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Greg Schiano discusses injuries, offensive line & more



Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers football held its first practice of spring camp on Tuesday. Head coach Greg Schiano addressed the media after practice.

Asked about the transition under new offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, Schiano highlighted the key for his entire coaching staff.

“I think all our coaches are doing a great job of building relationships,” Schiano. “That to me is it. The connection part. I always look at three things: The character, or we wouldn’t hire him; the competency and being able to teach the game, and then the connection you have with the players. I think this staff has a unique ability to do that, and Kirk is certainly at the forefront of that.”

Tuesday was the first time that injury updates were provided since the 2022 season ended. Two linebackers who missed the entire fall with injuries did practice on Tuesday.

“Moses Walker and Mo are full go,” Schiano said. “They’re not 100%. They’re working their way back to being (100%). So very encouraged here.”

Walker is a former 4-star recruit and Mohamed Toure led Rutgers in sacks in both the 2020 and 2021 campaigns. Both suffered torn ACL injuries in the preseason last August. Having both participating at the start of spring practice is great news for the defense.

On the offensive end, freshman running back Samuel Brown was lost for the season in the seventh game of the season with a foot injury. His timeline is a bit different as Schiano said he was “working his way back in.” He added “Sam is getting better by the day. He’s taking a lot of mental reps.”

Another position Rutgers needs help with is at tight end. Victor Konopka missed nine games with injuries last season but is back in action now.

“It’s great to have him back,” Schiano said. “He’s a really big target out there and he’s getting better and better at the blocking.”

As for progress made by individual players in relation to the depth chart, Schiano preached patience.

“Give me a little bit on that before I get into all the depth,” Schiano said. “I’m not going to talk much depth at all. Defensively, I will because there are guys who are cemented unless they really do something foolish. Offensively, we weren’t very good. We have to figure out how to get better by competing and seeing who claims the job.”

When asked about Gavin Wimsatt’s progress, Schiano gave a positive endorsement.

“I think Gavin came out and had a pretty good grasp of what he was doing. That was encouraging for sure.”

In regard to the offensive line, Schiano was honest in the reality of the situation.

“Depth, when we took over, was rough, obviously. But I think we have more quality depth. We’re still young on the offensive line so there are a lot of young guys who are in that depth,” Schiano said. “I think we have some upper-class leaders who will do just that, that will lead that young group. It will be a work in progress but with coach Flaherty, he is the guy we’re leaning on to get that group to mature.”

You can watch the full press conference here and plenty of coverage to come throughout spring practice.

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  1. FlaRef

    March 28, 2023 at 9:23 pm

    Weren’t these the same traits he looked for in his previous coaching hires over the last four years and how did that work out for RU? Let’s see if the salary increases and the higher talent level do the trick in year five!

    • Alan

      March 29, 2023 at 2:52 am

      It’s hard to argue that GS is a long term solution based on the current wins and loses. @aaron what do you think year 4 brings regarding success and how long/shirt do you think GS’s leash is moving forward. And I’m guessing his contract is 38% up.

  2. Henry Rutgers

    March 29, 2023 at 11:45 am

    I confess to not spending a lot of time focused on spring camp although we never miss the spring game. I think one thing that needs to change soon is the entire drama surrounding the QB. Does Coach Schiano really believe he is gaining anything by hiding his named starter. Last year when it came out that Vedral was injured the first game opposing coach said, “We knew about that weeks ago [and accounted for it]”. The only thing Coach Schiano creates by not naming a starter early is hostility and uncertainty among the fan base.

    We got a call from the RU Foundation asking about the release of a pledge yesterday (and asking about our intention for early basketball renewal (which we are doing)). I told them I’ll release it as soon as the starting QB is named. If one is not named by the midpoint of spring football, I’ll redirect the funds. I think the band needs new uniforms anyway. Let’s have one drama free spring football preseason please!

    • thevinman

      March 30, 2023 at 4:04 pm

      Wow, you actually think Schiano owes you a quick decision on players status.

      • Henry Rutgers

        April 1, 2023 at 2:43 am

        Yes, I think Coach Schiano should focus on coaching football and not playing games with depth charts and starting positions. It may have worked a few decades ago but it is no longer intriguing. In fact, it is just another reason for people to pile on and claim he is not the right coach to lead the program. At this point in our program’s development, we should have defensive excellence, o-line depth and a clear field leader for all three critical areas of play (Offense, defense and special teams).

  3. thevinman

    March 29, 2023 at 4:17 pm

    This is the most experienced and successful staff coach Schian has had. Most of the guys on the team are now people Schiano has brought in. In the next two years we will know if Schiano 2.0 will be successful. You know I hope it will. Go RU!

    • thevinman

      March 30, 2023 at 4:03 pm

      Wow, you actually think Schiano owes you a quick decision on players status.

      • Henry Rutgers

        April 2, 2023 at 10:25 pm

        pretty sure I answered this above.

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