Monday, August 20-Practice Report

The schedule was changed making today (Monday) a two practice day. The afternoon practice will be closed, the first time that has occurred this summer. It was a light morning practice.

The morning practice was shorter than normal, and it wasn't one of the more strenuous ones.  The afternoon practice is closed to the media and will probably be much more physically demanding as the Bearcats start to get ready for the opener against Southeast Missouri State on Thursday, August 30.


-As I arrived at practice today, the defensive scout team was assembling and preparing for practice.  This can be a difficult time for players because it means their chances of playing with the defense in games are pretty slim.  For many of the freshmen, it is expected.  Here are the players that I saw with the defensive scout team:  Alex Delisi (LB), Mike Latessa (S), Marcus Waugh (DT), Chris Harrison (DT), Steve Hancock (DE), Randy Martinez (DL), Ralston Reeves (DE), Calvin Dixon (LB), Deon Reed (DB), Robby Armstrong (LB), Ben Kelly (DB), Wes Richardson (DB), Drew Frey (S), Scott Johnson (S), Tyler Clifford (DE), and Reubon Haley (CB).  During practice I saw Ricardo Thompson (LB) and Brandon Underwood (CB) working with the group.  Due to transferring from Ohio State, Underwood isn't eligible to play this year anyway.


-Last week after Tahree McQueen joined the receivers, it gave the Bearcats five true freshmen in that group.  No one wants to have that many players at the same position in the same class.  The first step to thinning out the group was reassigning O. J. Woodard to the defense as a safety.  The second step is redshirting some of these guys which will definitely occur.  The one with the best chance of seeing the field this year is Armon Binns, according to Coach Molnar on Friday. 


-Anthony Williams was getting reps with the #1 defense opposite Haruki Nakamura at safety.  Williams had been the nickel back so if this promotion becomes permanent, Brad Jones will become the nickel back.  I'll have a story about A. Williams in the next day or so.


-Ben Mauk took the first snaps at QB today followed by Dustin Grutza, Tony Pike and Craig Carey.  Coach Kelly said after practice that the change was primarily done to even out the reps for each quarterback with the #1 offense.  But Coach Kelly did seem to spend a lot of time coaching up Ben even when he wasn't under center.  The QB race doesn't seem to be nearing the finish line any time soon.  In fact, Coach Kelly said it may continue through several of the out of conference games.  But he also said the competition could be over if someone takes command of the position.


-In other changes, Khalil El-Amin was again with the #1 group at right tackle, and Chris Jurek replaced Jason Kelce at center.  Jurek, Kelce and Frank Becker all took extra shotgun snaps after practice.


-Andre Revels continues to run with the #1 group at MLB.


-With Jared Martin still out for most of practice, Charley Howard got reps with the #2 unit at receiver, ahead of David Wess.  The #1 group of wide receivers included Dominick Goodman, Marcus Barnett and Marty Gilyard.  Antwuan Giddens and Mike Daniels joined Howard in the #2 group.


-Although it's no secret the Bearcats have five running backs in contention for playing time, Butler Benton is almost always the first option in practices and scrimmages.


Cincinnati beat writers Bill Koch and Josh K. spoke at length with Coach Kelly while I spent some time with Coach Kelly, Coach Coombs, Coach Tresey and Anthony Williams.  I'm sure Bill and Josh will have further information from Coach Kelly.

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