Bobby Petrino spoke at media day on Saturday morning for about 40 minutes. He talked about how the team has looked in practice, who some play-makers are, how he makes his opening script for a game, and more. Here are some of the key things he talked about…
*Will Gardner – Petrino said that Gardner is doing a good job and that the staff is throwing a lot at him. He said that Will probably feels like he isn’t executing like he was in the Spring, and he isn’t, but it just takes time.
*Reggie Bonnafon – Petrino has done nothing but rave about the freshman from Trinity since he got to campus. From his athleticism to his ability to make plays, you can really tell that Petrino likes Reggie. This past week, Bonnafon moved up to the veterans practice, and Kyle Bolin moved to the newcomers practice. Petrino talked about Bonnafon’s ability to run and makes plays with his feet. He says he hasn’t had a guy who could do that since Stefan LeFors.
*DeVante returning punts? – Petrino said something that surprised me for sure. He said that you could see DeVante Parker returning punts this season. The funny thing is, at practice the other day when we saw Parker doing that, Steve and I both said “If DeVante is our punt returner, something has gone terribly wrong.” We say that because you just don’t want to risk injury on that. But as Petrino said, you want your play-makers to have the ball as much as possible. Still, I would be surprised if that happens.
*Offensive Line – Petrino said he feels better about the depth of the offensive line than he did back in the spring. He said Skylar Lacy has made some huge strides over the summer. He said Lukayus McNeil and Kelby Johnson have been impressive newcomers. McNeil still may redshirt. Jake Smith still could either play center or guard. It will just depend on what rotation works best.
*Running Backs – He knows that he has a great group of running backs. He has been impressed with Dominique Brown, Michael Dyer, and freshman L.J. Scott. He said that Dyer “keeps getting better and better.” His best practice was Friday night.
*Linebackers – While he didn’t spend entirely too much time talking defense today, he did compliment the linebackers. He said that James Burgess has great instincts and attacks the ball when he sees it. He also mentioned Keith Brown and Keith Kelsey as being solid at that position. He also said that Stacy Thomas injured his hand last night, so they have to see how he is going to be.
*James Quick – When talking about Quick, Petrino said he “is a guy who has to make big plays for us.” He said he has the speed and play-making ability to do that. He also said that Quick has been doing what he needs to do to get back on the field after some off-season trouble.
*Opening Script – Not very surprising, but Petrino said that the staff has already put in a game plan for Miami. He also said they have been working on the script for the beginning of the game. To do this, he says he asks the staff for their input and ideas, and then incorporates that into that opening script. I remember when he was here before, guys like Eric Wood and Breno Giacomini would say that they just knew for a fact that they were going to score on the first drive because the plays were so planned out, and Petrino made them believe that they would work, and they usually did.