This is a key week for the Arizona football team. Fall camp concludes at week’s end and by the time Monday rolls around the team will have a “real” depth chart.
Although the team released a preliminary depth chart prior to camp, it was a best guess effort with the majority of positions having multiple options. Now we should get a good feeling for who will initially see the field and who has some work to do.
Rodriguez indicated that this week would be a final audition of sorts and that the following two weeks would be used as game preparation, with the players at the top of the depth chart seeing more and more reps as the Toledo game approaches.
The team has not been exempt from the injury bug. Several players were sporting yellow “injury” jersies. Among the players missing time are Rob Hankins, Greg Nwoko and Dan Pettinato. Other than the injury to Jacob Arzouman, none is expected to miss significant time.
Talking to some people behind the scenes, there may be a good reason why camp is mostly closed. Apparently the 3-3-5 has a lot of unique wrinkles that will make it difficult to prepare for without a lot of film to study. Many have assumed Rodriguez did not want the fanbase to see the growing pains of the team, but it could also be to put the early teams on the schedule at a disadvantage.
Almost to a man the players do not want to talk about the Mike Stoops era or compare the two coaching staffs. The team will admit that Rodriguez and the current staff have "extreme expectations." These high expectations extend from offseason conditioning to on-field performance. Rodriguez and the staff even have high expectations for how fast the team hustles on and off the field.
Rodriguez gave an indication about who might return kicks. Richard Morrison, Jonathan McKnight and Jarrell Bennett are the leading candidates to return punts, while Ka'Deem Carey, Daniel Jenkins, Kylan Butler or possibly J.T. Washington will run back kickoffs.