Coach Larry Coker expects Parrish to be ready for the first game. "It helps that Parrish is a lighter player and he should be able to come back earlier (than a heavier player)." Referees were present at today's practice and helped the players get used to a game situation. At the end of practice the first two units went through a two-minute drill. The first team offense failed to get a first down and fumbled on fourth down. This is an area of concern for the Hurricanes this year. The second unit picked up just one first down, but failed to reach the redzone.
The quarterbacks through the ball very well today. Brock Berlin looked very sharp especially on crossing patterns and short passes. There have not been a lot of attempts to throw the ball downfield, partly because the defensive backs are a very good unit and it's tough to get big pass plays. Derrick Crudup and Kyle Wright through the ball well along with Berlin. Crudup has had a good past few days and is really developing into a solid passer. Marc Guillon struggled with his accuracy today throwing quite a few uncatchable passes.
After being quiet for a few days, Tyrone Moss had a huge run today. Moss split the second-team defense with shifty moves and then cut to the outside with his deceptive speed. It was a typical Moss-like run from his high school days at Ely in Pompano Beach. Jarrett Payton performed well in special teams drills. He rarely takes plays off and fights for that extra yard which is very encouraging for the senior. Frank Gore caught the ball very well out of the backfield today. When Gore makes the catch he is in position to make a play after the catch. Quadtrine Hill made some catches out of the backfield as well. Hill should be incorporated into the offense more this year than he was last year. Jon Beason was back at fullback today as Kyle Cobia and Talib Humphrey are still recovering from injuries. Beason is catching on very quickly which is very encouraging for the coaching staff in case he will need to be used at fullback this year. Beason made a sensational play along the sideline after catching a screen pass cutting back to the inside and taking off outrunning his former defensive teammates.
Kevin Beard, Ryan Moore and Devin Hester all have been doing a good job on quick inside slants. Kevin Beard has been catching the ball well this fall especially on the easy catches, which is something he has struggled with at times throughout his career. Ryan Moore has the ability to stretch the defense with his ability to adjust to the long ball but has been settling for short pass routes. Devin Hester is at his best in the open field when he has the ability to see the field in front of him as opposed to just catching the ball before being tackled. Hester was used on an end around and was used on the first-team during the two-minute drill filling in for Roscoe Parrish. Jason Geathers practiced again today but is still not at full speed.
The tight ends had a very good day today. Kevin Everett made two real nice catches for big gains. Everett is really catching on to the offense and understanding his blocking assignments. Buck Ortega also made catches today and blocked very well. Kellen Winslow had an average day today, as he did not come up with a few passes he usually catches. Once again during the two-minute drill Berlin could not find Winslow on the field. This is one of the problems of having your tight end being your best receiver on the team. Hopefully the wide receivers step up to take some of the load off of Winslow especially late in the game.
"The offensive line had a much better day today. They are improving on pass protection," says Coach Coker. The second unit of LT Rashad Butler, LG Alex Pou, C Anthony Wollschlager, RG Derrick Morse and RT Tony Tella have been getting a lot better. They freed up Jarrett Payton and Tyrone Moss for big gains today. They have had a rough first week but they had a good day today. The first unit is doing a good job of pulling to set up the screen play. Joe McGrath switched with Chris Myers at the guard positions with McGrath on the left.
The defensive line is all banged up. Baraka Atkins has a pulled calf muscle and is return is unknown. Santonio Thomas will be having a small procedure done soon and will miss the next few practices. Coach Coker could not comment on his type of injury. John Square is working hard at getting back to the field and has been working hard on his conditioning trying not to lose a step for when he finally practices. Dave Howell was back practicing today while Larry Anderson still sat out. So with all of these injuries, the first unit looked like this today: LDE Javon Nanton, LDT Orien Harris, RDT Vince Wilfork and RDE Thomas Carroll.
Leon Williams looked sharp today as he filled in once again for Jonathan Vilma who is still suffering from a tight hamstring. Williams is where he needs to be on the blitz and is doing a good job stopping the run. Carl Walker has been working hard this fall and should be a solid contributor on special teams. D.J. Williams and Roger McIntosh both look very fast on the outsides. They are tough to get by on the run and opposing teams are going to have to use their fullbacks effectively to try and stop these two guys.
Look for Sean Taylor to make a lot of plays this year. He is doing a great job pursuing the ball during interception drills and during offense/defense drills. Taylor has very good footwork for a guy of his size. Speaking of good footwork, Antrel Rolle is simply amazing. Rolle's quickness and speed while backing up on a pass is a tough combination to beat. He should also make quite a few plays, but don't be surprised if teams shy away from throwing to his side this year. If teams do shy away from Rolle it is important for Kelly Jennings or Alfonso Marshall to be at their best. Jennings is getting his technique back and broke up a long pass to Akieem Jolla right at the last minute. Alfonso Marshall is a physical corner, but sometimes his tactics in practice would often draw penalties during games.
Brian Monroe was working a lot on his directional punting today and doing a nice job of it. Something that Monroe brings to the table that most punters lack is athleticism. He is able to get off bad snaps and elude pressure. Mark Gent had a better day today striking the ball well on field goals. Jon Peattie did not practice again today with an injury.
Tomorrow is another two-a-day and is also the last day for practices open to the public. They will be having a scrimmage and look to improve on their game tempo. The practices are at 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 pm.
Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Practice Report - Tuesday
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