PRACTICE REPORT: Thursday 8-16

Because they will practice only once today, the Tigers took to the practice fields a little later than usual, and the media was allowed only for about ten minutes.

Both Early Doucet and Tyson Jackson were back in action today, as well as Richard Dickson, who was wearing a green jersey. Drake Nevis was also in a green jersey. Glenn Dorsey was absent from practice again this morning, as well as the four guys with injuries (Mark Snyder, Jordon Corbin and Jacob Cutrera). Perry Riley, who was injured in last Saturday's scrimmage, was in fact back at practice today.


Both the offensive line and defensive line were working on sled drills when I watched them during practice. The linebackers were as well. Shomari Clemons was again with the linebackers today. Will Blackwell's left thumb was heavily taped, similar to RJ Jackson's.


The defensive backs were working on a back pedal drill when we first got there. Coach Pelini was not too pleased with Phelon Jones' effort in the drill. After Jones finished, Coach Pelini yelled out "Phelon get back over here! You go hard on every play! Every rep counts!" After the back pedal drill they went back to working on the nickel packages from yesterday. And like yesterday morning Danny McCray was the nickel on the side with Chevis Jackson and Craig Steltz, while Chad Jones was the nickel with Jonathan Zenon and Curtis Taylor. Also, with Chad Jones being at practice today, you can officially put to rest any worries about him going to play pro baseball.


Because the media was only allowed to see two periods today, we did not get to see the running backs do anything with the quarterbacks. They were doing a ball security drill most of the time we were there where one carried the ball and his partner tried to rip the ball out from behind. However as we were walking out the gate it looked like they were going over by the quarterbacks to work more on running the option. Keiland Williams was wearing a visor on his helmet again at practice this morning.


For the third consecutive practice, I did not see Matt Flynn throw a single pass. As I was watching the other positions I would glance over towards the quarterbacks periodically to see if Flynn was throwing and I never saw him, and then when I went to watch them throw to the wide receivers he never threw. He stood off on the side with his chin strap unbuckled again like yesterday morning. On a different note, today we finally got to see the quarterbacks throw the ball more than five yards and got a chance to compare them. Of the three(Ryan Perrilloux, Jarrett Lee, and Andrew Hatch), Perrilloux clearly has the strongest arm, as he usually threw the deeper patterns and had much more zip on his ball than the other two. Jarrett Lee bounced a few balls at the receiver's feet. He also struggled some with his accuracy, over throwing receivers on the shorter routes. Perrilloux looked head and shoulders above him today.


On to the receivers, yesterday someone was asking about Brandon Lafell and I said there hadn't really been anything to report on him. Well that changed today. First when they were warming up Lafell dropped an easy pass that was lofted perfectly into his hands. Coach McCarthy stared him down the entire time he jogged back to the line, and Coach Crowton got on him about being mentally tough and focusing even more when he's tired and sore. Then when the receivers were running the routes downfield, Lafell jogged through his route. Coach McCarthy yelled out, "We are running these routes full speed Brandon. If you want to jog go start jogging around these fields." After this Lafell went and stood by Flynn on the side and Flynn talked to him for a while. As for the rest of the receivers, as I said in the beginning Doucet was back today and didn't show any signs of any type of injury. Also when the receivers were running routes in pairs, Doucet and Lafell ran in the first group, and Josh McManus was running in the second group with Jared Mitchell. Now during the time they were running these routes Terrance Toliver was being stretched out by a trainer, so that may have something to do with it. But like I said a few reports ago, despite being a walkon McManus has great hands and does everything right, plus he saw the field in some significant playing time last year. Even though he's usually not discussed when talking about wide receiver depth, I wouldn't be surprised if he saw the field this year as the 4th or 5th receiver.


That's all for today's practice. Like I said earlier, there is no practice this afternoon. We'll be out there again for tomorrow morning's practice, so check back tomorrow morning for another report.

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