Practice Notes for 08-15-10
Rod Payne and his strength staff stretched the players out for the first half hour of the workout before Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger ran the players through a series of sprints.
The punt team got some early work in, with both Mickey Groody and Ross Gornall handling the duties. Freshman safety Cortez Ash blocked a few kicks and was applying pressure as well.
The team then underwent 45-minutes of position and 1-on-1ís drills between player groupings before breaking.
Senior free safety Ed Alexander had a leaping interception in the dayís second practice. Brentley Harstad, who is vying for the same position, ended the same drill with an INT.
Seven-on-seven drills saw senior Jeff Van Camp connect on back-to-back long passes to Avery Holley and Lester Jean. Graham Wilbert stepped in under center and connected with DeAndre Richardson over the middle. When it was Van Campís turn again he hit Rob Housler for 20 yards, Holley for 30 and once more to Holley in the back of the end zone on a crossing pattern.
"He looked like he had fresh legs, and he made some nice catches", Schnellenberger said of Holley's return.
The day's late session saw the same beginning as the first, but focused more on team work.
"Obviously the defense is under a new leadership, and an infusion of players that have the ability to play in the secondary, linebacker, and defensive line positions", said Howard Schnellenberger. "They continue to make improvement. †The offense has a double whammy, they have to overcome new players playing the center position, and contend with an improving defense."
Sam McRoy, Andy Czuprinski, Mike Nweze, Joseph Bailey and Chris Newbold comprised the first team for the offensive line.
There were a number of snap problems, including three over the quarterbacks head, one fumbled snap, and one to the right of center.
"We continue to work on that, it's going to be a problem for a while", said Schnellenberger. "It's not the easiest thing for a guard or a tackle to suddenly get into snap the ball and †do it very accurately when they got big defensive guys beating on their head."
When asked, Schnellenberger did confirm that they are still expecting to have two of the three injured centers back - Ryan Houston and Jimmie Colley.
But today Mike Nweze was working there. Schnellenberger also made a point of it to mention that the team does not necessarily have to rely on the gun and could move to a split-t formation to allow for more work under center than in the gun; which is the error prone formation right now.
Chris Jackson issued a perfectly executed block in the back field on Daniel Joseph and received some serious praise from running back coach David Serna, who ran over to Jackson embracing him in vocal and physical fashion. Jackson immediately responded a play or so later with a nice run, saying that type of acknowledgment helps to motivate him.
"Whenever stuff like that happens it makes you feel real good", said Jackson. "It's not often he does things like that, so when he does it mean's a lot."
But Jackson wasn't the only one who ran the ball a ways, with Alfred Morris taking one to the house during team drills thanks to a gaping hole up the right side.
The squad then moved into situationals for a series of downs before before Tarvoris Hill's INT during the two minute drill drew things to a close for the afternoon.
Jeff Blanchard and Willie Floyd appear to be the favorites for kick-off returns, with Avery Holley and Tavious Polo set for punts.
Curtis Cross and David Hinds each had had interceptions during teams drills.
Max Karrick and Erik Hansen were held out of today's work due to illness.
Toney Moore did not participate.
The team will hold only one session tomorrow with a 3:30 p.m. scheduled start time.
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