PRACTICE REPORT: Saturday, Aug. 12

There was football. It was a Saturday. But it was not a football Saturday in Tiger Stadium. Saturday morning's practice at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility was the second practice of fall camp in full pads, and only the freshmen's third practice outside in the heat

The media was allowed four periods to view practice and we made the most of it as always.


The story of the day would have to be the continued progress freshmen are making. Earlier in the week, the freshmen looked extremely raw and unsure of every decision they made. Today, with the guidance of the veterans, freshmen began to dig their cleats into the ground and really make progress.


Jacob Cutrera moved smoothly and excelled in position drills while both Stevenson, Ga. freshmen linebackers Perry Riley and Kelvin Sheppard did the same.


The best part about practice now is that the boys are in full gear. Even though the media is not allowed at practice when the first team offense and defense is on the field, it is still a great sound to hear pads popping again.


After four days of watching players run up and down the field making routine catches, throws, steps and tackles, it is great to see full contact. In fact, much of the media has been giving the offensive and defensive lines a bit more attention because it's fun to watch these guys smack each other and push each other around.


When the fourth period ended and it was time for the media to leave, contact drills began with position brake downs. Tight ends squared off against defensive ends and pushed each other around while tailbacks tried to make a cut around the heel of the tight end and sprint up field.


Other positions did the same.


On the offensive side of the ball, the receivers have made the largest improvement since the beginning of fall camp. Not just freshmen, but veterans too.


Ricky Dixon and Jared Mitchell excelled in Saturday mornings practice, as well as last years receiving corps of Early Doucet, Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis. Brandon LaFell looks to have put in the time at the weight room over the summer, but still has issues at times making catching plays.


Both Justin Vincent and Alley Broussard looked sharp making catches in the flats and up the middle. Broussard is physically a wide back with good speed and great legs. When his load turns down the field and his knees start pumping, he will be very a intimidating sight for a 175 lb defensive back to tackle.


The quarterbacks threw more accurately in the cooler morning air, with all three play callers hitting receivers perfectly in stride.


On defense, first, second and third team defenses rotated in and out of drills and later broke down into position drills. The defenses together as a unit practiced on assignments and footwork throughout the morning practice.

Tomorrow, players and coaches will participate in Media Day and Fan Day at the practice facility while a rumor also floats that Miles will put his team through their first scrimmage on Tuesday.

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