Herd Returns To Field After Off Day

Marshall returned to the field on Monday after a no-news 24-hours off from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. The Herd seniors set the tone at the end of Saturday's scrimmage, telling players where to be, and not to be, on their first night off in camp. Marshall returned Sunday evening to look at the video and lift weights before getting back to work on Monday, minus a few more players.

The Herd had way too many players in blue (non-contact) and gold (limited contact) jerseys for any die-hard Marshall fan, who might have an aversion to "those" colors. Mark Snyder said it showed they got what they wanted in one area on Saturday. "We were delivering blows, seems like we're getting a little tougher (on Saturday)," said Snyder. "We've got to get the guys healthy. Injuries are part of football…that's why it's the greatest game known to man. It takes 22 of them." Snyder, who learned about playing long seasons at Youngstown State with now Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel, said those years of getting younger players ready for a hopefully 15-game schedule is part of the reason so many players are moving up and down the depth charts, playing some days with ones, some days with twos and, in the case of defensive tackle Blake Merritt, moving up from the threes to the ones on Monday as a reward for a good week of practice last week.

"Now you guys understand why I roll so many guys at practice," said Snyder. "You (the media) keep asking me that question and that's why, and the dropoff wasn't bad today." Matt Morris was a player who benefitted from someone in front of him being out, as senior receiver Shawn Lauzon rested a hip on Monday. Morris, who led the Herd in receiving on Saturday with six catches for 50 yards, hooked up with Bernard Morris in the red zone 7-on-7 drill and then had three more catches in team. "He's getting reps," said Snyder. The more reps, the better players get and Marshall is getting lots of players reps in this camp with the first team.

Looking back to Saturday's scrimmage, Snyder was pleased with the effort the defense gave in winning the "jersey" scrimmage and keeping the green practice jerseys for another week. "I liked the way they flew to the ball and (the defense) was hitting some folks," said the former Marshall safety, who was second on the 1987 Herd with 124 total tackles. "They came with a little chip on their shoulders." Snyder also liked the way the Herd threw the ball, completing 37-of-70 for three touchdowns, but also throwing three interceptions including two by Bernie Morris in the red zone. "One of Bernie's interceptions, it's third-and-two, your up by 28 points, you probably run the ball and kick the points," said Snyder. "But I thought he threw the ball well. We, obviously, have to work on our running game…and you have always got to temper that: is the defense stopping the run pretty well, and is pretty good, or are they just going against some twos (on offensive line and in backfield of first unit)? We have got to continue to work on running the ball and stopping the run defensively."

For Snyder, the offensive running game is about the big guys up front of the backs, the offensive line, and Marshall's has been banged up for camp. "It's all about the line. Up front, at some point in time in this camp, we have got to get our staters together, working as a unit. They'll make the running backs go." The twos getting reps will help the Herd, but Snyder wants to get those first team players, like Doug Legursky, David Ziegler and Wesley Jones back together. He is happy with the depth being developed by Brian Leggett at center, John Inman and Zane Bruhin at guard and Chris Barnes at tackle. The only starter who has practiced all camp is Seth Cook, who is now at left tackle after two years as a starter at right tackle.

>b>NOTES:The Herd had eight players in blue jerseys and three in gold, with C. J. Spillman, Lauzon and Brian Shope joining the injured already reported…Marshall's 2006 media guide will be sold at Paint the Capital City Green on Wednesday and at the open scrimmage/Choose-A-Seat Day on Saturday. Randy Burnside says the price has been reduced from $20 for the 2005 guide to $15 for this year…Marshall's coaches and some players will be at the Embassy Suites on Wednesday in Charleston. The Quarterback Club will be at Benjy's Harley-Davidson at 6 p.m. on Thursday and the staff will also attend Football Fest at Pullman Square on Friday at 6 p.m.…the staff added the 25-second clock to the team period, to prepare for the season…Orlando Washington, a Marshall defensive tackle from 1999-2002, has reportedly been hired by his high school alma mater as head Volleyball coach at Man, according to the Logan newspaper Monday…Butchie Wallace may be done with the Atlanta Falcons, tearing his achilles tendon in Friday's pre-season game.


Herd Haven Top Stories