Rudolph was up first and he talked a little about how the time off was key for the Badgers to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the team. The team got back to practice at the end of last week. “Friday and Saturday ended up turning into days of individual practice and I think that helped us.” He said he didn’t know how well it would’ve gone just jumping back in to regular practice.
Rudolph did note that the team was frustrated about the cancellations, but they understood why. “There was great disappointment when we weren’t able to go on and play. We have a smart group of guys...they didn’t question the decision.”
Rudolph was then asked about the quarterback situation. He reiterates that the depth chart at QB is the same as we’ve always known: Graham Mertz, Chase Wolf, Danny Vanden Boom, but he doesn’t know who will be under center Saturday night. When asked specifically if everyone has practiced he said “No, that would be our depth chart if they were all healthy.”
Rudolph makes it clear that he’ll want to see Mertz get enough practice in, and that he’s fully cleared to play by the medical staff, before having him take the field on Saturday. L— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 11, 2020
“The question mark is Graham (Mertz). He’s in the protocol. See how this week progresses with him. Does he get to practice? If we get Graham to the point where he’s practicing will he get enough in that we feel confident with him.”
Rudolph does say that he “Feel(s) good about the guys who are rolling. The guys who have practiced are ready to go.”
Here are some other notes from Rudolph:
- His overall view on the depth chart: “The way things are right, you don’t really know. Gotta get twos and threes ready, You always gotta have a plan for personnel.”
- Rudolph says the running game is a bit of a mixed bag after the Illinois game
- He notes that the team is confident in Vanden Boom if he’s the one under center.
“He’s been able to preform well even with limited reps,” Rudolph, discussing 3rd string QB Danny Vanden Boom, says while also mentioning how confident the offense is in him and how smart Vanden Boom is. #Badgers— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 11, 2020
- Michigan is doing a nice job of mixing coverages this year, according to Rudolph. WRs are going to have to be ready for press man and zone. Rudolph praises WR coach Alvis Whitted for working on releases with wideouts, and says they “have a toolbox” they can utilize.
Jim Leonhard was up next and he started off with some praise for Michigan Wolverines QB Joe Milton.
#Badgers DC Jim Leonhard up now discussing Michigan QB Joe Milton: “He’s a big, strong athlete who is mobile and can extend plays. He’s got as strong of an arm as we’ll play all season. His best plays scare the hell out of you.” He also notes that Milton has struggled some too.— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 11, 2020
Leonhard also mentioned that while he’s unsure of how exactly the depth chart will look, he’ll try his best to get 11 players out there on the field every play.
Leonhard, potentially angling for a hockey coaching job later, guarantees that his staff will try and have 11 guys on the field to be at “full strength” this week, regardless of how the depth chart looks.— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 11, 2020
After having so much time off, he explained that the Badgers defense had to get back to basics a bit in practice.
Leonhard says the defense has focused on resetting their technique and communication so that they can shake off the rust after two straight weeks of not playing. #Badgers— Bucky’s 5th Quarter (@B5Q) November 11, 2020
Lastly, it’s good to hear that Leonhard rethought his original idea for freshman OLB Nick Herbig.