The team had their first fight on the practice field when the first unit offensive line and defensive line got into it after a play. It lasted longer than most rumbles in the past. Things started to heat up earlier during 1-on-1 drills. After the dust settled Coker brought the whole team together for a few minutes before resuming play. The defense dominated after that until the second-teamers came on the field.
The coaches appeared to have a little extra energy today as well.
"The guys were spirited today. We are still trying to learn how to practice. Guys are coming in out of high school and it is hot, tempers flare a little bit. We have to learn how to practice and to protect ourselves. We have the opportunity to be a good football, but we have to practice well and keep our players on the field."
"We did some good things today. The offensive line in goal line did well. As things go on we have to make sure we go in the right direction."
"It is nice that we haven't dealt with a lot of injuries yet. I told our guys today when you get a little tired and sloppy you might not have your feet planted. Let's keep up with a high energy and do things the right way."
"The defensive line have had a lot of good days. And I think they will have a lot of talented days throughout the year. They are a talented group with speed and experience. They are putting a lot of speed on the quarterbacks and we have depth there."
· QB Kyle Wright was in a nice groove in the morning. He said he felt good yesterday and it has carried over today. His biggest play of the day came on an 80-yard touchdown pass to WR Ryan Moore. Wright probably would have been sacked on the play by DE Eric Moncur, but play continued and Wright threw the ball about 60 yards in the air to Moore who outran CB Marcus Maxey on the play and finished off the play. Wright also threaded a touchdown pass to WR Sinorice Moss inside the 10 -yardline as he rolled to his left. Wright possesses an excellent release, strong arm, good mobility, and leadership abilities.
· WR Ryan Moore has a chance to be something special this year. After his 80-yard touchdown catch today he threw the ball high in the air and celebrated with a teammate. When he got back to the sidelines he received a high five from Coach C.J. Earlier in the day Moore made a nice bobbling grab showing good concentration as he stretched out his arms to catch the ball. He then proceeded to head up field for extra yards--something he plans to do a lot this year.
· RB Derron Thomas overcame tough criticism by Coach Soldinger during a receiving drill to score two touchdowns during goal-line formation. Thomas showed excellent vision as he pierced through open seams on both the left and right side. He is bound to make a lot of plays this year if he gets in the right situation.
· RB Charlie Jones earned praise from Soldinger in the same drill Thomas struggled in. Jones has made some nice runs this week and has a good understanding of the game. He also has good awareness on the little things such as pass protection and carrying the ball in the right spot. He still has some catching up to do to pass Thomas for the number two spot.
· DT Joe Joseph appears to be ahead of both DT Antonio Dixon and DT Luqman Abdallah for the fourth tackle position. Joseph joined the team in the spring and has been constantly making plays this fall. He is 6-foot-3 and a wide 275 pounds.
· LB Darryl Sharpton and LB Spencer Adkins were labeled as "missles" today by Coker. Both players are still learning how to tone it down a notch during practice especially Adkins who keeps on popping people. Look for both players to play this year primarily on special teams.
· K Jon Peattie hit a 56-yard field goal yesterday in practice. Peattie has had a strong off-season although a bit banged up over the summer. Look for Peattie to improve on his 63% success rate from a year ago.
· TE Chris Zellner and TE DajLeon Farr both made catches today during 11-on-11 drills. The tight end position is used a lot in the offense and it will be importantly for these two players to continue to improve especially considering the injuries that occurred on last year's team.
· DE Eric Moncur has been coming off the edge very well. He has a unique combination of speed and strength that allows him to get by offensive tackles not using good technique. Moncur is currently the second-string right end.
· OL John Rochford still is expected to handle the long snapping duties. Coker likes to have guys in that position as their sole responsibility. Coach also indicated that OL Matt Pipho could be good at it.
· OL Tony Tella did not practice today due to a sprained ankle he injured on August 8. A timetable for his return is unknown.
· LB Roger McIntosh was again held out of practice due to recovering from an arthroscopic knee surgery to remove a bone chip. He had the operation last week and is expected to be out at least a week.
· LB Tavares Gooden did not practice in team drills due to a sore knee. He is being guarded a bit this fall, but will be ready for the season opener.
· RB Andrew Johnson is practicing, but not participating in any contact drills. He appears to be running well and a return this season still remains questionable despite his prediction of playing.
· OL Alex Pou had off-season shoulder surgery and has been held out of contact drills this fall. He expects to be back in 1-2 weeks.
· LB Eric Houston is still bothered by a pulled hamstring.
· DT Teraz McCray, CB Carlos Armour, and CB Glenn Sharpe are not practicing and are still recovering from ACL injuries.
Thursday, August 11 at 3:30 p.m.
The practice is open to the public and is the second practice of the day.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com