Two-day crash course concludes

The Wildcat coaches tried to do a lot of teaching in a very little time. The staff has inundated their rookie football players with a ton of information in hopes to get them as ready as possible for the full start of camp on Saturday. The crash course was necessary for the players to compete with the veterans.

"They (the veterans) will know what to do and (the rookies) will have to catch up and stay with it the best they can," John Mackovic said. "At least they have the fundamentals of understanding what we are doing so they can jump in there."

The rookies were given a crash course in the system and worked a lot on the drills they would be doing in a few short days. By knowing the drills and fundamentals, the coaches can work more efficiently at the start of camp. More importantly they have at least rudimentary knowledge of the complex schemes.

"We accomplished a great deal in two days," Mackovic said. "In four short practices we introduced them to our basic offense and our basic defense. How we call things, how we do things."

Things will only get more difficult. Come Saturday the pace will quicken and the rookies will be expected to keep up.

"I was telling them that we didn't push them as hard as we'll be pushing them on Saturday," Mackovic said. "We didn't have enough people, we'd run them down. We told them that on Saturday, ‘boy, if you're not moving someone will be after you because these guys on Saturday know the tempo that we work and we get after it.' It will be much faster. Not necessarily much harder, but much faster. Teaching-wise we'll put in six or eight or ten runs on Saturday and 15 to 20 passes. Those guys (the veterans) come right out of the huddle and they get ready to go."

Overall Mackovic was very happy with what he saw out of the youngsters. One of the Wildcats' most high profile recruits had a very good night in the passing drills.

"Ryan (O'Hara) relaxed a lot more tonight," Mackovic said. "The nice thing I saw was that he really knew what to do with the ball to make a play. One time the ball was snapped on a bobble and he found a tight end immediately, instead of wondering what was going on he stayed with the play."

The play of the night belonged to cornerback Jason Martin. The young corner stayed with an overthrown ball, but stumbled as he got his hands on the pass. As he was falling he juggled the ball, but reeled it in as he hit the turf.

The promising play of the two kicking specialists continued. Mackovic had high praise for the pair.

"I couldn't be more happy," Mackovic gushed. "I've never had a punter and kicker come in with this level of development. One or the other, but never both in the same year."

In addition to passing drills the team worked a lot on pass blocking and fumble drills. Both the offensive linemen and the running backs spent a lot of time on protecting the passer. The defense in turn work on not only causing fumbles, but also on scooping them up on the run.


*Corner back Gary Shepard hurt his ankle in the morning practice. He will be x-rayed in the morning. It is believed to be a sprain, which would limit him until early next week.
*O'Hara will get his share of reps come training camp. He said O'Hara would get more than Nic Costa did a year ago. Costa's limited play was due in large part to the battle for the back-up job between now departed John Rattay and Cliff Watkins.
*Belshe will run the scout offense this year. The Wyoming transfer must sit out the year as per NCAA rules.

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