The latest post-practice presser transcript can be found here. Some thoughts:
Snyder: Can you talk about some of the guys that have really stepped up?
Niumatalolo: One guy in particular is Craig Schaefer at outside linebacker. That is a spot where we are looking for someone to step up and he has had a great spring practice so far. We are also excited about Nate Frazier. He has done some good things. Defensively we have some guys that have played and the guys that played last year have really showed up so far in the spring. You can see the difference between them and the guys that haven’t played. On offense, Jarod Bryant has been solid. We moved Ricky Moore to center and he has had some growing pains, but he is coming along.
Schaefer is a big hitter. It’s nice to see a little buzz about him and Nate. My only real disappointment here is that Ricky Moore is getting a mention, but not Andy Lark or one of the other centers who made the move from the D-line. It would be a huge boost if one of those guys could catch on so we could use Moore at his natural tackle position. Depth could be a big concern at center.
Niumatalolo: I thought Emmett had a good practice on Saturday. With Jarod playing slot back, that is all dependent on Kaipo. Right now he is still nursing he knee so Jarod is mostly playing quarterback. When Kaipo is able to go full speed then Jarod will get some time at slot back.
I really hope Jarod gets some snaps at slot before the spring is over. Spring is the time for tinkering, after all.
Snyder: What is the status of Deliz and Sovie?
Niumatalolo: Deliz is still out, but Clint is practicing and is doing a good job. It doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. We are excited to have him back. He had a good first week of practice.
Fratto: Last year at fullback Ballard and Kettani kind of rotated possessions. Would you like to do that again or will Kettani get the bulk of the carries?
Niumatalolo: Eric is the main fullback, but we need somebody to spell him. The ratio of plays probably won’t be the same this year as it was for Adam and Eric, but we need a back-up fullback to give Eric some rest and we are trying to figure out who that is going to be.
Despite the preseason buzz about Devan Clark, he hasn’t quite risen to #2 yet. Then again, it’s only been a week.
Snyder: Can you talk about the slot backs? Other than Shun White you have a lot of new faces over there.
Niumatalolo: Andre Byrd had a good week of practice, Greg Shinego is an experienced guy, we have some younger guys like Greg Jones, Cory Finnerty, Wes Holland and J.J. Cosh that are getting an opportunity to show us what they can do. We are excited about the guys we have there.
I’m surprised to see Bobby Doyle third on the depth chart, only because it seemed like he got some decent playing time last year. Overall, despite the lack of established players I’m pretty confident about the A-backs. Shun White is a proven player with big-play ability. Greg Shinego might not have extensive game experience, but it isn’t as if he’s a rookie with a lot to learn. He’s a senior that has been practicing for three years and waiting for his shot. He’ll be ready. And although it remains to be seen how well Jarod Bryant can adjust to the new position, we know what he can do with the ball in his hands. I’m pretty comfortable with this group, plus our usual bunch of athletic underclassmen waiting for their chance to impress.
But is Andre Byrd really 5-7?
The latest depth chart is here. Lots of movement, especially in the secondary.