Ensminger said he feels like he has a new lease on life. "It's a brand new life," said Ensminger. "I've been close with this whole team. No matter what happens, I feel like they are going to stay behind me. This team has good chemistry and the more we work together and the more we hang out together; I feel like this team has something special."
"They said that the last week or so in practice that I've been making alot of strides," explained the senior quarterback. "I've been making plays and not turning the ball over alot. Coach Dykes said he believes in me. Alot of coaches have been coming up to me and that's big for me. For even the defensive coaches to come up and say 'Hey Steven, we believe in you.'"
Ensminger will have a talented group of receivers and a veteran offensive line to work with. The offensive line brings back seven players with starting experience.
Coach Dykes seemed please with the work of the offensive line so far in camp. "I think our offensive line has played well," he said. "When you look at us, Lon Roberts hasn't practiced in a couple of days and Stephen Warner has done a good job of sliding in there and playing at a high level. That's what is going to happen. You are going to have things happen to your football team, guys need to be away for different reasons sometimes - you are going to have injuries and things like that - so it's important for the next guy to step up."
"That's always important for the offensive line," said Coach Dykes. "You want to have versatility with some players. The thing you want to have is eight or nine guys and maybe ten guys that you feel like you can win with and sometimes thats hard. So if you have some guys that can play two or three positions it allows them to get on the field and contribute a little quicker."
Ensminger has a lot of talent to work with in this current group of receivers. "We have great receivers," he added. "They have a lot to learn and we're working on it.
Coach Dykes talked about Tim Molton and Ahmad Paige specifically. "They are both real talented guys that are working on being consistent," he said. "The thing I like is they are making strides. If you go and look at them in the spring, they are different players than they are now. They have more confidence and they are playing faster. They are both more comfortable coming off a year on the sidelines. It takes a little time to get back to playing at a fast pace and fast nature and they are getting back there. They are doing a lot of good things; they are doing some technique things that are going to help them."
"What they have to do now is learn how to be good receivers," added Coach Dykes. "The biggest thing about being a good receiver is being consistent, day-in and day-out in their approach to the game. The most important thing for a wide receiver is to be in the right place at the right time. There's a lot of guys who get there different ways, some guys get there with speed, some guys get there with quickness, some with great route running. What we want those guys to do is they possess the speed and quickness; we just need to get them on the same page with the quarterbacks."
Cornerback Josh Victorian said the new group of receivers will not only be good for the offense, but they help the secondary get better as well. "It helps a lot because last year we were a more run-oriented team," said the senior cornerback. We didn't have as many guys and we had a lot of guys hurt. This year, we have a ton of receivers. That helps a lot going against different kinds of guys; tall guys like Tim [Molton], speedy guys like Richie Casey. It helps a lot."
Victorian has emerged over the last year as a leader in the defensive secondary. He made several big plays over the last half of the 2009 season, including the big interception return against Boise State.
"It was a lot of hard work but we had a lot of guys get injured," explained Victorian. "I didn't really have a choice. I just wanted to help my team and one thing led to another and a couple of plays happened. It was mostly just trying to keep fighting with it and staying with it and helping my team when they needed me."
The offense and defense are getting a lot better as they go up against each other in practice. Both units seem to be progressing nicely as camp enters week two. With the opening kickoff scheduled for September 4th, the Bulldogs look to be on schedule for a successful start to the season.