Practice Report: August 10th

The second day of full pads saw nothing new. The Cats were still working hard and improving. Like every other day of practice, weather forced a change. For the second straight day the Cats were out at the turf field at Pima East.

The biggest news was who was not in practice. Mike Bell hurt his ankle on Tuesday and will be held out of drills for about a week. Tanner Bell has a concussion and will be day to day. Dramayne McElroy is also dinged up.

A handful of other players missed drills to take final exams for their summer school classes.

After the initial stretching session, the Cats went into field goal work. Nick Folk was solid, concluding the drills with a pair of 45-yarders.

Early on the offense and defense each went their separate ways. The defense broke up into individual positions, but the offense ran plays as an entire unit. They ran a series of plays without any defensive presence. Most were throws down in the west endzone. It almost looked like the walk through you get during pre-game warm-ups.

Next the offense broke up into individual positions just as the defense had already done. Travis Bell impressed me by making a tough catch on a high ball. He has shown all through camp that he has great hands. He still needs to bulk up to be a consistent blocker, but he has shown all through camp that he is a reliable receiver.

There was no margin for error today. You can tell that the coaches are trying to keep the team from making silly little mistakes. On a blocking drill one of the running backs stumbled before the coach blew his whistle and the unit had to do a few up/downs. Several minutes later another back jumped before Dunn signaled them to and it was time for more up/downs.

After the blocking drill, the backs worked a lot on hanging on to the football and a lot of pass catching. The pass catching drill was designed to force the backs to react to a thrown ball the moment they turn around.

With Tanner Bell sitting out, Adam Hawes got the bulk of the work at left tackle. Daniel Borg has said throughout camp that he planned on redshirting, but he got some run with the first team as well.

B.J. Dennard saw his first extended action at corner back. He worked primarily with the second team.

The team then moved over for some 7-on-7 work. At first Richard Kovalcheck and Adam Austin switched off every other snap. Kovalcheck looked sharp. He completed 5-of-7 passes for 67 yards. One of his incompletions was a long bomb to Mike Jefferson that was batted away at the last second by Michael Beach.

Syndric Steptoe made the catch of the day. He juggled a Kovalcheck pass that was thrown a bit high. He leaped and was able to get a hand on it, but fell onto his back. As he fell, he was able to reel in the ball as he hit the ground.

Austin was not as sharp. He struggled, going just 3-9 for 20 yards and a pick. Willie Tuitama was 0-1, with his lone pass being dropped by an open receiver.

The team finished off practice with a spirited 11-on-11 session.

The Cats are scheduled to begin two-a-days on Thursday. Practice is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the Rincon Vista field south of Broadway.


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