Defense still ahead of the game

The Wildcats were in full pads for their Tuesday practice and seemed anxious to get some popping in. The team went through their regular paces before being allowed to scrimmage for about an hour. Although it is not entirely unexpected, it is clear that the defense is still ahead at this point and time.

Things seem to be progressing nicely for the Cats. The Wildcats are already working on specific techniques. As the units broke up into individual positions, the coaches were busy teaching specific skills. The wide receivers spent a good deal of time on down field blocking. The defensive backs worked on bump-in-run techniques and locating the ball on deep passes. The defensive ends worked on stopping traps, sweeps and pulls, while the offensive line practice the proper foot work for these blocking techniques.

After working on fundamentals the linemen went to the south end zone for one-on-one drills while the rest of the club worked on 7-on-7 drills.

In the 7-on-7 drills it was all defense early. The first three plays resulted in a Lance Briggs knock down and two coverage sacks. The highlight for the offense was a deep pass from Jason Johnson to Juan Valentine for a 30+ yard gain. Most of the other successful plays were underneath passes. Briggs did take one of these short passes and went untouched 20 yards into the endzone.

Next came the scrimmage, where again the defense was in control. Nic Costa took the early snaps, but did not move the offense very well. In the first nine plays only one went for positive yardage. Antoine Singfield took a draw play for six yards. Other than that Costa was 1-3 for minus-2 yards. The team rushed for zero yards on four carries and Costa was "sacked" twice.

Johnson came in and fared a little better. The team got a few short gains and Mike Bell showed some good quickness when he went around the right end for six yards. The defense came up big when Andrae Turman coughed up the ball and Clay Hardt was able to coral the loose pig skin.


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