Practice Report: 4/2

<b>CORAL GABLES, Fla.</b> - The Miami Hurricanes held their 11th practice of the spring in pads today. The team will resume practice Tuesday at 3:00 pm.

WEATHER

Partly Cloudy, 75 degrees, 80% humidity

HEAD COACH LARRY COKER

"I feel very good about our skill players. We have a lot of nicks and bumps with people out. We are not getting any consitency with our offense, but obviously we have some big play ability. We are pretty much inept in a lot of areas on offense."

"Defensively, I think we are going to be pretty good. I have been pleased with what I have seen from the defense. Guys are running around making plays."

"We have young guys on the offensive line and probably our three best players--Eric Winston, Greg Olsen, and Tony Tella--not practicing. That is okay because we hope that will make us better in the long run. We are getting a lot of young players a lot of work. We have to keep encouraging and coaching. We can't lose our confidence out here. We are doing some good things, but it is not easy."

NOTES

* Wind was a factor today in the passing game. Both quarterbacks had trouble adjusting to the wind and finding the right velocity in order to complete passes.

* The offense has been using a number of designed play action rollouts trying to find the fullback in the flat or a tight end coming across the field. Kirby Freeman is faster than Kyle Wright, but both quarterbacks have the ability to pick up positive yards. Freeman has been extremely impressive when running the ball throughout spring practices.

* Offensive line coach Art Kehoe stressed in practice today about not getting beat backside. A number of times in practice the defensive line would penetrate through the line on the backside disrupting the play. This is an area of concern for Miami and something they want to address in the next week of practice.

* FS Brandon Meriweather had two returns for touchdowns today. He scooped up a fumble by Charlie Jones and raced to the endzone for nearly 40 yards and made a great break on the ball for an interception later in practice as he took off for the endzone. His great day of practice didn't stop there as he was constantly in on tackles against the run standing up the running back. This is great progress for Meriweather who had a very tough day of practice yesterday.

* RB Derron Thomas did it again. He scored from 50 yards out, while on the first team offense going up against the first team defense. Thomas once again showed his breakaway speed--something Miami has not had since 2002. The speed is nice of course, but what is impressive is that he does an outstanding job of avoiding negative runs. He is constantly getting to the line of scrimmage then making things happen. When a play is busted and it looks like he will go down for negative yards, he fights to get back to the line of scrimmage.

* WR Akieem Jolla has shown big play ability this spring. Throughout his career he is best utilized downfield when he can use his long stride and speed to beat the secondary. Today he caught a 15-yard crossing route and weaved through defenders flying by Anthony Reddick as he raced for a 50-yard touchdown.

* OL Anthony Wollschlager was on the first team today at center and did okay, but nothing to warrant the job being handed over to him. Wollschlager was the favorite to win the starting center position coming into the spring and has just four practices remaining to prove he is the number one guy. If the team has not solidified a starting center spot in the spring, look for A.J. Trump to get a serious look when he arrives in August.

* WR Ryan Moore is flat out catching the ball. He catches the vertical ball better than anyone on the team and has the range to go down to get the ball. He is an effortless player with great hands who showed deceptive speed today as he took a deflected pass in for a touchdown as the secondary could not catch him from behind. Expect a big year from Moore in 2005.

* SS Greg Threat and RB Charlie Jones have been playing alternate spots in the lineup this week. Threat has been playing some cornerback during three and four-reciever sets because of only having three healthy corners. Jones has been out wide lining up as a receiver in the same formations.

* LB Willie Williams, DE Rhyan Anderson, and DE Eric Moncur did not practice due to minor injuries.

NEXT PRACTICE

Tuesday, April 5, 3:00 pm

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

Canes Time Top Stories