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Wisconsin football: Paul Chryst speaks to media after first open practice

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Practice on Saturday, their sixth of the spring, was open to the media for the first time.

Kelli Steffes; UW Athletics Communications

For the first time this spring, media was allowed to view Wisconsin Badgers football practice. While B5Q wasn’t there in person, we’ve got the important quotes from head coach Paul Chryst below and a couple of injury updates and positional switch notes from old friend Jake!

Paul Chryst

  • “It’s a reminder of, after not having it last year, how valuable spring practice is.”
  • Notes that a lot of young guys who haven’t really had the spring football experience before are taking advantage of the reps they’re given.
  • On Danny Davis and what he can bring to the team this year: “In his case, route running. He and the older receivers should have a better understanding of what we are trying to get done on a play.”
  • Mentions Davis, Kendric Pryor, Jack Dunn and Chimere Dike as a de facto “top four” at wideout.
  • Mentions that the team is working on building camaraderie and things are going much better this year than last.
  • On WR A.J. Abbott’s development: “A.J., there is a group of guys just like A.J., that spring football is really important for.” Notes that he needs to take advantage of the remaining nine practices.
A.J. Abbott going through a drill.
Kelli Steffes; UW Athletics Communications
  • On the outside linebackers, “Love that group! That group has energy and it’s not manufactured, it’s authentic. When we are playing really well at that position it not only helps our defense, I think it helps our whole team.”
  • On field goal kicking, “I’ve liked their approach but they’ve got to be better than they were today.
  • In a wide-ranging answer on quarterback Graham Mertz, Chryst basically says that he likes how Mertz has looked so far but there is still a lot of work to be done before he’s a finished product.

Notes from practice

  • Jake mentioned that OL Ben Barten was working with the defensive line in drills.
  • Also notes that RBs Jalen Berger (leg) and Julius Davis (leg) were out with injuries. In an answer during his presser, Chryst said that only having one healthy running back is tough, noting that they are trying to be “creative” and “do as much as you can with it.”