At this point, with a coaching change, there is hardly any reason for Arizona Wildcats junior linebacker Jake Fischer to hurry back onto the field.
Not that he’s ready to, anyway.
Former head coach Mike Stoops, in recent interviews, made it sound as if Fischer might be able to return after the bye week and play the second half of the season, which starts Oct. 20 against UCLA.
Fischer, who was a starter at outside linebacker last season and made 58 tackles, suffered a torn ACL late in the spring game April 16.
Tim Kish said Tuesday after his first practice as interim head coach that he didn’t think the coaching change would affect Fischer’s status because, “I don’t know if he will ever be ready to go this year.”
Junior safety Adam Hall, also recovering from an ACL tear in spring, made his season-debut at Oregon State last week, leading the team with 10 tackles. But Kish said Hall was hurt at the end of the game, although the interim coach didn’t expand Tuesday about the nature or seriousness of the injury.
Arizona is also waiting on the possible return of running back Greg Nwoko, who was the first to suffer a torn ACL in the spring. Nwoko, a junior, has redshirted, so he’ll play at some point this season if he can.
Kish was the only coach or player made available to the media after practice, talking for about five minutes. He somewhat echoed comments made earlier in the day on the Pac-12 coaches teleconference, but added a few other interesting items:
–Kish said he gave the offensive coaches “complete autonomy” in coming up with a game plan. “That’s where it belongs right now,” Kish said.
–Kish will retain defensive coordinator duties and coach linebackers, so the defensive staff will be spread thin without the input of coach Mike Stoops. Kish said he is exploring the possibility of adding somebody to the staff for the rest of the season. “There is one individual I would like to see if I can get involved a little bit,” he said.
–He said the team had “good focus” and “good energy” in the first post-Stoops practice. Kish even joked that, “We made a couple of field goals from long distance, so that was good.”
–Kish said he has spoken to Stoops several times in the past couple of days, although Stoops has addressed the team since his firing. “He has that opportunity if he chooses to do so,” Kish said.
–Kish’s foremost message to his team: Discipline. “There will be no compromise on discipline,” he said. “It’s easy to have a woe-is-me type of attitude and let that ugly snake rear its head and stop going to class and stop doing the little things right. That’s all part of discipline.”