Quarterback Adam Dingwell and the Aztecs begin spring practice on Monday.
Feb. 25, 2013
COACH LONG QUOTES
SAN DIEGO -
San Diego State head coach Rocky Long
"We're pretty excited in our program. We're excited about our two basketball programs and the way they're playing right now, and we're also excited about spring practice starting today. It's kind of secondary, but I think it's very important for our program to get a whole lot better than we are right now. We've got quite a few guys coming back, which is kind of exciting, but we've also got some key holes to fill."
On some of the holes they need to fill:
"I think we're going to compete at quarterback, even though I think Adam Dingwell had a great year. He deserves to start out spring practice as the starter. I think we need to find some tight ends since we lost some pretty good ones from our program. And we have to find a couple cornerbacks since both of our guys were seniors that played most of the time. We have to have someone step up there."
On the center and right guard positions:
"It's hard to lose seniors, but I think we have some guys ready to compete for those jobs. I think that will be fun to watch. But I think our talent and depth on the offensive line is pretty good. Starting out today, I think Zack Dilley is the starting center."
On if he gave combine advice to Leon McFadden and Gavin Escobar:
"No I didn't. Once they decide to go pro, they have all kinds of people advising them. They don't need anymore help."
On if he's been watching McFadden or Escobar at the combine:
"(McFadden) hasn't been on yet. I watched (Escobar) a little bit. I watched him run. I'm sure he's a little disappointed in the (40-yard dash) time he ran. Then I watched him do all the drills, and he looked like the best athlete of all the tight ends out there to me."
On if the NFL Combine is overrated:
"I have no idea how much emphasis the guys making the decisions put on the combine. I think it's more for fans than for the scouts. I think the scouts and the personnel people have already decided on their board and who they're going after. I think the combine is good for the fans to watch."
On what he's looking forward to this spring:
"Coaches really like spring practice. You get to develop your team. Everybody gets a shot to prove they can play. So it's a lot of fun and you can have a lot of competition too. Everybody should be able to stay fresh and healthy. The guys that have proved they can play already, you won't see them as much during spring practice. We're working on the guys that haven't proved they can play yet. But that's the way it goes all the time. Now, the expectations rise as the team gets better. We won the 19th championship in program history, and now we're working on No. 20."
On if any players are injured going into spring practice:
"Yes we've got two defensive backs, King Holder and Marcus Andrews who won't go through spring practice because of shoulder injuries."
On if they'll spend a lot of time installing the new offense:
"The players have already looked at (the new offense). I would say after one week, we'll be up to full speed. It's not much different than we did before. There's some terminology that's different, but it's not much different."
On the biggest concern going into spring practice:
"I think it's at tight end. The biggest concern is replacing the three tight ends we lost. And then I think the next question is cornerback. We lost a great player, and the other corner was a senior too. That's a lot fewer than most people have to replace."