FOOTBALL: 8/12 Fall Practice Report #1

<img src= align=right>The Florida football team completed pre-tropical weather practice session this morning. It was a spirited session, as it marked the first time the entire group had practiced together. Read on for the real inside scoop from fall practice. Plus, Bob's report will be coming shortly along with photos. Pictured: O.J. Small as he takes a breather.

Wideouts vs DB's

Nice moves…Dallas Baker (6'3 205) has been the best receiver running the stop and go/hitch and go routes. He quickly gets a step or two on the coverage, making a nice target for the quarterback. Baker burned numerous defensive backs with that move again today, most notably true freshman Dawayne Grace. Baker also burned Vernell Brown and Jermaine McCollum during other plays. However, Baker dropped a gimme, thrown during seven-on-seven drills as he outdistanced a defender.

Andre Caldwell (6'1 190) makes some tremendous cuts on short routes that give defensive backs fits. Caldwell lit up a few DB's today. He looked especially good burning Reynaldo Hill on a move during seven-o-seven. We did catch Caldwell pushing off on Vernell Brown that would've certainly been flagged.

It was not an especially good day for Hill (5'11 187), who was scolded by coaches for not staying outside as Kyle Morgan ran by him after a reception. He was later torched by coaches and teammates after dropping a pass Leak had gift wrapped for him during the scrimmage.

The best move off of the line of scrimmage today was by Jemalle Cornelius (5'11 177) who left DeShawn Carter (6'0 210) standing still on one play. Several players could be heard gasping, some laughing as the play continued.

Kenneth Tookes made a few nice grabs early. He had a scary moment, when he cut across the field for a pass, and was grabbed by Cory Bailey. Tookes got away from Bailey and continued on the route, missing the ball as he laid out for it. However, Tookes required assistance from the staff as he banged up his knee. The injury didn't appear to be serious as he returned to action. As for Bailey, the play had yellow flags all over it.

Linebacker U

Linebacker Brandon Siler would have probably made a nice play during the seven-on-seven competition had the team been in full gear. Siler dropped back into the zone and forced running back Skyler Thornton to adjust his route as he cut across the middle of the field for a pass. As Thornton hauled the ball in, Siler reached out and with flag football flair touched him. One of the coaches yelled out good job to Siler, and Zook replied, "separate him from the ball when we go live now".

Channing Crowder and Earl Everett both had solid days. There were several plays where Crowder could've cast himself as the star of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" taking a few heads at random as the receivers waltzed across the middle. I doubt he'll show the same mercy when the team gets into full gear.

Timing issues

The timing between the quarterbacks and receivers is not too bad. It is always one of the things that simply has to be worked out. The advantage in shorts and helmets usually falls to the receivers. However, as the Gators prepare for the first full gear workout, that advantage reverses field, as the defensive backs ready to unload, hopeful of impressing the staff and earning some respect. That is when things get fun.


The shining star for most of today's session was cornerback Dee Webb. The 5'11 187 sophomore, coached in high school by secondary coach Dan Disch demonstrated solid coverage on several plays during the man-on-man drills and seven-on-seven drills. Webb's best play came during the seven-on-seven drills. Webb had tight coverage on Caldwell to the near sideline. Caldwell tried to shake Webb, but he didn't bite. Chris Leak's pass was nearly perfect, but at the last second Webb leapt over Caldwell and knocked the ball away.

Webb had several other nice plays against the likes of Kenneth Tookes, Dallas Baker, and Reggie Lewis. Webb stayed on his man and didn't fall for any of the shake and bake. Of course, just as Hollywood and I were discussing how good Webb looked and the fact that he was having an MVP day, Mike McIntosh (6'0 174) used his body to screen him away on a curl pitched in there by Leak. Webb misjudged the timing by a nanosecond, and McIntosh took the ball downfield.

The Gator Practice Comedy Moment

The play occurred when quarterback Gavin Dickey sprinted around the right side and made these "Curley" from The Three Stooges sounds as he hurriedly ran by several defenders and exited out of bounds before he could be lit up by other pursuing defenders. As the small crowd laughed at Dickey's verbalizations, unimpressed defensive end Jarvis Moss who ran from across the field and was in position to take a shot at Dickey said, "Gavin, you know you're not that fast".

Media days are scheduled for tomorrow. It looks as thought the weather will play a role in that along with the practice schedule. Regardless, we'll have it covered for you!

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