Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Duke coach in mood to talk

DURHAM - Duke football coach David Cutcliffe met with the media on Tuesday afternoon and he was in a storytelling mood.

He covered topics from the Wizard of Oz to a letter he received from a family member to baseball, not to mention updating the status of the Blue Devils as they prepare for the season-opener against Richmond on Sept. 5 at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Cutcliffe, who has been cautiously optimistic about his team's chances at becoming bowl eligible this season, talked for nearly 40 minutes about the progressive of the team in its first full week of traing camp.

He talked about his early impressions of his freshmen class, one he believes has some players who will contribute to the two-deep roster. He also reviewed the depth on the offensive line, an area the Devils must shore up if senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis is to have a strong season.

Cutcliffe called junior center Bryan Morgan and sophomore left tackle Kyle Hill definitive leaders on the offensive line. He said Hill will have some challenges in his new position guarding the end.

He said red-shirt freshman Brian Moore has gotten off to a good start, while senior Jarrod Holt, the only senior among the bunch, has worked at guard and tackle. Junior left guard Mitchell Lederman has returned to strong reviews.

A few linemen, including right tackle Pontus Bondeson and right guard Brandon Harper have missed time in practice.

"I'm encouraged, but we're not deep enough into this thing to know yet," he said. "And it's an area of concern. Everybody should realize that. But I really feel like that we're in the right thing. We're asking them to do the right things. -- Edward G. Robinson III, (Raleigh) News & Observer