Rookies continue to learn

The Wildcat rookies continue to prepare for the start of training camp. With the veterans reporting in just a few days, the 29 new Wildcats are pushing to learn as much as they can. In many regards the players are learning how to practice. When the full squad goes at it on Saturday the rookies will know exactly what is expected of them.

"There is a lot to learn," said John Mackovic. "Most of them have forgotten that they were freshmen in high school and they started with the same routine. By the time they got to be seniors it was old hat. Now they start all over again. There is a lot to learn. The terminology is different. The plays are different. We try to get them to relate to the things they've done."

For the first time the players were in shoulder pads. There wasn't a lot of contact, but a little popping was going on.

"Today we put on shoulder pads so they could begin to get some feeling on tempo, playing with one another and the pace of how we practice and do things," said Mackovic.

Tuitavuki Carl Tuitavuki receives instruction.

A lot of attention has been given to the two quarterbacks. Both Ryan O'Hara and Matt Belshe looked more comfortable. Their passes seemed sharper and they appeared more at ease with footwork. The pair worked a lot on handoffs and pitches and were making great strides in their timing with the running backs and receivers. Both players also showcased their accuracy when they each tossed a ball into a trash can from 25 yards away.

It was a day where a lot of technique was being taught. The offensive linemen worked long and hard on footwork. Coach Charlie Dickey instructed them on the finer points of down blocking. The defensive ends conversely worked on various pass rush techniques including swim moves and bull rushes.

"I was real pleased again with what these guys are doing and how they were," Mackovic said. "Little by little they are getting a feel on where to line up."

The kickers continued to impress. Danny Baugher started slowly, but the talk of camp rebounded. After getting warmed up he continued to boom deep punts. At least a few traveled over 50 yards and one was estimated at 57 yards.


*Beau Carr and Paul Phillip were both in pads but did very little. Phillip, who is nursing a surgically repaired shoulder, did much of the agility work and then jogged around the field while the other defensive ends did some contact work. Carr was mainly an observer. He is still awaiting the results of some medical tests.

*Only a few veterans were in attendance. Jarvie Worcester roamed around the field observing some of his new team mates.

*The players had a day long orientation and will return to practice tonight. They have an all day orientation on Thursday, will participate in media day on Friday and will be joined by the veterans on Saturday for the start of training camp.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories