Aug. 17, 2011
By Tom Weber
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Saluki Football head coach Dale Lennon discussed the progress of his team after the morning practice on Wednesday. The team has completed 10 days of training camp, which concludes with Saturday morning's scrimmage at Saluki Stadium.
"We're not going to make a decision until after Saturday's scrimmage. We're doing the same things we've done since Day 1, it's the same evaluation process, and we'll see where we're at after the scrimmage. I think things are starting to show themselves and hopefully we can make a decision soon."
Sometimes when you have three battling for a position, you're not sure if you have one. Do you think you have one out of the group?
"I think I have three out of the group. Right now, any one of our three quarterbacks would be a heckuva starter for us. That's why we want to make sure we go through the process and do our evaluations."
In light of the number of injuries last year, has your practice approach changed to reduce the amount of contact and chance for injury?
"It really hasn't. That's the way we practiced last year. Last year was just one of those years where strange things happened and there was absolutely no way to prevent them. We're pretty much doing the same things we've done before. Our number of injuries right now is pretty normal. Last year wasn't normal."
In the past, you've talked about how team's develop their personalities during camp. Have you seen a personality develop with this team yet?
"That's what I'm looking for right now. We're at that point in pre-fall where it's tough. The next couple days will really define who we are as a football team. We haven't really developed a personality that I can hang my hat on."
"I think the confidence is in having played a complete year in the offensive scheme. They understand everything and are not thinking as hard as they were last fall. It's a complicated offense with all the movements, checks and shifts that we do."
On paper, it may look like the wide receiver corps is an area where you have a lot of unproven players, but they appear to be making strides in camp. Do you agree?
"We feel good about the receiving corps. On the outside, it doesn't look like we have much returning, so I can see why people would have concern. But we've kind of used that to our advantage. If there's one position that wants to prove itself more than any other position, it's at the receiver spot."
With the weather being so mild throughout camp, do you almost want a day or two of hot, humid weather to get the team ready for it in case you have those conditions during a game?
"You actually want to have a wide variety where its real cold and days where it's real hot. It's just good to practice in the elements any chance you can. You take what you get, though, in the game of football."
What's a normal work-day like for your coaching staff during two-a-days?
"It's definitely a challenge. You take it one day at a time. We're an early-morning group. Most of our coaches are getting in before 5 a.m. In the evening, we try to get home by about 8 p.m., although some coaches stay in a little later than that. It's definitely a long day. My wife has been through the process before, and so she took off. She's over in Portugal doing a Habitat For Humanity. As a coach, you do your thing and your family does their thing."
Are there any players who you'd like to single out who have made big improvements since last year and are moving up the depth chart?
"We have a number of those, but I'm not going to single anyone out because I don't want to jinx it. They have to show it in the game. When they get to game time and start performing well, then they'll deserve those accolades."