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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football notes: coaching staff in agreement with early practices

Jerome Maillet
Colin Prenger / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA football coach Rich Rodriguez yells at his players during the Wildcats’ game against SCSU.

Arizona first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez previously coached at West Virginia and Michigan, and as he enters the sixth week of the season for the Wildcats, he is relishing in the Tucson weather.

“I think it’s great, the beautiful weather,” Rodriguez said. “My friends up north and in the Midwest, in about a month or so, they’ll be wishing they had some of this heat.”

Rodriguez and the Wildcats switched their practice schedule this week from late afternoon to 6 a.m. practices in an effort to get ready for the first day game of the season at noon Saturday at No. 18 Stanford (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12).

Apart from readying themselves for an early start time, the morning practices allow Arizona coaches and players to take advantage of the cool mornings.

“I think some of the players like it because it’s a lot cooler,” Rodriguez said. “The coaches like it because we can watch the film [of practice] in the afternoons.”

The early start time does have some drawbacks, though.

There are players that have class as early as 8 a.m., so Rodriguez and the coaching staff may not have as much time as they would like to go over certain details or points.

“It’s hard to get a full practice in because of class,” Rodriguez said. “It feels like we’re rushing everything in the mornings.”

Capers continues to impress

Freshman safety Wayne Capers entered Saturday night’s loss against Oregon State after Jared Tevis suffered an injury, but may see more playing time since he impressed coaches with his athleticism and a pass breakup.

“He’s a young, athletic guy and will probably play more and more,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a very good athlete. He has a certain feel for the game.”

Capers, a Pittsburgh, Pa., native, also played basketball in high school, as well as quarterback for the Chartiers Valley Colts. His athletic pedigree comes from his parents, who both played collegiate sports at Kansas, and his dad continued on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts.

“He’s been impressive,” Fischer said. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s just a football player. Even if he doesn’t know the plays, he has a feel for where to go. It’s cool to watch him get in there and mix it up and kind of watch him grow up.”

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