Grimes: “First group did ok”

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Jeff Grimes talked about his offensive line on Monday.

On Wyatt Teller (I picked this answer up halfway through, sorry about that): “Very, very aggressive.  Very good athlete.  I think he’s a kid, based on what I saw at that time [when Grimes was watching Teller’s film at Auburn] who had all the tools.”

Jeff Grimes

On how raw Teller is: “Yeah, he’s still raw.  All freshmen are raw, and he certainly is on offense as well.  But he’s got some things that you can’t teach.”

On whether Teller can play this year: “Time will tell.  It’s too early to say.”

On whether Grimes had to trade a couple of players to the defense to get Teller: “No..no…those guys are willing to do whatever’s best for the team.  That says a lot about them, and it says a lot about Wyatt, too.”

On whether Grimes and Teller had ever talked about the offensive line before last week: “Oh I had been kidding around with him a little bit!  But he asked for a little bit too, because he’d catch my eye sometimes and then he’d show me a little pass [blocking] set, like he was playing left tackle.  I said ‘all you have to do is say the word!’  So he’s as guilty as I am on that.”

On the things Teller needs to improve on: “He’s at the point right now where his head is swimming a bit.  It’s hard to get to the ‘how’ when you’re thinking so much about the ‘what’.  We’re just trying to get him to the point where he understands where he’s going, and what his responsibility is, and along the way just trying to bring along one or two things a day, like his stance and his first step, and that sort of thing.”

On whether Grimes likes him on the left side: “I think he can play either [tackle position].”

On Jonathan McLaughlin: “I think he’s feeling a lot more confident now, in terms of just understanding the scheme and getting a little bit more accustomed to what we’re asking of him.  But at the same time, we’re adding more to the offense every couple of days as well, so he’s making progress but he’s still got a ways to go as well.”

On Laurence Gibson : “I thought he had a little bit of a slow start, but he’s really picked up the last couple of days.”

On Saturday’s scrimmage: “I thought our first group did ok.  Some guys better than others, but I thought our first group did ok.  Our protection for the most part with that first group was decent.  The first group didn’t get a lot of opportunities to run the ball.  Bud’s playing man coverage and putting you in a position where you need to throw it a little bit more.  We had one series down there in the redzone where we ran it a little bit more and had some nice gains, but you’re in tight and the safeties make plays, and we didn’t have our first backs in at that time.  But I thought our first group did a decent job.  Second and third group have a long way to go.”

On the starters who stood out to him: “I thought in particular, Andrew Miller and David Wang played the best.”

On whether Wang’s leg issues enter into his mind when he’s trying to set a starting lineup: “Well, you always have to have a contingency plan, particularly at center, so you’re always working guys into the rotation.  I think we’ve got a good plan there, in that we’ve got two or three guys who can play center, and we’re rotating guys through, so I think we’ll be in decent shape there regardless of what happens.  I try not to worry about what’s happened in the past, and focus on moving forward.  I think you always have to plan for the worst as a coach, but you certainly hope for the best.”

On how he handles his players when there are a lot of injuries in one practice, such as Mark Shuman and J.C. Coleman: “Well, you are certainly sensitive to those guys, but the general message is ‘next man up and move forward’.  That’s what you have to do in this game.  You can’t waste any time thinking about what happened, you can’t waste any time worrying about what that does to you, you just move forward.  I think if anything it’s a reminder to everybody that you better be ready regardless of where you are on the depth chart.”

On Augie Conte ‘s status: “Yeah, he’s back.  He scrimmaged on Saturday.  You know, still not quite full speed, but he’s learning how to play through an injury.”

On how tough it is to lose Mark Shuman : “He was a guy who was competing for a starting job, so you hate to lose anybody, particularly a guy that can do more than one thing (play multiple positions).  But, it is what it is and we’ll get him back when we get him back.”

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