Update: April 12
Joel Stave is a lot more comfortable at the quarterback position than he was a month ago. He told of the Journal Sentinel that he is picking things up a lot quicker than he was before.
"I'm picking up everything that is getting put in," Stave said.
After breaking his collarbone last season and missing a chunk of time, Stave goes on to say that getting back into the swing of things was difficult.
"It takes awhile to start seeing things quickly again," he said, "because you take two months without taking a snap under center.
"And then try to get right back out there and prepare for a really big game is different."
Stave is currently in a quarterback battle with Curt Phillips and Danny O'Brien.
Update: April 11
Wisconsin has been known as this power running football team over the years, but there may be a new look coming. According to Tyler Waddell of Fan IQ, head coach Gary Anderson could start using a three tight end spread formation.
"Just because we play in that personnel group doesn't mean we need to pack it all in there and have 20 guys sitting in the middle of the field with offense and defense smashing on top of each other," Anderson told CoachingSearch.com. "We can still spread it. Our tight ends are skilled, they run well, they're athletic enough to get out in space and cause some mismatches in space as well as they can on or off the line of scrimmage.”
Update: March 19
The position that folks are watching the most when it comes to the Badgers is at quarterback. After struggling to develop any type of consistency at the position, somebody needs to step it up this offseason. According to Tom Mulhern of Madison, that guy looks like it is Curt Phillips at the moment.
Phillips has started off majority of the practices with the first team and has looked terrific according to the report. As for head coach Gary Anderson, he likes what he sees but isn't ready to hand over the starting job just yet.
There’s a lot of kids competing at that spot and Curt, he kind typifies what you love about college football, it’s important for him to cling on and keep fighting. Andersen said. He loves to be around his teammates, he loves football.
He’s done a tremendous job of taking care of himself, at least since I’ve been here, watching him go through his daily life and what he does, preparing his body for practices. ... I’m proud of him, the way he’s hung in there. He’s fighting like crazy. Got some good quarterbacks, so it’ll be interesting.
Update: March 12
If you were wondering how the players are responding to new head coach Gary Anderson, well the transition has become a rather easy one. Players believe in the new coach and have quickly developed an important relationship in such a short amount of time, according to Tom Oates of Madison.com.
I love him; he’s been great so far. Senior guard Ryan Groy said. Everything he says, he keeps his word. He says how he’s going to be straight forward with you and at the same time he’ll get after you, but it’s all good stuff. He knows what he’s doing. He knows what he’s coaching.
There may be plenty of position battles to watch this spring, but getting the coaches and the players on the same page is far more important. If this is any indication of things moving forward, the Badgers are already ahead of the ball game.
As for the quarterback spot, that is going to remain a work in progress, Anderson told Gary D'Amato of the Journal Sentinel.
"I thought overall there were some nice balls," he said. "We missed a few (throws). That's to be expected. They've thrown on their own, but they haven't thrown in live situations."
Update: March 11
After undergoing two surgeries during the offseason, according to Evan Flood of 247Sports, head coach Gary Anderson has announced linebacker Ethan Armstrong won't participate in spring drills.
"Our hope is to get him back June 9 or before," Andersen said. "He can come back and start our summer workouts. He got himself cleaned up. He had the two surgeries, just recovering. That was always the plan. He's one tough kid. He had a smile on his face every day. He'll be ready to roll."
With there being a hole at the linebacker position, Vince Biegel has moved from middle to outside linebacker, while Sherard Cadogan has also made a switch from fullback to outside linebacker.
Update: March 8
It is always interesting to hear what the coaches have to say about the areas that need work.It is even better when the head coach is honest in the interview.
New head coach Gary Anderson was asked about the positions that he considers to need improvement and according to UW Badgers, this is what he had to say:
I would say quarterback is obviously, that's a big question mark. That would come up and be No. 1. The defensive line is interesting, a lot of talented kids. A few young men that aren't going to play in spring football, and we all know that. So I'm excited to see the youth at the defensive line spot get 15 practices underneath their belt and watch those young players develop. That's going to be a very interesting.
And I would say the exact same thing, who's going to come in at the center position? That's a big communication point. It takes a very smart young man and a very durable young man. A tough minded kid that's a great athlete that can play there. So that's why I played center. Just kidding. But it's going to take a special kid to come and get into that spot and replace what was a tremendous player. The defensive line, offensive lines will be very interesting and the quarterback spot.
As far as the injury situation goes, Anderson wasn't as straightforward, but he did give an update on quarterback Jon Budmayr.
What Jon's going to do, he's going to work with us as a student coach at this point. He's excited about it, and so are we. It's a great opportunity for young men who may want to turn around and coach one day. So he'll use that window of opportunity.
The other kids, we'll give you an injury update as we move closer to spring. The young men that had surgeries at the end of the season, we're going to be very smart and very careful with them, as well as we will with the returning players.
You'll see us as we go through spring football, certain young men that have been in a lot of big-time college football games, we're going to do everything we can to prepare them to get them to understand the scheme, but they don't need to go out to spring ball and get a thousand reps. A lot of those reps will be reserved for young players.