OSU Starts Spring Drills Thursday

April 1, 2003

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START: Thursday, April 3
TIME: 4:00 p.m.
SITE: Reser Stadium (Truax Indoor Center if weather is inclement)

PRACTICE DATES:

Thursday, April 3		4:00 p.m.Friday, April 4			4:00 p.m.Saturday, April 5		1:00 p.m.Tuesday, April 8		4:00 p.m.Wednesday, April 9		4:00 p.m.Thursday, April 10		4:00 p.m.Saturday, April 12		12:30 p.m. (Scrimmage)Tuesday, April 15		4:00 p.m.Wednesday, April 16		4:00 p.m.Thursday, April 17		4:00 p.m.Saturday, April 19		12:30 p.m. (Scrimmage)Tuesday, April 22		4:00 p.m.Wednesday, April 23		4:00 p.m.Thursday, April 24		4:00 p.m.Saturday, April 26		1:00 p.m. (Spring Game)			

SPRING GAME: Oregon State will conclude spring drills with its Spring Game on Saturday, April 26 at Reser Stadium, starting at 1:00 p.m.

ADMISSION CHARGE: Oregon State, for the first time, will charge admission to attend the Spring Game, with all proceeds to benefit the OSU Faculty Emergency Fund for Students. The OSU Faculty Senate approved the creation of an emergency fund that will help students offset a surcharge required by the university to help fill a budget gap created by recent reductions in state appropriations. Admission is free to OSU students with OSU ID and for children 12 years and under. Tickets can by purchased in advance for $3.00 at the OSU Athletic Ticket Office in Gill Coliseum (109). Advance sales must be in person at the ticket office, phone orders will not be accepted. Tickets will be priced at $5.00 apiece at Reser Stadium on game day, April 26.

PRACTICES OPEN: All Oregon State practices are open to the public.

BEAVER FUN RUN: There will be a Beaver Fun Run associated with the Spring Game. The Fun Run will start at 9:00 a.m. and will begin from the Truax Indoor Center and end at Reser Stadium. Fan Fair at Reser Stadium will start at 10:00 a.m. Anyone wishing to participate in either the 5K or 10K run/walk should contact the OSU Marketing Office at 737-4638. There will also be a kid's 1,000-meter run.

RILEY ANSWERS QUESTIONS CONCERNING SPRING DRILLS:

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH THIS SPRING? 'We want to set a foundation for our offense, defense and special teams. Another big thing for us this spring is for our staff to get a good feel for the abilities of our players. We have the benefit of having some guys from the previous staff that are still involved in our program who can help us, but we still need to get a feel for the overall ability of each player.'

DO YOU START OUT WITH THE DEPTH CHART AT THE END OF 2002 SEASON, OR IS EVERYTHING WIDE OPEN THIS SPRING? 'We will start spring drills with people where they were when the season ended last year, but then we will allow each player the opportunity to see what they can do. From a competition standpoint, it is a good opportunity for players to either prove that they are a starter for good reason, or a guy who has not been a starter, its a chance to move up the depth chart.'

WHAT ARE YOUR QUESTIONS AS YOU HEAD INTO SPRING DRILLS? 'I can only look at what happened in graduation. I think it is pretty obvious that we have to take a good look at the defensive backs, and particularly the corners. Obviously, that is an area where two starters graduated. We will need to get two capable guys ready to go for the fall.'

WHERE DO YOU FEEL THE STRENGTH LIES WITH THIS TEAM AS YOU HEAD INTO SPRING DRILLS? 'Overall, I think if you looked at our team on defense, you would have to say that speed is a big factor. This looks like a fast defensive football team. Offensively, you look at a couple of things. You have a guy (James Newson) that has been a very productive receiver and has made a lot of plays, plus there is some other fine talent around him. You look at a quarterback (Derek Anderson) that now has a full season under his belt. You look at a tailback (Steven Jackson) that is going to be one of the most productive players in the history of this school.'

WHERE WOULD YOU ANTICIPATE YOUR BIGGEST POSITION BATTLES THIS SPRING? 'It is really hard for me to say at this point because we are a new staff. We are starting with the original depth chart (depth chart at conclusion of 2002 season). I am looking to find out about everyone on this team, so that pretty much opens it up to great competition at every position.'

WILL YOU HAVE ANY POSITION SWITCHES FROM LAST YEAR AS YOU START SPRING DRILLS? 'I really haven't made any decisions like that at this point. I need to let that play out as spring practice unfolds. We need to see how this spring goes before we talk about any changes.'

WITH A NEW COACHING STAFF, WILL WE SEE A DIFFERENT LOOK AS FAR AS SCHEMES ON OFFENSE AND DEFENSE? 'I think if you look at the defense you will not notice many differences. As far as the overall structure of the scheme, we will change a little terminology, and maybe a little bit of the intent of the defense, but as far as an initial look, I don't think you will notice much difference. We will play a 4-3 defense with a combination of coverage's in the secondary as they have done here before. Offensively, I also think you will see a pretty smooth transition. We will play a one back offense utilizing one or two tight ends and either two or three receivers. We will have the ability with the one back offense to spread out the defense to both run and throw the football.'

YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE COACHING STAFF THAT YOU HAVE PUT TOGETHER? 'When I was hired, I really believed that I would have the opportunity to put together as fine a staff as there is in this conference. I think we are heading into our future here at Oregon State with a great group of coaches, and with men that will be great teachers and models for our football team.'

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE OFFENSIVE UNIT HEADING INTO SPRING? 'I think that it is a group that will have a chance to expand on what they did last year. The offense starts with the ability to run the football. I think we have a fine runner in Steven Jackson with some good competition behind him. There is no better way for a quarterback to get better than to have experience, and Derek has a full year of playing time behind him. It looks to me like there is an outstanding group of tight ends. The tight end has to be a versatile player in our offense. He has to be a good run blocker, a protector at times for the quarterback and be a good receiver. The tight end is a versatile player and it looks like we have good group to work with. If you look at the receivers, you look at some senior productivity, along with some young guys that have the ability to come along and improve.'

OREGON STATE'S DEFENSE HAS BEEN VERY STRONG FOR THREE YEARS IN A ROW. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE DEFENSIVE UNIT HEADING INTO SPRING? 'I think there is some holes to fill there with some good players graduating. I also see a foundation of some very good players and a lot of speed. That is what I am real excited about. If we can find the right guys to fill in and be good players, then this defensive unit has a chance to take a step forward.

2003 OREGON STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULEAug. 30		SACRAMENTO STATE	CORVALLIS		TBASept. 6		at Fresno State		Fresno, CA		7:05 PDTSept. 13	NEW MEXICO STATE	CORVALLIS		TBASept. 20	BOISE STATE			CORVALLIS		TBASept. 27	ARIZONA STATE		CORVALLIS		TBAOct. 4		at California		Berkeley, CA	2:00 PDTOct. 11		ByeOct. 18		WASHINGTON			CORVALLIS		1:00 PDTOct. 25		at Washington State	Pullman, WA		2:00 PDTNov. 1		ARIZONA				CORVALLIS		1:00 PSTNov. 8		ByeNov. 15		STANFORD			CORVALLIS		1:00 PSTNov. 22		at Oregon			Eugene			12:30 PSTDec.  6		at USC				Los Angeles, CA	1:30 PST (ABC National)			(All times subject to change)

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