Provo • BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall is doing things a bit differently in spring camp as far as interactions with the media is concerned, making himself and new offensive coordinator Robert Anae available just once a week, on different days.
Monday, it was Anae’s turn to talk to reporters, and the timing wasn’t all that great for the OC because the offense had just played rather poorly, at least in the final 10-15 minutes of practice that the media was allowed to watch.
There were bad snaps — a problem since camp opened — passes thrown too hard, dropped snaps, dropped passes, fumbles and a blown blocking assignment that really got Anae frustrated.
It was not pretty, and far from the "go hard, go fast" style Anae is working toward.
"Yeah, yeah, we would like to have been crisper right at the end. I think that has a lot to do with fatigue," Anae said.
But when he was asked if it was crisper earlier in the practice, Anae got his dander up a bit.
"Why do you want to know?" he asked.
When he was told that it is the media’s job to ask, Anae said: "Probably, a little. Hope that helps."
The reporter said "not really," and, well, the interview got even more awkward after that.
Three more times, when Anae was basically asked about the starting quarterback battle or which coaches will be on the field or in the pressbox, during games, he responded with either: "Is that what you are looking for?" or "What is the purpose of your question?"
Eventually, Anae said the headsets that coaches are wearing during practices are for communication in practice.
"That’s what they are there for," he said. "We have not decided who is up [in the pressbox] or who is down [on the field]."
Regarding the starting quarterback battle, Anae said that Taysom Hill ran with the first team again on Monday and did a good job.
"You know, the quarterback position as a group is doing really well," he said. "They took a collective step forward [Friday] and for the most part, today."
If there is any development in the quarterback race, it is that Snow College transfer Christian Stewart, a walk-on, continues to seemingly move up the depth chart. Stewart moved the offense more effectively on Monday than the others.
Defensive back Mike Hague tweaked a hamstring during Monday’s practice and skipped the latter part of the practice. ... The Cougars will practice again on Wednesday, but the practice will be closed to the media. The next open (to the media) practice is Friday. ... Receivers Mitch Mathews and Eric Thornton made nice catches in scrimmaging sessions at the end of practice.
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