Another closed practice today, so not a lot of news.
However, various reporters asked coach Tyrone Willingham about various players. Here are what I thought were some of the more interesting responses:
&bullTailback J.R. Hasty: "We need a back to accompany Louis Rankin. That is not giving Louis Rankin a job or anything of that nature, but it is saying that right now, being that Louis is our starter, that we need somebody to accompany him. We like to use two backs and give us that system where we can really come after people an awful lot. Hopefully, he's making all the progress in the right areas to be able to do that."
&bullLinebacker E.J. Savannah: "We want to see if he can really grow, become even better, and stay healthy and be that kind of electric linebacker that we thought. That was one of the things I saw from him in high school: When he hit people it was kind of electric – balls and body parts just seemed to go flying in different directions. That's a great thing to have because we've got to be a defensive football team that starts to create some turnovers."
&bullDefensive tackle Cameron Elisara: "He has demonstrated he's a worker, and workers always fit well in our system because we know that they're going to continue to get better. … We're hoping somebody will kind of emerge to help Wilson Afoa in that middle … because that makes all the difference in your run defense."
&bullCenter Juan Garcia: "He has battled through a lot of injuries and shown himself to be a warrior and a fighter. When you talk about leadership, the first thing you want to have is the example, because the example then sets the tone for you to be able to say things to other people and be respected for what you say. Juan has been excellent from that standpoint, and we're expecting more leadership and even better play out of him."
&bullGuard Jordan White-Frisbee, converted from the defensive line after a series of foot problems: "It's nice to have him moving around and healthy and not really favoring the foot – I think he still a little bit favors it. But it's nice to get him to do some things, and I think that as he becomes more comfortable and learns more about the position, he'll grow and do better each day."
&bullReceiver Corey Williams: "I think Corey, if he was sitting here, would say (the key is being) consistent. There is no question that he has shown some wonderful flashes of being one heck of a football player. … He can be very good."
I also got a little time with incoming punter/kicker Jared Ballman, and he will be features in my story for the Saturday paper. He admits he was brought in mainly to replace Sean Douglas as punter, but Ballman says he wants to win the kicking job, also.
He seems like a good guy, and certainly doesn't lack for confidence.