Rutgers is getting a late start to spring ball this year, pushing the opening date back to late April in an attempt to have has many participants as possible. Head coach Greg Schiano believes that, after last year’s cancellation of spring practice, it’s important to get a lot of players on the field this spring.

On Monday, Schiano met with reporters to talk about the upcoming spring practice, as well as some of the position groups. His message was clear while speaking with the media: Rutgers needs to get better.

In his first season since returning to Rutgers as the head coach, the Scarlet Knights finished with a 3-6 record —  a vast improvement from almost anything under the Chris Ash era. Still, Schiano wants his team to be competitive with the top programs in the B1G.

Here’s what Schiano had to say while meeting with reporters on Monday:

On the QB room

“I think the quarterback room is in a good place. They got a good chemistry in there. I’m looking forward to it. I think we have a good situation there and that’s really one of our points of focus. How do we maximize our quarterback play? That’s through spring football.”

On early enrollees taking advantage of spring practice

“I think it’s really important [for midyear enrollees to take advantage of spring]. Not only this year’s enrollees, but last year’s freshmen. They didn’t get a spring, they didn’t get a training camp. What we got is a couple weeks in the fall and then we went out and played a season. …That’s what I love about spring football, there is no game at the end of the week.”

On the outlook for the secondary

“Our secondary is a work in progress. We have some experience. I think Christian Izien is a guy we’re going to lean on heavily this spring. Tre Avery is a guy I think played at a high level last year. We’re gonna need him to play at a high level for us to perform well. And then there are some newcomers we want to get a look at. I think we have a chance to be good in the secondary but we’re [young].”

On Artur Sitkowski entering the NCAA transfer portal

“I had several conversations with Art, and I’m very close with Art. He just felt like he needed a different opportunity. We talked through it and I just hope he finds what he’s looking for because he’s a great young man. Although we’ll miss him, I’m excited about our quarterback room.”

On spring ball opportunities

“We have to get better. We have an opportunity in front of us, but we have to get better. And I don’t mean a little bit, there’s a lot of work to be done. And that’s the best thing about spring practice. You can go and sink your teeth into it and there’s no game on Saturday. So, I encourage these guys to find out how good they are.”

On recruiting during the pandemic

“I think this staff understands that recruiting is a 365-day task. It doesn’t matter…you’re constantly recruiting every class. …Coaching in college is really a lifestyle, it’s not a job.”