Tuesday Practice Notes

Here are some notes from today's practice session in Gainesville.

***LB Coach Bill Miller on how his squad is coming along: "We still have got a hell of a long way to go. There are some positive things out there. I've seen some improvement in some things. But, it isn't close to where we've got to be yet. They've got a good attitude, and, it's important to them. I think we'll get there. It's just a matter of time, too…then, putting the time in…which they will. We've got to have a great summer, in terms of what they get done in the weight room, and, they will. They've got do some things on their own that great football teams do."

***Sophomore LB Channing Crowder sprained his right ankle a little bit on Tuesday. But, he said he'll get some treatment, and, will be OK. Regarding last Saturday's scrimmage, Crowder said that he gets "real excited when people play with emotion. The defense played with a lot of emotion. We were just out there…running around…flying around…and, having fun. When you have fun on defense, you're going to come out with wins most of the time. We're a real fast defense."

***Junior WR Dallas Baker looked sharp as a tack Tuesday. It didn't matter who threw the ball, or, where it was thrown at, Baker made several aerodynamic catches, including a sweet 20-yard grab for a touchdown in the corner of the end zone. Baker continued to put on a show. On another play, running a post pattern, he had an incredible one-handed snag for a 20-yard gain. (Leak was the QB for both of these receptions).

***On Tuesday, Junior DT Kenny Parker and Freshman LB Richard Brown were hurt, and, didn't practice or have pads on. The same goes for Sophomore WR O.J. Small, who, actually, hasn't practiced at all so far this spring. He's still out due to a hurt hand. (Though, he's getting pretty good at holding a clip-board on the sideline!)

***Sophomore QB Chris Leak on the departure of TE Ben Troupe: "Ben's just an awesome player. You don't see that many of those types of tight ends. The guys we have got (now) are learning, and, getting better everyday. I think they'll do a great job for us."

***Tuesday's "play of the day" was a tricky ‘reverse' by the second-team offense that fooled the second-team defense. Freshman QB Justin Midgett handed-off to Sophomore RB Skyler Thornton….who, then, handed-off to Sophomore WR Chad Jackson…who was cutting the other way. Jackson then broke free for a nice gain. (Hopefully, we'll see more of those kinds of plays come fall).

***I asked RB Ciatric Fason what he thought about Ricky Williams cutting off his dreadlocks and shaving his head: "When I first heard that he did it, I didn't really believe it. But, then, I actually saw him in a magazine. He actually didn't look like ‘Ricky' to me. I feel like he's trying to help himself out…trying to market himself. I guess he felt like he was tired of being tackled by his dreadlocks (which happened on several occasions during the last NFL season).

***Today, the Gators began practice earlier than they normally have, during the ‘spring fling'. They started at 2:45pm and practiced until 5:00pm. On Thursday, the Gators are set to begin practice at 4:30pm. Then, on Saturday, things get going at 9:30am at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field. (Trivia: What Florida politician is the grand-daughter of Ben Hill Griffin? (Hint: hanging chads).

***On Wednesday, please make sure to check out Fightingators.com for a special feature about Sophomore QB Chris Leak, and, his progression as a ‘team leader'.

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