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Coaches, Players Preview Spring Game

April 6, 2018

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Following Michigan State’s 13th practice of the spring on Thursday afternoon, several assistant coaches and players met with the media to preview the upcoming spring game and assess the team’s progress during spring practice.

The Green-White spring game, presented by McLaren Health Plan, is set for Saturday, April 7 at 5 p.m. in Spartan Stadium. Admission is free.

Wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel

On the next step with the talent that the wide receivers bring back…
The biggest thing we just try to challenge them with the offense, learning other positions. Not just playing outside or inside. Playing all of the positions so that we can be real flexible. Injuries happen so we want the flexibility to move guys around.

So, that’s the one thing right now is just trying to challenge them with the offense and different positions. Technique-wise, they’re showing that growth. As long as they continue to grow with the offense and knowing all of the concepts and knowing how to run them into conversions, I’ll be happy with the group.

On Cam Chambers’ progression…
Like he (Dave Warner) said, he’s playing aggressive. He knows what he’s doing. He’s attacking tasks so to speak, and like I said, he’s making plays too. Sometimes when the light comes on you start to see how fast, how good, how athletic a person really is. You just have to wait until that happens. Sometimes, you know, us as coaches we all get a little, we want it to happen right now, but when it happens, you can tell, you can see the difference.

On what has held Chambers back until this point…
I think probably the biggest thing is that everybody has all these expectations and he has all these expectations. Like I said, you just gotta go back, peel back the banana slowly and get to where you’re going. Get confident, get comfortable and confident.

 

 

Quarterbacks coach Brad Salem

On Brian Lewerke’s improvement…
He’s really just moving to the next phase of being a great quarterback. He’s done a great job, really with his footwork, and just his eye control through progression reads and just being really consistent putting the ball in the right place.

On Theo Day
He has made strides every day. It is pretty overwhelming, just being a high school senior in this setting, but especially as a quarterback, there’s so much communication like signals from the sideline and communicating it to the huddle. He’s done a great job of picking it up, he’s picked it up probably better than most as far as high school. He really has shown a lot of growth and he can throw the ball really well.

Defensive tackles coach Ron Burton

On working with Chuck Bullough
He’s been a very instrumental guy as far as his enthusiasm, his attention to detail, his ability to draw the kids in. He gives a different way of doing things and we love his ability to teach. It’s a toughness thing for him and you know how I am. He’s a guy that keeps intensity up and we’ve really enjoyed having him here. He’s been a plus for sure.

On Naquan Jones’ progression…
He’s getting stronger at the point of attack. Fighting pressure consistently and developing into a better pass rusher. He’s using his knowledge of why we do what we do and that’s the things he’s working on how and he’s showing his understanding of the defense better and why we do this. And the use of his hands and not just using his body all the time.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Rocky Lombardi

On a big play he’s made…
There was one scramble with Felton Davis. I rolled out to the left and found Felton across the middle and that was one of my good plays. Last scrimmage, my second to last drive I felt like the whole drive I was really clicking with all of the receivers and the play calls.

On something he would like to take back or improve upon…
Every one of them. I look back, every play that I run I look back at and I think, ‘Darn, I should’ve done this or I should’ve done that.’ There’s something that I can improve myself on every play.

On the thing he’s looking forward to most for the spring game…
I’m hoping to, I’d say my main goals for the spring game would be to capitalize on the big plays and eliminate mistakes. I feel like I’ve always been pretty good at eliminating mistakes. I feel like I don’t make a ton of critical errors. I have throughout spring ball, everybody does. But, for the spring game I’d like to focus on getting rid of those errors and just executing.

Sophomore wide receiver Cody White

On how he feels about this year…
I think we’re going to be a good team this year. I feel like we got some potential.

On the biggest improvement heading into Saturday…
I would say ball security and just making sure we’re getting better every day. That’s what spring practices and spring ball is all about. Just making sure we’re getting better as a team, better as an offense and just clicking.

Sophomore wide receiver Cam Chambers

On what he’s done over spring ball to stand out to the other coaches…
I think I’ve showed my versatility. I’ve showed that I can do more than just play X. I can get out there, I can play X, Z and F. I can do everything on the field as far as the receiver position. I’ve showed I can consistently run good routes, in slot and just be consistent. I’m continuing to build a relationship with Brian (Lewerke) and it’s going pretty well.

On the biggest adjustment to make from just playing X…
I guess just knowing the overall nuances of each position. Just from playing one spot, and you know what everyone else does but then you know the little specific tiny adjustments of the routes, different concepts, different coverages and different adjustments that you need to be on the same page with the quarterback. Now, knowing all three really helps me out with the understanding of the overall offense.

Junior offensive lineman Tyler Higby

On how the center competition is going…
It’s been good. We’ve all been helping each other out. If anybody makes a mistake we’ll coach that guy up. Whenever one center is in the other two centers are out, talking to another guy, seeing what went wrong, what happened. It’s been more of a learning curve on trying to help each other out. It’s a competition, obviously, but we’ve really been trying to help each other out more.

On if playing center helps when playing other spots on the line…
Yeah, I think playing center this spring has really helped me be more comfortable playing everywhere else. Like I said, I’ve been playing three positions so it’s been a lot easier for me just knowing where to go by playing center.

On what they learned as a line last year…
I think being all together and knowing how each other plays, what we like to do, and kind of how we do things really helps in the spring. We’re all still learning because we’re still pretty young so it’s been nice to play together but also playing with different guys mixing and matching to see how we play.

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