Arizona Football Spring Practice Notes

March 26, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona head coach John Mackovic and the Wildcat coaching staff put the team through the paces Tuesday afternoon. The Wildcats ran through 2:15 minutes of full-pad action at Arizona Stadium, as the team paid considerable attention to full-line work for the last hour of practice.

'The players are working really hard, but our focus is that we are driving them to perform,' said head coach John Mackovic. 'Last year, we worked hard, but we didn't perform. We know the guys are going to work hard, but now we need them to perform.'

Junior quarterback Jason Johnson and redshirt freshman quarterback Nic Costa led the offense in skeleton passing drills against the linebackers and defensive backs. Costa then took most of the snaps during the team's hour-long scrimmage.

'Nic had a real good day,' Mackovic said. 'I wanted to give him the chance to throw the ball as much as possible. I was very pleased with his performance today. He is still learning, and he is going to get better everyday.'

The offense focused on playing 'power football' with regard to the running game, and Mackovic cited redshirt freshman Mike Bell, who continues to show promise at halfback.

Following Tuesday's session, Mackovic said that the team still has a lot of work to do in the next few weeks.

'Our top priority for the spring is that each player improves his techniques,' Mackovic said after Saturday's scrimmage. 'We will be a better football team if each player can find at least one thing to improve upon. Each individual will be better, and the team will be better for it.'

The Wildcats return to the practice facility on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. The team will close the week with a scrimmage on Friday, March 29 at 4 p.m.

Arizona is allowed 15 spring practices under NCAA guidelines and will conclude sessions with the Spring Game on Saturday, April 6 in Arizona Stadium.

All spring practices are open to the public. Most are scheduled on the practice facility at North Campbell Avenue and Enke Drive, across from McKale Center, but the Spring Game and some other sessions will be held in Arizona Stadium.

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