I had a chance to catch up with Rutgers quarterback Chas Dodd. Here is what he had to say about how camp has gone and his comfort level in the new offense under Frank Cignetti.
How are you feeling with the new offense?
Chas Dodd: I feel very comfortable with it. I’ve been in the playbook, studying. We feel good as far as where we’re at right now. We’ve just got a few things to work on execution-wise.
How is this offense going to make you a better player?
CD: I think it’s going to make me a better player because it’s allowing me to do more. I’m doing more under center, dropping back, rolling out, changing starting points in terms of where I’m throwing the ball from, and I have different types of reads. I’m really focusing on learning the different defenses and what guys can do to us and what we can do to match that. The knowledge of the game helps a lot more when you have experience.
What is the best part of your offense right now?
CD: The best thing is our passing game. It’s really been improved since we first installed the offense. We’re doing a lot better with the timing and rhythm of routes.
What do you need to work on the most?
CD: Execution. Being able to go out there, huddle up, get to the ball, the pre-snap procedure, lining up and knowing what the defense is doing and how to respond to it.
This is a new style of offense for you. How are you adjusting under center?
CD: We did it a little bit last year, but for the most part we’re doing a lot more under center than before and I feel a lot more comfortable with it. I’ve got my drops down and feel good as far as timing. I’ve put a lot of time into the center exchange over the summer with David [Osei] to making it the best we can. From my point of view, we’ve done good job with it.
The talent at receiver is pretty deep. What do you make of the guys you have?
CD: It’s crazy. I’ve never been around a group of guys this talented at that position. My main focus is to get them the ball. I’d rather it be in their hands than mine. They’re all making plays and have had a great camp. This summer, we had a lot of reps, and that really helped them learn the offense.
How has Savon Huggins looked from your perspective?
CD: He has done a great job. I really think there’s room for improvement as far as learning the plays and his responsibilities, but talent-wise he’s doing a great job. He’s got big-play capability. I think he can help the offense out once he learns his role and learns the playbook a little bit better.
I’m sure you are tired of answering questions about the offensive line, but I’ve got to ask. How have they done in camp?
CD: We have a very different schematic way we’re running the offense now, and they’ve done a really good job picking it up. I’m really happy with how much they’ve improved in terms of picking up blitzes and reading different things. This year will be a different year for the offensive line.
Is the preseason Big East poll where you were picked to finish eighth being used as motivation?
CD: It’s huge motivation seeing that. A bunch of guys saw it and were talking about it. I saw it and thought I would go out there and prove everyone wrong. We’re excited to get out there and play our best. If we do, it should be pretty good.