Practice Report - Sunday

Another good afternoon for football as the Hurricanes completed their first week of practices. With their first game less than three weeks away progress is imperative. The players were just in shoulder pads today but the intensity was there once again.

Coach Larry Coker's evaluation of today's practice, "We got a lot of things done today. We worked on situational things such as the two-minute drill to end the practice." Coker likes how the first week of practice went, "Week one was outstanding and we're on schedule. After week one, essentially everything is in place, now it's just about repetition."

Quarterbacks

Derrick Crudup had a great day of practice today. Crudup constantly made good decisions while standing back in the pocket. When he felt pressure, he made the right decision to take off and run with the ball. Crudup scrambled in for a touchdown during the two-minute drill. He had an outstanding throw across his body in the middle of the field to a streaking Devin Hester. Crudup continued to show good velocity on his passes and is working hard to improve his accuracy. During the two-minute drill, Brock Berlin made a lot of short passes to his running backs and tight ends. A desperation heave fell short as time ran out on Berlin and the first-team offense. Marc Guillon and Kyle Wright did not get a lot of reps today with the offense because there was a lot of time spent on special teams today.

Running Backs

Jarrett Payton made some tough runs today. The quiet tailback had a good week of practice and with development, should be a solid backup to Frank Gore. Gore looks good on drills cutting to the right holes every time. He made a few nice catches and tried to get out of bounds during the two-minute drill. Quadtrine Hill did not have a good practice and even got a little feisty with a few players on defense. Kyle Cobia sat out of today's practice recovering from the hit he took in yesterday's practice. Cobia has a headache but the severity is unknown. With Talib Humphrey still hurt, walk-on Jeff Malley has been used quite a bit during practice.

Wide Receivers

Kevin Beard was back practicing today after missing the second practice yesterday. Beard looked fine had got good separation from the defensive backs. Ryan Moore had a nice practice and his improvement has drawn praise from Coach Larry Coker all week. Roscoe Parrish did not participate in the two-minute drill as he was dealing with a nagging injury. It is not thought to be serious and should be ready to go soon. Brock Berlin threw to Akieem Jolla during the two-minute drill. Jolla was only able to catch one pass on a short 10-yard play. Jolla has been seeing a lot of time on special teams. Jason Geathers should be ready to practice sometime this week. Geathers has yet to practice this fall. Darnell Jenkins and Devin Hester had nice practices and along with Jolla, are the only receivers that have not been dealing with injuries this fall.

Tight Ends

Kevin Everett had another nice day of practice. Everett has improved his productivity on the field in the last couple of days. The tight end from Texas made a nice catch down the middle of the field splitting the safeties much like Buck Ortega did a couple practices ago. Kellen Winslow made some good catches on 11-on-11 drills but was ineffective during the two-minute drill. Brandon Sebald is going through tests back at his hometown of Accord, New York.

Offensive Line

The offensive line had an average day today unlike the last few practices. They allowed the defensive line to put a lot of pressure on the running backs and constantly got to the quarterbacks flushing them out of the pocket. Joe McGrath showed some fire as he got into it with a few defensive linemen. Joel Rodriguez has been looking in sync with quarterback Brock Berlin with his snaps. True freshmen John Rochford, Derrick Morse, Andrew Bain and Cyrim Wimbs should be more comfortable with practices with a week under their belt.

Defensive Line

These guys are really putting the heat on the offense. Vince Wilfork is leading this potential dangerous unit and Santonio Thomas, Thomas Carroll and Baraka Atkins are following very nicely. "Baraka Atkins is getting better and better," says Coach Coker. John Square is still recovering from shoulder surgery and has yet to practice this fall. Coach Coker thinks Square still needs some time to get back to practice but he does anticipate him to be ready for the season opener. Larry Anderson and Dave Howell did not practice today due to injuries.

Linebackers

Seniors linebackers Jonathan Vilma and Jarrell Weaver are suffering through nagging injuries. Vilma did not practice as he sat out with a tight hamstring. Weaver hobbled off the field during practice but is not believed to be serious. Leon Williams stepped in for Vilma on the first-team. Williams did a nice job filling in but there is obvious difference playing on the first-team unit as opposed to the second-team. The Hurricanes cannot afford to have injuries in this unit. There are only nine linebackers on the roster including two true freshmen.

Defensive Backs

Antrel Rolle has been shutting guys down in practice and showing off his athleticism getting to the ball during the interception drill. The only times Rolle has had problems during the first week of practice is when he tries to bump bigger receivers at the line. He is stronger than the smaller receivers and can keep up with them when he releases on his jam at the line. Brandon Meriweather has been used a lot on special teams as a gunner on the punt team. Glenn Sharpe should be returning to practice soon possibly this week. Willie Cooper has looked impressive during the first week of practices and should be a good player for the Hurricanes in the future.

Specialists

The coaches spent a lot of time on special teams today. Blocking punts, getting off the line, blocking on the outside were some of the things they worked on. Jon Peattie and Mark Gent worked on their kicking again and both had pretty good practices. Kevin Beard was used as a punt returner and did a nice job of catching the ball before it hit the ground, something Antrel Rolle has struggled with at times this fall.

There will be two practices tomorrow at 8:30 and 3:30. Practices are still open to the public until August 14.

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

Canes Time Top Stories