Rutgers held its first scrimmage of the summer today inside SHI Stadium as the team prepares for its season opener at Boston College. After the scrimmage, head coach Greg Schiano spoke about what he saw on the field.
“Very good things, some really not good things. Things in between, that’s exactly what I expected. Operationally, we’re ahead. Execution-wise, we have nine training sessions. “I guess we’re where we should be. We’d like to be better. I’m not unrealistic with my expectations either. I think it’s going to be a very important week for us. We can learn from this and make some improvements. progress. Next time we do this, we have to be better. That’s the charge.
The QB competition continues
Rutgers handed the offense to all of their quarterbacks at one point as Gavin Wimsatt, Noah Vedral and Evan Simon continued to take reps while Gavin Rupp got a chance to lead the offense as well. Schiano spoke about the three players in this competition.
“Always a hot topic. They all have a sense of offense. When the balls start flying and it’s live football, they don’t get hit because they’re wearing a green shirt. So they’re not It’s hot and that’s when your knowledge of the boardroom and 7-on-7 is tested now when there’s a live pass rush and receivers getting shoved and It was a good experience for all. Noah obviously has the most experience, but good for the other two guys to gain experience. Everyone got to play, a substantial amount too. was present for all the parts. We will have many good bands to evaluate.
Offensive Line Update
Schiano is still looking for a starting five on the offensive line and he mentioned what he saw from that group today.
“I thought blocking the race, we did some good things. The pass blocking, at times, was good and at other times I thought the defense did a really good job, whether it was pressuring or technically one-on-one on a certain guy. One of the things that weren’t good were the penalties. We had too many penalties. It’s the first time we’ve gone with officials. Now we will start doing it more in practice. What I’m trying to do is get the install. I don’t want them to worry about any of this. I want to install everything. But now it’s part of making it all shine.
Schiano has yet to name a starting kicker, although signs point to Jude McAtamney being the guy.
“I think Jude has a very strong leg, so he would be the favorite,” Schiano said. “But you have to let the competition play. Four guys kicked today, which I never did. And I think they popped their bumps. They deserved a chance. This will not be the case in the next scrum. We’ll see both guys at the next scrum, they’ll get them all. Also, we don’t do the same. But he was good. I look forward to – I rely on the specialists to tell me a lot. So I’m going to sit down with them and say, ‘OK, why did you miss that kick?’ Because they know better than me. So I want to walk into the meeting room with them and watch the tape individually with them and find out. Because even if you can, if you can, why didn’t we hit the middle where we were aiming? These are the things for the placekickers. In the next scrum, we will work on the kickoff, which will also be important.
Rutgers have brought in a lot of defensive linemen since Schiano’s arrival and that could translate to more depth this season.
“We had more depth. You know, you get fucked up here, you get fucked up there. Now it’s not long term injuries but it’s injuries that kept guys from facing each other today, thinking a guy was going to face each other and didn’t. Some of these. This depth can be tested quickly. I think we have more people who are comfortable playing than we have in this position. When I say comfortable, they know what they’re doing and they’re strong enough to fight. I’m not going to say they’ll win every battle, but they’re strong enough to fight.
New Look Linebackers
Rutgers has a different rotation at linebacker this year and the unit got its first chance today at extended live play.
“He’s one of those, let me watch the tape. But I think we don’t adapt to a few plays with the 3s and 4s,” said of the linebackers. I really didn’t feel that with the 1s and 2s. We miss a pass play. We didn’t match the pattern right. But I think the linebackers played pretty well, just at first. I know that they had TFLs. They mean they’re decisive – when you get a TFL, you’re blitzing or you’re an in-form decisive player.
Schiano moved Jamier Wright-Collins from running back to linebacker last week to make up for the lack of depth. This translates to one fewer running back.
“We definitely had to move Jamier because of the depth at linebacker,” Schiano said. “Would we have done it if we had less depth? I do not know. I’m glad I don’t have to answer that. We have young fullbacks who I think are really good. We have more experienced guys, I think they are really good. I think what we need to do is figure out how we’re going to get them all in the game and what they do best, and then get them in the game to do that.
Rutgers also takes a slightly different look at the wide receiver position as the offense looks to expand the passing game. A scrum, Schiano shared his thoughts on this group.
“I thought there were some great catches. I think we didn’t block as well as we are able to. I don’t look at that, I look more inside, but I’m sure we had – I know in two minutes we had a bust on the course.”