Pratice Report - 8/9 Morning

Today was the first day of two-a-days. The first practice began at 8:30 and was halted for about 30 minutes due to rain. The players had a good practice today especially the offense. Coach Larry Coker praised the offense for improving as a whole. He was especially impressed with the constant improvement of the offensive line.

Former star of the Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter stopped by practice today. At the end of practice, Carter spoke to the team and according to Coach Coker, "The basic message was this is training camp. This is a great opportunity and it's going to be hard work. This is no free lunch. Sometimes in training camp, NFL or college, you feel sorry for yourself. There are probably a half dozen teams with the opportunity that we have that legitimately have a shot at a national championship and take advantage of the opportunity."

Quarterbacks

Today was a good day for the quarterbacks. They made a lot of catchable throws all over the field. In addition to the standard one-on-one drill with the cornerbacks matching up against the wide receivers, they also worked on redzone and goal line formations. Brock Berlin looked to be in a good rhythm with his throws. He was effectively throwing the quick short pass as well as the deep ball. Kyle Wright looked impressive as he hit Darnell Jenkins with a long strike down the middle of the field. Marc Guillon and Derrick Crudup both did a good job of finding open wide receivers.

Running Backs

The offense is continually utilizing the running backs out of the backfield as options for the passing game. Quadtrine Hill and Kyle Cobia made some nice catches today. Frank Gore, Jarrett Payton and Tyrone Moss all have the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well. Moss tends to be a bit out of position when making a catch. For Moss, being more comfortable as a receiver will come through time. Talib Humphrey was out once again with a strained Achilles.

Wide Receivers

Ryan Moore was out of today's practice and Coach Larry Coker continues to stress that it is just a precautionary measure since Moore is coming back from an injury. Coker does not want to overwork Moore prior to the season opener on August 28 with the potential of Moore getting hurt again. Kevin Beard practiced today and looked good again. He slipped on the wet grass, which was a bit scary for a moment because of his previous knee injury. He got up just fine and did not miss a beat. Beard is expected to sit out the afternoon practice, as a precautionary measure just like with Moore. Jason Geathers was out of practice again but should be ready to go next week. Sinorice Moss was out with a sprained ankle that he injured on Thursday. With all of these injury troubles at receiver, there was a bright spot on the field today. Freshman Darnell Jenkins had a great day catching two deep balls during full 11-on-11 drills. One was a slant pattern down the middle and the other was a streak down the sideline. Jenkins showed good speed separating from the secondary. He also was getting open during the one-on-one drill. Roscoe Parrish had another exciting day today. Sean Taylor went up against Parrish during the one-on-one drill and flat out burned him drawing applause from the crowd.

Tight Ends

All of the tight ends were working hard today. They ran their patterns very hard led by Kellen Winslow. There are no off-days for this guy. He brings intensity to the field each and every day. Not only are the tight ends working hard running their routes, they are also working hard at picking up their blocking assignments.

Offensive Line

Coach Coker has been impressed with the progress that the offensive line has made. He credits that to being more physical and gaining confidence. During one-on-one drills with the defensive lineman, the offensive line looked average. The second and third units struggled keeping their guy away from the quarterback. The first team did a pretty good especially Carlos Joseph. Joseph did a good job staying with his man until the play was over. Cyrim Wimbs has been improving with his footwork each day playing left tackle on the third unit. John Rochford struggled today trying to contain Bryan Pata.

Defensive Line

While the offensive line has been improving, that doesn't mean the defensive line has struggled. The defensive line has been doing a good job as well. Orien Harris really got after it today and had a nice practice. Coach Larry Coker thinks Thomas Carroll is one of the most improved players on the team. Carroll has looked good in drills and his success has carried over onto the full 11-on-11 drill as well. Carroll has been playing with the first unit this week. Vince Wilfork cannot be guarded one-on-one. If Wilfork is not double-teamed this year, he will have a lot of success. Bryan Pata showed a lot of speed and explosiveness off the line today. He has very good drive off the line and uses his strong arms to get by the offensive lineman. Coach Coker expects Pata to play this season as a true freshman.

Linebackers

There was not a lot of buzz today with this unit, but that does not mean there is anything to worry about. Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams have looked great covering guys as well as stopping the run. Roger McIntosh has been used frequently on different blitz schemes. Darrell McClover and Jarrell Weaver have looked good on the outside as well getting to the running backs and tight ends when they make short catches.

Defensive Backs

This unit is fun to watch each day. All of the guys have good speed and instincts in shutting down a receiver. They really make the receivers work during practice which helps the receivers get better. Antrel Rolle showed off his ability to cover guys today shutting down receiver after receiver. Kelly Jennings did a nice job staying with Roscoe Parrish for the most part. Parrish did catch a nice pass from Berlin in the end zone from about the seven-yard line. Maurice Sikes had a good day staying with the receivers. Taylor tried staying with Parrish during a one-on-one drill, but Parrish was too quick for Taylor. Both Sikes and Taylor have been on top of the ball during 11-on-11 drills.

Specialists

Chris Harvey and Curtis Justus worked on their long snapping duties today. Jon Peattie and Brian Monroe both punted the ball well when the team was working on their punt formations. Monroe got a hold of a couple punts and showed the ability to make tough catches on bad snaps. Sean Taylor, Devin Hester, Antrel Rolle and Tyrone Moss were used during kickoff situations.

The second practice today will begin around 3:00. The coaching staff is likely to move up practice from the 3:30 original start time due to the possibility of rain.

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@grassy.com.

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