“We’ve got three practices under our belt for the 2013 season and it’s going well. I think the recall has been really tremendous for our guys. I think our coaching staff is excited about where these guys came back and how much recall they had in all three of our phases. And now we’re excited to start working with them again as we have for these first three days and get going. Today was our first day just with shoulder pads on and it was a very feisty practice. It was good.”
Have any of the true freshmen stood out thus far?
“Everybody wants to know what true freshmen are going to help. You’ve heard this before, but everybody looks good in shorts. They all look good in shorts. There’s a lot of adrenaline pumping right now, especially for those young guys, so they’re flying around and you’ll see some flashes here and there, but there’s a lot of mistakes being made. They’ve got to become dependable before we can ever take advantage of what they have, so that’s going to be very important for them.
“We’ve seen some flashes from all of them, actually. Now, who’s going to be mature enough, who’s going to be emotionally mature enough to handle the grind of camp, the 29 practices that take you into that first game… I don’t know. The jury’s still out there because we’re only in Day 3.”
Was confidence a factor in Quinshad Davis’s emergence last fall?
“No, we never doubted his confidence. He’s been a confident kid. But I’ll tell you what you do see – you tell Quinshad to move your game to another level, you’ve got to get stronger. Well, you see him at the end of the summer and his numbers in the weight room are much improved. His body’s changing. He’s proud of that because he’s worked hard.
“He’s not that skinny, bird-chested kid when he came into camp. He’s taken some pride in that. He is still that very eager football player that when you talk to him, his eyes get big and he’s listening and absorbing everything you say. The great thing about Quinshad is that he has such great football savvy, so you can tell him something and he can understand what you’re telling him and you can see it on his next rep. You can see him make it work that way. Not everybody can do that.”
On leadership in the secondary:
“You’ve got a couple of those young kids like Brian Walker and [Desmond] Lawrence who have come in and are making some waves and some people are excited about [them], but it’s great to have Jabari [Price] and Tim [Scott] that have the experience they have. We talked about this as a senior class the other night. When some of these freshmen got thrown out there in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2010, they had to start; they didn’t have a choice and I’m sure they were scared to death. But at some point in that game, they realized the belonged.
“So these guys have come a long way. And now, it’s you remember what it was like as a true freshman. There was somebody in the program that put their arm around you and brought you in and taught you things. And we’ve really emphasized making sure those guys do the same thing.”
On the backup quarterback spot:
“I don’t know that we’ve named a guy, but [Marquise Williams] and Mitch [Trubisky] are probably rolling reps with the twos right now.”