Practice Day 4: Strappin On The Shells

In the last practice before heading off to Higher Ground, the Bearcats strapped on the shoulder pads for the second day and things got a little more physical.

While the Cincinnati skill players were running seven-on-seven drills, the linemen were getting down to business.

In one of my favorite drills, five offensive linemen line up against four defensive linemen with only one of the defensive linemen being live and the offense doesn't know who. The drill winds up in a one-on-one blocking drill. For the most part the offensive line held up well.

Alex Hoffman was able to hold a bull rush from Steve Hancock, while Kevin Schloemer kept Rob Trigg away from the quarterback after a nice spin move from Trigg.

On one play Sean Hooey looked good blocking Mitch Meador, but was later beaten by Monte Taylor. Taylor showed good quickness and strength on the play. Walter Stewart showed why the coaching staff is so high on him blowing right past Sam Griffin around the edge.

For those of you who read the spring practice reports you may remember me giving almost daily updates on Vidal Hazelton vs. Reuben Johnson because of how entertaining it was to watch. Well they haven't missed a beat here in the summer.

The two were matched up several times in one-on-one drills and the battles, and talking, were as good as ever. On one play Johnson had great coverage on Hazelton, being virtually in his jersey, but Hazelton went over Johnson to make the catch.

They battled again, with good coverage by Johnson again, with Hazelton making another great grab. The catch prompted Kerry Coombs to tell Johnson that he is too worried about what he is going to say to Hazelton and not worried enough about what he is going to do on the play.

Throughout the day Hazelton also dropped his first two passes of the summer.

Freshman Adrian Witty had a good performance today in one-on-one action, batting down one pass from Brendon Kay. Witty then was beaten deep by Tomaz Hilton but showed good closing speed to recover and knock the ball away.

At the end of practice Butch Jones called out one-on-one matchups he wanted to see with one of the first ones being George Winn taking on Solomon Tentman with Winn locking up Tentman. Kevin Schloemer then got the best of Monte Taylor and Brad Harrah then got inside position on Andre Cureton but Cureton held Harrah off, literally.

Dominique Battle did not practice today because of a minor hamstring aggravation, but Jones said he will return to action in a couple of days. Overall, the Bearcats have stayed very healthy through the first four days of practice, but that can change quickly as they strap on the full pads and really start hitting at Higher Ground.

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