Mike Riley Comments About Spring Practice
April 14, 2005
Corvallis, Ore. - The following comments are from Mike Riley after Wednesday's (April 14) practice. Riley also comments on the potential of several former players being selected in next week's NFL Draft.
The Beavers will be on the field Friday at 3 p.m. for practice nine of the spring session.
Q. Describe the abilities of your receivers and tight ends?
A. 'There is no question that this is a great corps of guys. We have Mike Hass, Joe Newton, Marcel Love, Josh Hawkins and Anthony Wheat-Brown returning, and all of those guys have done some things. You add some newcomers to the mix--I'm excited about this bunch.'
A. 'I am very pleased to be able to get Danny to join our staff. I've known him for a long time and have worked with him before at a couple of different places. He is very bright and is a guy without an ego who has come in here and learned our offense.'
Q. What has offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh brought to the program?
A. 'Coach Cavanaugh is a detailed technician. We have a lot of young guys on our line, so they are learning the basics right now and Coach Cavanaugh has been very good with them.'
Q. Talk about the competition at many different positions this spring.
A. 'There is great competition just about everywhere this spring and that is good for everybody. There is a lot of opportunity on the field this year, and I have witnessed players seizing those opportunities. I'm enjoying watching this spring unfold.'
Q. You will have three new starters in the defensive backfield this year, how has that area developed?
A. 'Talent-wise, I'm very excited about our secondary; and it will be even better in the fall. We focused on that area in recruiting, so coming out of fall camp we will be even stronger than we are now. We wanted to bring in some corners because we obviously have to replace two starters, and that is a big, big deal. We're giving the freshmen opportunities this spring, but we like the two junior college players (Edorian McCullough and Aaron Miller) we are bringing in this fall. I know those two will add to the competition, but I'm not saying they are going to start, they will have to earn that role.'
Q. How has Lamar Herron looked this spring?
A. 'You can't replace the amount of experience that Mitch Meeuwsen had in that position, but as far as ability and toughness, Lamar has all of that.'
Q. It looks like Sabby Piscitelli has taken more of a leadership role.
A. 'He has. Last year he was like Lamar Herron, he was quiet and learning - this year he has that experience from playing one year and you can see all of that coming out. He is playing with a lot of confidence and he is communicating with his teammates. You can't substitute experience.'
Q. What about the defensive ends and the loss of Bill Swancutt?
A. 'Those are big shoes to fill. I have seen this group progress as much as any group on the field. I think by the time the games come around in the fall that we will be very solid.'
Q. You read people saying Bill Swancutt is too slow or he is not big enough, but being a former NFL coach, where do you see him in the NFL Draft next week?
A. 'Those people who are saying that are making a big mistake if they are questioning him. Bill Swancutt is going to play in the NFL for a long time and he will give guys fits. There is something about specialized pass rushers; they don't have to be the fastest guys. He is not going to be the biggest or fastest guy, but he has great ability to rush the passer. I can't tell you whether he becomes a specialized third down player or a regular down contributor, but what I do know is that he can play.'
Q. What are your thoughts about Derek Anderson?
A. 'He will go to camp of the team that drafted him and they will really like his arm and attitude.'
A. 'I will be surprised if Aric Williams does not get drafted. He had such a good year last season and as the year progressed more and more NFL people asked about him. Doug will get drafted. We also have Jonathan Pollard, Matt Brock and Mitch Meeuwsen, so I think Oregon State will have a pretty good representation in the Draft.'