MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Earlier this week, West Virginia offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson was lamenting the play of his inside receivers. The outside guys were doing fine, he said. The inside guys, not so much.
"We're not mad at them and we're not yelling at them,'' Dawson said. "Well, we are yelling. But the point is they have to play better.''
On Thursday, Dana Holgorsen didn't disagree. And he said he's already started doing something about it.
"I will echo that,'' the head coach said when asked about Dawson's comments. "We're going to move [true freshman wide receiver] Daikiel Shorts inside [for the first time at Thursday's practice]. You don't move guys unless you're displeased with what you're looking at.''
Part of the problem - perhaps much of it - is inexperience. Injuries are an issue, too.
Mario Alford is a junior college transfer who arrived this summer. Devonte Mathis and Vernon Davis both were redshirted last year and Davis was moved from cornerback midway through the spring. Shelton Gibson and Jacky Marcellus are true freshmen and Dante Campbell and Jordan Thompson have been wearing green medical jerseys in practice the last week.
None of that, however, should really matter, Holgorsen said.
"I've got plenty of excuses on why it looks bad, of which none of us want to hear them,'' Holgorsen said. "I don't want hear them, I don't want to look at them, you don't want to hear them. You can write about them probably, but it is what it is. We got to get guys in here that we trust and guys that we like.
"Which one of the guys I just mentioned is going to develop into All-Big 12 performers, I don't know yet. I think there's talent there. They just have to keep playing.''
Then Holgorsen echoed Dawson again, this time literally.
"We're not mad at them, we're not yelling at them,'' he said. "We'll, we're yelling at them probably a little bit. But we're not discouraging them. We're not discouraged by them. But with that said, we play a game in two weeks and we've got to get guys ready to play.''
Two of the guys that won't be getting ready are Connor Arlia and Will Johnson. Both were playing inside receiver - Johnson also tight end - and both left the team this week.
Arlia, a popular walk-on from Weirton, was at the top of the depth chart after spring practice. But WVU brought in a slew of new receivers who began practicing this month.
"Great kids, but they just want to go play,'' Holgorsen said. "I'll release them [from scholarship, which Arlia earned last year] anywhere they want to go so they can go get themselves in a position where they can play ball.''
At the same time those two left, freshman safety Isaac McDonald was cleared academically by the NCAA and is to join the team today. But having missed 17 practices and all of the summer conditioning, a redshirt seems likely for the 6-foot-5, 205-pounder.