Spring Practice Report - 3/26/04

The Hurricanes began spring practices today at Greentree Practice Fields. Once again it was another cool afternoon with slight rain. This was the third spring practice with 12 remaining.

Coach Larry Coker

"Today was another good day. It was a little feisty which is good. I am really pleased with the effort. I think our tight ends and defensive line really did well today. I was pleased with both of those groups today. They were impressive.

"Brock Berlin really had a nice today at quarterback. The defense threw a lot of games, stunts, and blitzes at us today, which we knew was going to happen. That set us back a little bit and they won some of those battles."

"Tyrone was sick the first day and the situation with the second day was an oversight on my part to be quite honest. I got it rectified and we will go from there. I think it was very good. The thing was we needed to handle it internally and basically we did. Today was a good day for him and he is our best back. That doesn't say that Quadtrine Hill hasn't done a nice job, I have been real impressed with him along with Talib Humphrey and Kyle Cobia. Tyrone is our best back right now and he should be number one for us. He won some games for us last year."

"I think we need to give Kirby Freeman a look at punter and this is the time to do that. We definitely will give him a look. If he is better than Brian Monroe there is no doubt about it that he can earn that job. If he is our best punter he will punt for us."

Linebacker Leon Williams

"It feels good being out here. We are getting better each day and there are still some things we need to get better, but we are working on them. Everybody is out there working hard every day and there are some small things that we are working on. The linebackers as a unit we are working hard and working on our communication with each other. We have to play together throughout. I am just trying to get better at everything. There are some things I am good at and there are some things I am not good at, but I am going to work on everything."

Fullback Talib Humphrey

"I am just trying to get back into it and shake off some of the rust. I have been out since the East Carolina game last year. I am feeling fine, not hurting or anything. There are no problems right now and it isn't stiff at all. It was real frustrating last year because I knew I had the potential to earn playing time. But it helped me in other things like I was able to concentrate on my schoolwork and spend time at home. Right now in the spring I know the fullback spot and they are working me into the tailback spot a little bit. At fullback you have to have a lot of pride because there are a lot of times where it is just you and one defensive player, so it is up to you to block him. I think our running game will be better than we were last year. I think our whole offense is going to be better this year."

Notes:

* Brock Berlin used a different pass in his arsenal today throwing a shovel pass on an under route by Buck Ortega that picked up about five yards. It is a common pass by Berlin's favorite quarterback, Brett Favre.

* Kirby Freeman will be looked at for the punting job starting next week. Freeman could push Monroe for the starting position, but also work as a quarterback. If he does get some snaps at punter he could be a valuable weapon to use in fake punt formations.

* Quadtrine Hill had a nice 40-yard run up the middle and showed great speed bouncing out to the outside for the remaining 25 yards. Hill is taking a lot of snaps at tailback trying to earn carries for the fall. He is a candidate to be a third-down back because of his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

* There was a scuffle late in practice that had a lot of guys involved. Once the dust settled the next play was ran with no troubles. It is just a matter of guys working hard trying to improve their spots on the depth chart and fighting for playing time.

* Greg Olsen, John Rochford, and Curtis Justus are being used as long snappers. Justus has been at the position longer, but has struggled sending snaps both low and high. Rochford, a center, has been doing an adequate job and Olsen, a tight end, has been adjusting to the position.

* 2003 Hurricanes Jonathan Vilma, Alfonso Marshall, Jason Geathers, Kellen Winslow, and D.J. Williams were at practice today.

Next Practice: Saturday, March 27, 10:00 AM, Greentree Practice Fields

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