BIRMINGHAM — Trent Dilfer delivered on his promise to make things difficult on his UAB football team in the final week of spring practice. He's had two different responses from his players.

"Been up and down," Dilfer said of the two practice sessions thus far this week. "I thought (Wednesday) some things clicked. Monday was rough. I thought Monday they would respond a little bit better after a rough scrimmage. It wasn't quite as sharp. I think what we're learning is how to dig deep and play when they're tired and sore, and class loads are heavy, all those things that happened in kids' life."

Wednesday's full pad practice was one of the most physical practices of this spring. Dilfer said his team did full-speed goal line work for the first time this spring, other than during the scrimmage and spring game.

"There were a lot of good things that came out of today," Dilfer said after Wednesday's practice.

Dilfer said in his press conference immediately following the spring game that he would reserve full judgment about his team's play, particularly on offense, until watching the film. Wednesday was his first opportunity to share with the media what he saw during his film study.

"One of the things you have to learn to become a really good team is how to reset, how to move on, good and bad," Dilfer said. "I'll speak mainly offensively. We did some good things early, but we didn't reset and continue to do them. When they started going bad, it kind of snowballed on us. That's a sign that you're waiting for the next bad thing to happen instead of the next good thing to happen. A lot of it is coach speak, but there is a mechanism within a team when it grows because great teams grow, as they're growing, they learn how to think the right thoughts. When bad things happen, they flush them quicker, move on and actually look to make a good play the next time out."

Dilfer talked about developing a depth chart after the spring game. He said on Wednesday that has happened but said it's not something he will release publicly.

"I think guys have earned more reps this week," Dilfer said. "We kind of keep those things internal, but they're evident by practice. We're banged up on the offensive line, but we've got a lot of guys competing. We're trying to figure out who will fill those spots. I think, defensively, on the second line, there's a lot of competition. On the third line, there's a lot of competition."

Linebacker Charlie Goode and safety Ike Rowell are good examples of players who have worked their way into more reps with their play in the spring game and throughout camp.

Goode, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound third-year player from Homewood, made an impact on special teams last season. This spring, he wedged his way into the rotation and is often working with the first defense. His performance is reminiscent of how Noah Wilder turned himself from a walk-on scout team player to an all-conference linebacker.  

"He's done a nice job," Dilfer said of Goode. "His preparation is elite. His understanding of what they're trying to accomplish defensively. He, physically, is more gifted than I think he was given credit for. He's definitely got a spot to help us be successful on defense. He's earning it every day."

Rowell showed flashes last season but was part of a deep safety position. The 6-foot, 190-pound third-year player from Fyffe is earning a spot on the field.

"Super talented kid, has elite measurables, speed, quickness, explosion," Another kid that's really shown that, given a chance, can really respond at a high level. Has really graduated with his learning in the system. A guy that's really willing to sacrifice his body. Safety is a tough position. You've got to cover, fill run gaps, force. He's been able to do all those things."

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