April 2, 2009

Moffitt 'snapping' back into practice mode

MADISON, Wis. - With one year of center experience under his belt, Wisconsin junior John Moffitt anchors a line that has returns a relatively inexperienced group. Still, with the five starters averaging six-foot-six and 312 pounds, the 2009 version has every ability to be just as good as lines of yesteryear.

Following Tuesday's practice, the third in a four day stretch, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with Moffitt. The following is a question and answer with the second-year starting center:

I see you are wearing a headband, have you always worn that?

Moffitt: No, I'm growing my hair longer. It's actually just getting sloppy, but I don't like it in my face, so it just helps it. It's not necessarily a style thing, I don't look good.

Did you lose a bet?

Moffitt: No, I haven't had long hair since fifth grade. I'm just curious to see how it goes.

Anyway, how does it feel to be back out here?

Moffitt: Good, it feels real good. Obviously I felt like today we were all a little bit slow. I think when you hit your third practice in four days it tends to happen just with recovery and things like that. Recovery slows down, but it feels good to be back out here again and I just feel like mentally things are snapping back. We obviously have a lot of things to work on, but I feel like it's going good so far.

You hit on it a little bit, but it's kind of a lot faster pace this year with spring ball. Do you kind of like it like that, with practices more often than it was last year?

Moffitt: Yeah, I do. I don't remember exactly last year, but I feel like it spanned over five or six weeks. It was less than a week, but it was spread over more time. I think once you get to that, you start to get more run down. If you keep it dense and quick four weeks, busy schedule where we're banging it out, I think that's the way to go. I think we'll get the best work out of it too.

Then it also gave you the time to get the other weight and conditioning. How did you like that?

Moffitt: It was good, it was really good. Coach (Ben) Herbert took over for (John) Dettman and I think he kind of added a few of his own little things. Guys really responded to the new changes. I felt like I definitely got stronger, definitely progressed through the seven weeks that we had with him.

Have you noticed anything difference as far as body makeup out there?

Moffitt: Yeah, I'd say I definitely feel stronger. Coach Herb really harped on getting back stronger and I think that can really make a difference with injuries and stuff like that. I think also, when you go to a different program-you know we had Dett's program for a while-when you change it up on your body. I think Dett was always trying to change things up but then we go to a totally different program, it shocks your body and responds faster. Instead of going, your muscles get used to doing the same things over and over, it's like muscle memory. So you're not going to get as big of gains if you do the same things. Start doing different things it changes all up.

Last year was your first year at center. Did that go as well as you hoped it would?

Moffitt: I think there are a lot of things to work on. I think I wanted to be a lot more mentally sharper. I had too many mental errors in games, but that's something I'm trying to work on out here. I feel like already I'm starting to snap in faster with blitzes. You know, we really haven't seen too much, we're getting one or two blitzes right now and they're working the 4-3 right now. You know, I still feel like I'm focusing more on the field.

Is that something that just comes with repetition?

Moffitt: I think that and just putting in the extra work mentally. I definitely think repetition and being a second year guy and the fact that this stuff is old news right now. It's not brand new to me and I think that helps. I think it's a combination of things.

You're one of the returning guys from a line that lost a lot of guys from last year. Does the youth or inexperience of the line scare you?

Moffitt: No, I think we're not necessarily inexperienced guys. I think we've got guys, Jake Bscherer has gotten time, Bill Nagy has gotten time and Josh Oglesby has gotten time, so I think that's not necessarily the case. They're not exactly fresh out of high school or anything like that. I think around here, and the thing coach Bob Bostad tries to teach is that there is no such thing as being young. You know, you step up and you play and that's it. We don't have the luxury of sloughing off to the excuse that you're a young guy.

I know you just said you don't focus on young guys, but what have some of the young guys like Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler played to this point?

Moffitt: I think Konz has been doing really well. He was in there at right tackle today and I think he's improving everyday. That's just what you have to do with spring ball. Just get better everyday and work on watching film and whatever you did wrong and get better the next day.

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