Rich Rodriguez on spring practice: 'I have been too nice'

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Rich Rodriguez thinks he has been too nice during Arizona's spring practice. (USATSI)
Rich Rodriguez thinks he has been too nice during Arizona's spring practice. (USATSI)

Arizona has completed half of its spring practice sessions, but a change in tone could be on the way for the final seven meetings leading up to the spring game on April 13.

A reportedly agitated Rich Rodriguez met with the media earlier this week, taking blame for the "ugliness" that showed up during Saturday's scrimmage.

"I have been too nice," the Wildcats' coach said via The Tucson Citizen.

Rodriguez did not isolate a single area that needs improvement but clearly was unhappy with the progress that the Wildcats have -- or have not -- made since kicking off the 2013 season this month.

The Wildcats return 17 starters from last year's 8-5 squad. A New Mexico Bowl victory capped off what many considered a successful first season for Rodriguez in Tucson, adding four wins to the 2011 total. There are several needs that do need to be addressed this spring, including a new starting quarterback and more consistent play on defense.

While Rodriguez did not specify whether it was "effort or technique" that upset him more (the Wildcats' coach reportedly responded, "Yep."), he does believe there will be a bounce back from the team.

"It's not the kids fault. It's my fault. I made it too easy to play football here at Arizona," Rodriguez said. "You know, that's not how we're going to build the program. We have smart enough kids. They'll figure it out."

For more on Arizona's spring practice, check out the Wildcats' Spring Practice Primer.

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