LFN: How's the QB battle going?
Coen: It's good! Coach Cecchini called it 'fierce' the other day. They're solid, both of them - one day, one guy will flash and another day, another guy will flash. I'm happy with both of them, but it is very competitive. There's some newness, so guys are making some mistakes on some of the new things Dave's brought here with him - and then there's decision-making.
What I'm looking for is a degree of consistency - and productivity. We're looking for the guys to make the right decisions and be productive.
LFN: I read that the "O" line was pretty banged up going into the spring game. How does affect your spring season overall?
Coen: With the first unit offensively, it really doesn't affect it all that much, but when your second group gets in there you're usually using a lot of inexperienced freshmen on the line, which disrupts the ability for some of the skill players to get quality reps. But in that case you try to evaluate players to see how they've developed rather than the whole scheme of things.
The development of the "O" line is what usually takes the longest of any position on the field. Aside from having a couple kids banged up, I feel very comfortable when we come back to work in August on who those starting five guys are, and I really like the improvement that senior OL Keith Schauder's made - he sprained his ankle, so he probably won't play tomorrow, but he's had a really nice spring. He worked really hard and had two good offseasons.
The tight ends are doing a pretty solid job throughout camp here, and there's depth there, too.
LFN: Do you think there's a good chemistry brewing there on the offense?
Coen: I definitely do, no matter who the quarterback is. I think as a whole, the unit's coming together nicely.
LFN: You're also a little dinged up on the defensive line.
Coen: Senior DT David Brown and senior DT Phil Winett we're waiting to come back from injury, but junior DE Cody Connare and junior DE Andrew Knapp have played really solid and senior DE Ben Flizack has had a real solid spring as well. That's going to help us.
LFN: Defensively, what will you be looking for tomorrow?
Coen: Overall, we've pretty much picked up right where we left off last year. They're comfortable with it, they play with a ton of emotion, they run to the football, it's really neat to see.
At outside linebacker, there's been strong competition between sophomore LB Billy Boyko and junior LB Fred Mihal, so tomorrow they'll be an opportunity to see if one of those guys can get separation from each other by making some big plays. At the open safety spot, I'd like to see how senior SS Casey Eldemire and junior SS John Littlejohn do back there. Senior CB Jarard Cribbs has been banged up, but sophomore DB Bryan Andrews will take his place if Jarard's not ready to go.