Practice Report: 3/24

<b>MIAMI, Fla.</b> - The Miami Hurricanes held their sixth practice of the spring at Traz Powell Stadium and featured a scrimmage at the end of practice. It was their first night practice of the spring. The team will take the weekend off and resume practice on Monday.

WEATHER

Partly Cloudy, 76 degrees, 87% humidity

HEAD COACH LARRY COKER

"Obviously we have got a long way to go. We played a lot of guys and were mismatching players. We had some guys that had class tonight and did miss. I think we will see a lot from the tonight's tape. We have to continue to be a tough football team throughout the spring."

NOTES

* CB Carlos Armour suffered a torn ACL on Tuesday's practice. The young corner from Memphis has showed promise in his first year at Miami and it is unfortunate he will miss the 2005 season.

* QB Kyle Wright made some nice throws including a great throw over the middle 25 yards downfield to Ryan Moore splitting a seam between Kelly Jennings and Greg Threat. Wright is making the thows he needs to make in order to win the starting quarterback job.

* QB Kirby Freeman was on the second team today as the two quarterbacks have rotated their days with the first team. He showed off his quick release and good patience during the scrimmage at the end of practice as he found Ryan Moore creep into the secondary. Freeman threw a dart to Moore for a 19-yard gain instead of hitting an open safety valve on a screen.

* RB Derron Thomas was very impressive today and although the running backs did well as a unit, Thomas was the most impressive. He has shown great acceleration through the line of scrimmage even though he is the smallest back on the team. He shows good elusiveness when he needs to and can get into the secondary for a big gain. He is a player that is beginning to get into a good rhythm and hopefully will maintain it when the team resumes practice on Monday.

* RB George Timmons had the best play of practice and perhaps the play of the spring thus far. Timmons took a handoff from his own 35-yardline and raced down to the 1-yardline before being knocked out of bounds. The defense was shifted over to the right to cover the two receivers, but Timmons went to the weak side racing down the sideline showing off his breakaway speed. He scored a touchdown up the middle on the next play for the only touchdown of the scrimmage.

* WR Darnell Jenkins had a tough first day of spring practice on Tuesday dropping a number of passes, but today he made some nice catches. He still had trouble catching the ball, which is not something he is accustomed to doing. Last spring Jenkins was one player the coaches pointed towards as being a go-to receiver in the offense. He hopes to have that kind of success again with only two weeks left of spring practice.

* TE Chris Zellner is the only healthy tight end on the team right now with Greg Olsen still recovering from his wrist injury and Buck Ortega battling a minor injury. Zellner is working hard to learn the new position and has shown good blocking skills in the early going.

* OL Andrew Bain got some work in today on the first unit at left guard. He is very athletic for his size and has been very mobile in the spring. He has not got much playing time in his first two years at Miami and it could be tough to find meaningful snaps again this year with a veteran group ahead of him. Bain still needs to keep working because an opportunity could open up at any time.

* CB Marcus Maxey made a very nice interception on a deep pass thrown by Kyle Wright. Maxey has been regarded as one of the best athletes on the team and posted the top 40 time a year ago. Now a senior he looks to go out on a strong season. The intercepted pass was intended for Ryan Moore on the play. Moore has praised Maxey for his improved play this spring.

* OL Tyler McMeans once again mixed it up in practice. Although it didn't esclate into anything, it is worth mentioning because of these repeated 'incidents'. He is a tough lineman who won't back down from anyone. Look for McMeans to lock down the right guard position this year and be as good as they get. He has the desire needed in order to be successful on the line and the team needs his leadership qualities on the field.

* SS Greg Threat was all over the field tonight. It is just how he plays the game of football. This was the first true sign of Threat's play as safeties sometimes have a hard time showing their full repetoire of skills in spring practices because of the various alignments. He was in on run plays and provided steady coverage on pass plays.

*DT Joe Joseph is new to the team this spring and has been impressive. He has a great frame with a wide body. Today he made an outstanding tip on a pass intended for a wide receiver batting the ball straight up only to have it fall just out of his reach. If he would have caught the deflection it would have been a sure touchdown. Instincts are hard to teach and luckily for the Hurricanes, Joseph appears to have good instincts.

NEXT PRACTICE

Monday, March 28, 3:00 pm

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor at CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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