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Aug. 11, 2006

Highlights From the 1st Pads Practice Video Feature on Gene Monroe Video Feature on Tony Franklin

Question: With Deyon Williams out with his injury, how does Maurice Covington’s role change?

Groh: It really doesn’t change his role because he plays on the opposite side. He’s over there in the mix with Fontel Mines and that group of players. He really is responding like a young player who’s really starting to get the sense of wanting to get in the picture of what he wants to become, which is an excellent player. It’s really starting to become clear to him about how to go about making that come.

Question: Andrew Pearman is also on Fontel’s side. Could he also go into some other different roles or is he pretty much just on that one side?

Groh: He’s playing the flanker position and he’s going to stay at that spot. When we have young players, early in their career like this we’re reticent to bounce them around and give them multiple positions, particularly when they’re players who are going to have some significant special teams learning. That’s another phase of the game and that carries with a lot of assignments, too. We don’t want to take those players and just bog them down with the weight of too many assignments, which would impede them from really showing their athletic ability.

Question: Many of the successful slot receivers recently have been shorter guys, like Marques Hagans, who can kind of disappear in the middle and then just show up somewhere. Kevin Ogletree is a little taller receiver. Is he as well equipped for that position as shorter guys?

Groh: Oh, yes. It’s just kind of happened that the next best receiver in the game was of that stature. Actually it’s the opposite way in our thinking. We don’t feel that the job description says that position should be a shorter player.

Question: Talk about the situation at punter with Ryan Wiegand.

Groh: Right now it’s Ryan competing against the necessary performance. When he hits them right he definitely got the most punch and the most lift. What he’s competing against is consistency because he’s got enough talent to hit it well. I guess if he was a baseball player, you’d say, `He can really hit it, he’s just got to improve his average.’

Question: Are you any closer on who the No. 2 quarterback is?

Groh: No, we have to slow down that process. It seems typical of training camp that you always have something going on. Jameel Sewell significantly cut his foot on a bicycle chain the other night. He’s not practicing so he’s not in the competition right now. And so we’re just moving on without him.

Question: What do you expect from our outside linebackers this season?

Groh: What we expect from them is what the position has got to provide every year. In this scheme, they’re the guys that really have to be play wreckers for you-whether it’s set the edge on the force or rushing the passer-they’ve got to make a difference on the defense.

Question: Both D.J. Bell and Davon Robb were on scholarship early in their careers. What is your policy about reinstating their scholarships?

Groh: Our policy is that we look at each player’s circumstances individually; both of those players have been put back on grant-in-aid. Both because they are deserving in their actions and also to do so will enable each one of them to graduate next year … (holder) John Phillips is also (on grant-in-aid).

Question: Are you close to 85 players on scholarship?

Groh: I think we are, yes. That’s the plan. When we have deserving (players), and not necessarily deserving relative to game participation. If a (player) is on the team and he’s really trying to be the guy that we want everybody to be–he’s got commitment, work ethic, and he’s a good team guy and winning’s important to him and he’s responsible academically, that’s what we ask of them. If they do that, when we have the opportunity, we try to reward them.

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