Mostly Cloudy, 81 degrees, 65% humidity
HEAD COACH LARRY COKER
"There was much better production from the offense today—especially the first group was much more efficient. We really did some good things with situational type things. I see guys like James Bryant and Chris Zellner stepping up and doing better. Cyrim Wimbs continues to get better and Tyrone Byrd—I think wee see some things at center that really excite me. The things he can do once he gets accustom to the position."
"Byrd has size and he is very athletic. He set the vertical jump for offensive linemen the first day he walked on campus. He is athletic and smart. He just has to get accustomed to the position."
"In the spring game, you like to just see guys play, do the things they are coached to do and have fun. As far as I am concerned some of the practices and scrimmages we have are more important than the spring game—especially when you have so many injuries like we do on." offense.
* WR Sinorice Moss continues to have a solid spring. He simply can't be guarded in one-on-one situations. Today he was phenomenal making every type of catch on various routes. He can seperate from jams while stretching the defense. When you evaluate Moss as a player he rates amongst the best on the team in terms of speed, agility, hands, route-running, and poise.
* The quarterbacks continue to alternate days on the first day, but here were the rest of the offensive players on the first-team today:
LT Rashad Butler RB Derron Thomas LG Tyler McMeans FB Quadtrine Hill C Tyrone Byrd WR Ryan Moore RG Andrew Bain WR Sinorice Moss RT Cyrim Wimbs TE Chris Zellner* The first-team defense was as follows:
LE Bryan Pata SLB Tavares Gooden CB Kelly Jennings LT Baraka Atkins MLB Leon Williams CB Marcus Maxey RT Kareem Brown WLB Jon Beason SS Greg Threat RE Thomas Carroll FS Anthony Reddick* RB Derron Thomas continues to be impressive. Today he made an outstanding run up the middle, but cut it to the outside for a big gain. He is very explosive from the handoff, but his best attribute, other than his speed, is his quick speed--meaning that he is at top speed very quick. When he makes cuts he doesn't slow down, but maintains his speed. Thomas also possess great vision inside the tackles.
* RB Charlie Jones had a good day today after struggling lately. Today he made some tough inside runs using a good balance of speed and power. After making a good run up the middle he used a stiffarm to shed a defender to bust one loose. Jones also has great cutback ability and always seems to be gaining positive yardage when he gets into a good rhythm. With two practices left he wants to go out on a good note to close the gap between him and Thomas.
* FB James Bryant made a 40-yard catch today on a wheel route out of the backfield. He has good speed for his size, but needs to continue to work on unnecessary movements. At times he can be loose out of the breaks especially on pass plays. Running backs coach Don Soldinger is consistently working with Bryant to get him to make strong, balanced cuts.
* OL Rashad Butler has the making of an all-conference player this season. He is nearly shutting down everyone he goes up against and is doing it quietly this spring because of the inconsistency of the offensive line. Butler has outstanding reach and a good focus throughout practice. He is not a player offensive line coach Art Kehoe is worried about this season and is expected to have a great senior campaign.
* DT Baraka Atkins recorded an interception today. Atkins would have scored on the play, but it was blown dead. After the interception fellow defensive lineman Thomas Carroll shouted from the sidelines, "you got yourself one." Atkins sure did. Last year he scored a touchdown on a fumble return and is always around the ball making big plays.
* LB Demetri Stewart cut his hair recently, which leaves Leon Williams, Darnell Jenkins, Terrell Walden, Eric Winston, Glenn Cook, and Chris Rutledge in the running for best hair. In today's practice Stewart intercepted a pass by leaping in the air with both hands and coming down with the pass.
* DE Calais Campbell did a good job today tracking down the ball from the backside. Campbell also excelled in the one-on-one drills and has been steadily improving this spring. At 6-foot-8 he can be a tough matchup for many offensive linemen.
* The team worked on their blocking schemes during kickoff returns during the beginning of practice. Devin Hester was the primary returner on the first unit and was paired with Darnell Jenkins--the same two on the top unit for the past two seasons. On the second unit Sinorice Moss was the primary returner with Derron Thomas with him.
* OL Anthony Wollschlager appears to be slipping in the starting center race. Today he played right tackle and did well with his footwork, but struggled with hand placement. He does well in the first-half of protecting the passer, but doesn't finish the play as he allows the defensive end to get to the quarterback.
* OL Derrick Morse has a fractured hand that he has been protecting with a cast, but will be having it operated on.
* A number of players missed practice today because of minor injuries and class. Some of the players are being cautious with their injuries, but want to be out on the field during the spring game Saturday.
Friday, April 8, 3:00 pm
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org