DAY TWO AM: Focus on Defensive Backs

There were a few changes today as the Gators took to the makeshift practice facility for their second day of work. Defensively, Reggie Nelson, Avery Atkins, Dorian Munroe, Jon Demps, and Darryl Gresham moved from the freshmen, redshirt freshmen, and transfers and participated with the first group.

This may or may not mean anything more than just trying to get a different look. At this point, we're just not sure, and we won't be able to speak to Coach Meyer until late this afternoon. But, all of the players listed above were working with the second team.

In today's workout, cornerbacks Vernell Brown, Dee Webb, Reggie Nelson, and Avery Atkins all looked pretty solid. I would say that Brown made the most big plays, slapping the ball away, forcing the ball from the receiver in light contact, etc. He was very solid in coverage during the man-on-man drills. I counted three consecutive man-on-man situations where he just blanketed the receivers. He was also very effective in seven-on-seven drills. His size proved to be a disadvantage on only one play, as Dallas Baker slipped around him to haul in a high pass that Brown just missed.

At times, some of the players seem to be having difficulty with their footing on the turf. However, Brown seemingly had had fewer problems. It was another outstanding day for Brown.

Jacksonville's Dee Webb did a good job as well. In the seven-on-seven drills the offense really avoided throwing anything his way. He just didn't get many opportunities with the ball in the air. One play that stood out was Webb's sound coverage on Dallas Baker. However, Earl Everett moved into the passing lane and knocked the ball away.

Webb made a terrific play on the final play of the brief scrimmage session. He also stepped to the side and was talking to the trainers, although from our vantage point behind the blue line, I couldn't tell if he had some problem.

Nelson had another strong day. He was outstanding in coverage on a couple of plays in man-on-man drills, but he lost his footing on the following play and the receiver slipped by him for a catch. On one of his first seven-on-seven situations, Nelson had great coverage on Kenneth Tookes. He followed that up with the first interception of the day, when he picked off a pass intended for wide receiver John Curtis.

A few plays later Nelson broke from his man and got a hand in the passing lane intended for Kyle Morgan. Morgan was covered by safety Dorian Munroe.

Avery Atkins was pretty good throughout the day. He ran downfield on one play with Dallas Baker. The ball was thrown to the other side, but Atkins didn't allow Baker to shake him. He was burned on one deep play during the seven-on-seven drills. Chris Leak hit wide receiver Anthony Scott on a go. Atkins had good coverage, but Leak dropped the ball just over Atkins into the waiting arms of Scott.

Dorian Munroe moved around really well at safety with the second unit. He moves well and was pretty darned good in short coverage too. I didn't see him often enough in deep coverage to get a good feel for his abilities.

The coverage among all of the defensive backs is more aggressive, and I really like that. They are attacking the receivers at the line of scrimmage, which should make things much more exciting when the Gators go into full pads. Regardless, we'll all certainly have a much better read on who is ready to challenge for a starting position.

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