Spring Practice Insider: Day II

The Tigers hit the practice fields this afternoon for the second time this spring. We've got several news and notes on some of the new responsibilites of the coaching staff, and of course, several player tidbits that you'll want to know about in our first Insider report of spring ball!

* Back up quarterback C.J. Gaddis practiced with Justin Miller, Kelvin Grant, and Airese Currie returning punts Monday afternoon. Gaddis had little trouble fielding the kicks, despite an erratic wind in his face.

* Charlie Whitehurst looked crisp this afternoon. He continues to show outstanding accuracy, good mobility and the capacity to understand where every player is supposed to be on the field arround him.

* We watched Cole Chason and Jad Dean for a good bit this afternoon. Dean appears to be hitting the ball much more cleanly off his foot than what we saw during pregame warm ups a year ago. Chason, who will be given the opportunity to compete with Dean for a spot on the first team at placekicker, showed ample strength, but was consistently 10-15 yards shorter on his kicks from further out.

Cory Groover
* New defensive line coach Ron West was very vocal today. At one point, he was instructing Cory Groover to correct his stance, telling him that he should be finishing the drill before anyone else on the team. Groover, who was practicing with the second team defensive line, proceeded to do just that the next time around. Coach West also had strong words for Brandon Cannon throughout the afternoon.

* From a physical standpoint, Cory Groover is very impressive. He's big and extremely quick on his feet.

* New offensive line coach Brad Scott was working his offensive line extremely hard. Scott is a big believer in sound technique and was instructing his first and second teams to do exactly as they were told in several drills. We will have more the different techniques being employed later this week.

* Coach Blackwell was spending a lot of time with redshirt freshman Nick Watkins today. Watkins is expected to challenge for playing time behind Anthony Waters this year.

* Coach Dabo Swinney continues to press Kelvin Grant in practice. Grant forgot the play during one drill before Coach Swinney had to remind him what was going on. Even though nobody on the field looks smoother in an all-out sprint, you can tell that work still needs to be done off the field with the play calls and identifying coverages. Coach Swinney however did have some very positive things about Grant's development after practice.

* Coach Burton Burns was working with his running backs on picking up the blitzing linebackers today. Apparently, Duane Coleman and Steven Jackson spent too much time with who was coming off the ends and not enough time blocking the defenders coming straight up the gut.

* We will have more from practice later this evening, including interviews from the players and coaches. Stay tuned!

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