grasped his philosophy: "I think they grasped it pretty well from the progress from the first practice to the last. We tried to coach them up and educate them on how practice is going to run and the tempo we were going to go out and the things we wanted to achieve in each and every practice. For the first practice, which was tough on guys, about halfway through they were gassed and done and struggling to the end, to the last practice of spring they were moving around a little better ... I think they saw a whole other level of continuing we have to be in just to get through practice, let alone to play at the pace we want to play at."
ASU coach Todd Graham on the quarterback situation: "Obviously, we're a lot closer than what it appears probably from the outside. It was a great evaluation for us. And to be honest it's very difficult to rep three guys and I was very impressed that we were able to install the amount of the offense that we did install and we did it with three different guys."
Cal coach Jeff Tedford on the progress of quarterback Zach Maynard: "I thought he did a nice job. We were so far ahead of last year when he was new into the system. We were able to do much more on offense this spring and move along and much more efficient. You could really tell his experience from the season had really paid off with the speed of the game and the management of the game. He really improved obviously through a year. Spring was very effective for him."
Colorado coach Jon Embree on splitting quarterback reps this fall: "With two to three going after it you have to be creative. We'll do some different things to make sure they get quality reps. It may be by day, it may be by drill ... if it's a clear cut deal, I'm not going to waste time. I think it's important that the team knows and that quarterback know that they're going to be leading the team."
Oregon coach Chip Kelly on quarterback Bryan Bennett after the spring game: "He was fine. I saw him Monday and he was good. There's not much we can do about the games of the past. He's getting in and watching film on his own because we're in that part of the season. I saw him in there watching tape and getting ready for camp coming up. Everything is a learning experience for everybody in our program. It was a good learning experience for Bryan to go through."
Oregon State coach Mike Riley on Sean Mannion's progress: "To summarize it, I think he had a very valuable freshman year. He's a tremendously hard worker. Conscientious. So what we're looking for is just continued growth. Quarterbacking is a never-ending story of decision making, getting the ball out of your hands. Getting it to the right guy. I thought he had an excellent spring that way. He'll take all of that work into the summertime and be prepared for fall camp so we're just looking for bigger and better things."
Stanford head coach David Shaw on The Big Game in October: "I think the biggest change is all of the activities around the game, it's going to be hard to do all of those because they're not at the end of the season. The last couple of years it's been the second to last game of the regular season. But now, so early in the season, we've got too much work to do. We can't afford to have too many distractions. I've talked to coach Tedford and we're going to try to organize that week to where we can still do some of the traditional things, maybe just earlier in the week. We're just mid-season. We can't have too many other things going on."
UCLA coach Jim Mora on the need to cut scholarships (he said they need to cut three): "Probably a combination of both [grayshirting and current players]. I've talked to all our recruits and all our current players about their futures at UCLA."
USC coach Lane Kiffin said he wants to see improvements in the running game: "I think we did improve in the second half of the season comparable to the first half ... obviously we lost our left tackle Matt Kalil, so that will be tough to replace. But Curtis coming back after a 1,000-yard season. He's coming into his senior year. I'm looking for him to improve with D.J. Morgan going into his second year of playing with us. We aren't very deep, but we would like to definitely improve our rushing stats."
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham on what he learned in the first year in the Pac-12: "I don't know if we learned anything new. We had an idea going in that it was going to be very competitive ... it was very apparent on tape that there was a lot of good athletes in this conference and some great coaching and that was the case. I can't say that anything surprised us."
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian on finding a third wide receiver: "We know who Kasen Williams is. We know who James Johnson is. Who's going to be the third guy that's a consistent contributor. Can Cody Bruns get healthy and do it? Can a young guy? Can a Jamaal Jones, DiAndre Campbell, a Marvin Hall, one of those types of guys, step up. That will be big."
Washington State defensive coordinator Mike Breske on the new system: "Speaking for my first go-around with coach Leach going through spring ball, it was a little bit unusual in terms of 70-75 percent of the balls in the air from a defensive perspective. Growing process, [it was] coaches learning kids, kids learning about their coaches and how to practice, that type of thing. Once we got to practice 15 we accomplished a lot of the things we were looking for going into the spring."