Eric Wilbur was booming punts today. This is the first time I have seen him kick since he kicked one on the first day of practice ... With Marcus Thomas sidelined with a sore back, sophomore Clint McMillan slid into a starting defensive tackle spot today … Nick Brooks is starting to work more with the safeties instead of cornerbacks ... Kyle Jackson was back with the first defense today ... Avery Atkins substituted for Dee Webb late in practice. Webb has a viral infection that was thought at first to be a bad cold … Tavares Washington was back from his brother's wedding and that meant back on the first OL.
Walkon long snapper James Smith can juggle three footballs.
Plays of the Practice:
Pass-skel: Vernell Brown picked off a haphazard pass from Chris Leak who rolld out of the pocket to avoid pressure. He threw and Brown made the interception on a nice break on the ball … Brown came back and almost picked Josh Portis' first pass of the drill ... Cornelius Ingram hit Tate Casey on a 20-yard corner route, beautifully thrown where only the 6-6 Casey could get to it ... Kyle Morgan powered through a Tony Joiner try at a deflection to catch a ball that otherwise would have been intercepted … Portis threw a rope on a post route to Dallas Baker about 18 yards down field.
John Curtis made another tough grab, but would have been redecorated by Tony Joiner had the pads been on ... Baker had glue on his hand for a one-handed catch in the middle of the field about 10 yards deep … Joiner broke up a pass right in front of Chad Jackson ... Nyan Boateng caught a post pass from Chris Leak that would have gone the distance.
11-on-11: Defense wasn't supposed to really make a play here. This was just a drill for the offense and defense to run plays in rapid fire and get them thinking fast.
Play of the Day:
Nyan Boateng from josh Portis for 40 yards on a deep seam pass , he just blew by the defender.
Player of the Practice:
Nyan Boateng may have been the most thrown to target today. He was catching them short and long. He really stood out on a great day for receivers and quarterbacks.
Solid as a Rock:
The quarterbacks all seemed to play much better today. I think it was their best day of the fall so far ... The DBs were still in the receivers' faces, but the quarterbacks seemed to find the open guys ... Punter Eric Wilbur had fresh legs and was really booming the ball early in practice.
Freshman of Influence:
We will have to go with Boateng here too.
What I liked:
The offensive passing game is finally looking like it is starting to click. There were some deep balls hit and even the underneath routes are starting to look a little smoother, like these guys have been playing together for a while.
What I Didn't Like:
It looked like Bubba Caldwell was a little dinged with his shoulder on one pass play. He came back later but couldn't extend to get to the ball very well ... Jemalle Cornelius dropped a ball today right in his hands. I haven't noted it a lot, but he has had more drops than I can remember in the past … Reggie lewis had two busted assignments in a row that disgusted Coach Chuck Heater.