Nick Foles, as a fifth-year senior quarterback, knows the best piece of advice he can give true freshman quarterback Daxx Garman is to relax. Be patient.
“I just told him that everything is going to be going really fast right now,” Foles said after Tuesday morning’s practice.
“He’s a good player. He has really come along a lot. Every day you can see it. Especially when he gets to slow it down in 7-on-7. You can see him go through his reads, and he can deliver the ball.”
But the game isn’t played in 7-on-7 drills, and everything changes when the defensive line is charging with evil intent and the quarterback is trying to look over and around huge offensive linemen.
Foles said Garman has to avoid looking at the rush — feel it, don’t look at it.
“When you glance, then you don’t see the routes downfield, so then you’re just looking to scramble. You’re going to get out of it sometimes, but a lot of times you’re going to get stuck,” Foles said.
“It’s better to just work the pocket, stay in there just a split second longer, and something is going to open up down field. He just needs to work the pocket a little better and he’ll be fine. Right now, everything is moving kind of fast for him.”
Foles, a veteran of 21 starts at Arizona, said he went through the same kind of stuff when he was a freshman at Michigan State.
And, now, he might as well be back in the pocket in a rocking chair, sipping ice tea.
“Once the speed slows down for you, it’s relaxing being out there,” he said. “Going through your reads, it’s relaxing to me — just seeing it, knowing it, dropping back, feeling the pocket and delivering the ball.”
Garman has been taking second-string reps in the past two practices because of the knee injury to Bryson Beirne, and the absence of Matt Scott (strep throat, according to coach Mike Stoops).
Senior receiver Gino Crump has had previous good camps — call him Mr. August, or Mr. April — but he hasn’t been able to crack the rotation during the season. He had four catches last season.
But, once again, he’s impossible to ignore in camp. He hauled in two more long touchdown catches — 50 yards each from Foles — in Tuesday’s practice.
Wide receivers coach Dave Nichol said last season that the thing that holding Crump back was consistency, and that he needed a high number of reps to stay on top of his game. And it was hard to get that high number of reps during the season when he was behind so many others on the depth chart.
Through camp, Crump (6-2, 210) has been consistently good.
“He’s always kind of flashed at times, but now he’s being a lot more consistent,” Nichols told Steve Rivera of FoxSportsArizona.com and TucsonCitizen.com. “Sometimes when people are watching all they see are the good plays but they don’t see guys busting a route or miss a block.”
Said Crump: “I put in time working on my extra effort and that consistency. All the coaches have ever asked me is to be more consistent. I’m trying that. I’m trying to be the player I know I’ve always wanted to be.”
He said it
“Every since I have gotten here, we have been like best friends. We room together every game. We room together in camp, and he’s one of those guys I’m really close to. … It’s tough to see him go through this, but I’m going to be there to support him, like he’s always supported me. He’s always been right there behind me in games. If something goes wrong, he comes up to me and says something. He keeps me straight and I keep him straight.” — Foles, on Beirne, who suffered what is being called a sprained knee Saturday.
Stoops — who cut short his post-practice interview on Monday night, saying he was weary about answering questions about injured players — was given the day off from the local media Tuesday morning. … Stoops, however, was mic’d up during practice for ESPN, which was in town to gather video and sound for a Tom Rinaldi piece on the Stoops brothers. The feature is slated for College Football GameDay at some point. … Arizona is scheduled to be back at two-a-days on Wednesday.