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Kirk Ciarrocca gives insight on multiple skill position groups



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

New offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca addressed the media after the second practice of spring for Rutgers football. He discussed many topics regarding the offense and gave insight on multiple skill position groups.

Of course, he was asked about quarterback Gavin Wimsatt pretty early on in the media session.

“I think Gavin’s working really hard at it, I can see that. He’s obviously a very talented young man,” stated Ciarrocca. “He’s got really good physical skills. But I just love his work ethic, his energy. I don’t have any basis to compare it to. It’s just where he’s at is where he’s started and he’s been doing a great job working really hard and getting better every day.”

One area that is a major concern on offense is with the wide receiver group. With Shameen Jones, Aron Cruickshank, and Sean Ryan all gone from last season, there is no real proven commodity on the roster. Ciarrocca made it clear it’s very early in the development process to really know where the group is at.

“They’re young. So again, with guys that young that really haven’t played, I’m not going to rush the evaluation process,” explained Ciarrocca. “Coach Brock, we’re blessed to have him. We’ve got a guy who’s trained NFL wide receivers, who’s an unbelievable teacher and has developed guys at the highest level. We also have John Perry, who’s trained wide receivers at the highest level. So they’re in great hands. We just have to be patient and allow those guys to develop and grow every day. They’re going to have some growing pains, I know that. I might not like it when it happens but I’m going to take a deep breath and see where they’re at tomorrow.”

On Tuesday, head coach Greg Schiano gave an injury update on running back Samuel Brown. After emerging midway through his freshman campaign, he suffered a season ending foot injury in the seventh game. Brown is still working his way back. Schiano said he was “working his way back in” and added “Sam is getting better by the day. He’s taking a lot of mental reps.”

The running back group does return plenty of experience with Aaron Young and Kyle Monangai, as well as the speedy Al-Shadee Salaam.

“Based on playing time and productivity, that might be our deepest area that we have right now,” Ciarrocca stated. “For me, I’ve just been able to watch them on film. I have not seen them break a tackle yet, I have not seen their ability after contact to fall forward to turn the two-yard runs into the four-yard runs, the ability to turn the four-yard runs into seven-yard runs. So again, I love the way they’re working, I love the way they’re picking up the system. You could tell they have a little bit more experience with their poise out there on the field that they’ve been in the battles, and the important battles at times. I think Kyle’s doing a great job from a leadership standpoint at that position. So I’m excited about the position group.”

You can watch Ciarrocca’s full eight minute press conference with the media here.

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  1. thevinman

    March 31, 2023 at 3:50 pm

    It is worrying that we won’t have any experienced WRs coming back. We may see more passes to RBs and TEs unless some younger payers really step up. If so, Johnny football may have a big year, especially if is he full focused on playing TE.

  2. thevinman

    March 31, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Looks like Ciarrocca has a good sense of humor from the little part right at the end. That made me laugh.

  3. pj43

    March 31, 2023 at 5:12 pm

    I like the move by Schiano to bring in experienced coaches on the offensive side of the ball. There seems to be good younger talent to develop and now they’ll be matched with good teachers on the OL & WR group, in particular, combined with an OC to develop the QBs. How quickly will we see progress? I’ll be disappointed if we don’t see steady progress on the offensive side, given the low bar. You get the sense that Schiano knows just how critical this season is to keep the fan base support engaged and the program back on track.

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