How important are days like today for building a winning program?
Kevin Prince: “They’re pretty important, especially with the coaches not being able to come out here and be with us. It’s important for us to get out here, the captains especially. Myself, Rahim, Micah taking the linemen in the meeting room – just taking that role, making sure things get done because their aren’t coaches out here, that’s huge.”
As quarterback, do 7-on-7s give you the opportunity to reaffirm your trust in a target or establish a new trust?
“It helps to gauge people, especially the young guys who you haven’t seen play. I’ve seen Anthony Barr make some plays – I think he’ll be able to contribute for us early – and there’s no way to know that without things like this. Just by looking at a kid, you won’t be able to know what he can do. And you get to reaffirm who you can count on; Nelson and Taylor have been out here doing their thing. Then again, there’s guys who haven’t necessarily stepped up like they should, come out as often as they should, and it helps to know who you need to talk to and regain their focus.”
Has football become 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for you?
KP: “It’s got to be. A lot of the guys are starting to feel that way. I see guys in the film room more often. It’s just got to be. If we want to take that next step and become a big-time program, that’s what we have to do. You have to take this seriously.”
Besides Barr, who are the other guys that have stepped up in your mind?
KP: “Man, there are some big-time guys. You can just tell by the size of these guys. It’s tough to say for the defensive linemen we got just because we’re not doing contact, but as far as offense, I like Jordon James a lot. He’s a quick guy, real down-to-earth, smart. He seems like he can pick up things, and what really helps is if you’re smart and can pick up things. Barr’s like that. So is Malcolm Jones, even though we’re not running the ball that much right now.”
KP: “You’ve got AO, who’s just a physical specimen, just making plays out here all the time. Deitrich Riley’s really been doing well. The first week we were out here, I think he had a couple interceptions. He’s got really good what Coach Chow calls ‘giddy-up’ speed. When he gets beat, he can make that space up. He’ll be a player for us. It’s exciting to see those guys come in and probably able to compete for us right away.”