""We'll have a better feel on Saturday," Snyder said when asked where he thought the team was as of Thursday afternoon, referring to the upcoming scrimmage (closed to the public) on Saturday.
And, Snyder wasn't shy about listing what he expected to see in that scrimmage. "I want guys playing fast, playing hard, and executing their assignments. I'll know after Saturday. When the coaches are off the field and in the box and it's just them out there playing, we'll see just how much they understand," he added.
Thursday's practice featured a lot of rotation -especially amongst the offensive line- which Snyder said is preparation for the inevitable injuries that occur during the season.
"Because of injury, at some point in time this year, that rotation [on the line] is going to happen," Snyder added. "So, you might as well prepare for it now. Those things happen, so you have to get those guys reps in practice. You have to prepare for those things. "
The rotation was moving Brian Leggett to some reps as second-team center and Matt Altobellow going with the threes. Once lineman Doug Legursky suffered a very mild ankle sprain, late in Thursday's practice. John Inman was at left guard, Zane Bruhin at right guard and Leggett was with the first team at center, while Altobello went with twos in the middle and James Burkes was back with threes. Tackle Daniel Baldridge also got reps with the ones.
"I think it pays off in the long run. It's our philosophy. You want to be strong in the end, so you have to prepare for injuries," MU coach Mark Snyder summed up of the line's rotation, on both the offensive and defensive fronts and at linebacker.
WR Uranius Johnson continued to make solid catches on Thursday.
Chris Terrell continued his stellar summer practice on Thursday. Terrell gave offensive linemen fits all day long, and began the practice with a block of an attempted 37-yard field goal. Terrell also blasted through the line multiple times during the 7-on-9 drill … OL David Ziegler was in a yellow jersey again on Thursday, as was OL Wesley Jones and RB Chubb Small. With Small out, freshman Kelvin Turner got some reps with the first team … DB Zearrick Matthews was in a blue jersey, as well … DB Jeremy Frazie continued his intercepting ways on Thursday, adding a pick of QB Bernie Morris. It was a fourth interception in four full pads practices … WR Matt Morris hauled in one catch early in Thursday's practice, and was hit by LB Ian Hoskins. The hit was so hard it cracked Hoskins' helmet visor, with the visor salesman standing watching on the sidelines … LB Matt Couch added another practice interception as well, stepping in front of WR Bryan Jones and nabbing the Jimmy Skinner pass … RB Will Albin picked up a corner blitz during team drills, and the result was a three-yard pickup for RB Ahmad Bradshaw. The play would have been a loss, otherwise … Emanuel Spann continued to show that his 2005 knee injury is 100% healed on Thursday, going horizontal to haul in a 26 yard pass from Bernie Morris … WR Uranius Johnson is catching the ball extremely well, making a case for possible playing time during the 2006 season. … WR Matt Morris also added a score during team drills, catching a 6-yard fade pass from Bernie Morris.
Marshall will practice twice on Friday, at 9:40 a.m. in full pads and at 5:00 p.m. in shorts, to prepare for scrimmage. Saturday's scrimmage is set for 12:30 p.m., but is closed to the public. The Herd's first public scrimmage will be one week later, on August 19.