"We worked on some two-minute drill and pressurized stuff today. We made good steps today."
"Sometimes you like to change around and see different people work against different people. You don't want to go against the same person everyday. You get used to their moves. We want to change that around some."
· Coker has stated that his coaches did not miss on any of the three freshmen defensive backs--Kenny Phillips, Randy Phillips, and Bruce Johnson. Today all three players received reps on the first-team defense. Johnson made two real nice plays on the ball batting them down before they got to the receiver. Randy also knocked down a pass, but he felt the pass should have been intercepted and proceeded the play with standard push-ups after a drop.
· LB Glenn Cook has done a nice job holding down his position as the first-team strongside linebacker as the spot opened up for him with LB Roger McIntosh and LB Tavares Gooden dealing with knee injuries. Cook is one of, if not the most knowledgeable linebacker on the team. His weakness lies in his speed. He is a strong tackler and has been doing very well against the run.this year.
· DE Vegas Franklin has had a productive fall thus far recording a number of sacks and in on a lot of plays. It continued today as Franklin got a sack in the early going. He is currently the third-team left defensive end behind DE Bryan Pata and DE Calais Campbell. Franklin has always been productive on the practice field and ahead of his counterparts on the offensive line. He is still has work to do to see the field this year, but he is still just a sophomore. There will be two defensive end seniors graduating this year which opens the door a little more for Franklin in 2006.
· DE Javon Nanton played with the first unit along with Franklin today with DE Thomas Carroll on the second team. Nanton led the team in sacks with eight in 2003, but followed it up with a three-sack season last year. Now a senior he is looking to contribute to the team any way possible. He has been picking up his play over the past few practices.
· LB Willie Williams is doing "fine" this fall according to Coker. "He is learning to play the position and I think he is getting better every day."
· CB Devin Hester is the team's primary punt and kickoff returner, but WR Darnell Jenkins, WR Sinorice Moss, and WR Ryan Moore all could be used as returnmen. Some of the freshmen, such as Randy Phillips, could be used there as well.
· K Jon Peattie kicked a 40+ yard field goal to end practice today during the two-minute drill. The offense drove the ball down the field with QB Kyle Wright leading the way. They got down inside the 25-yardline with nine seconds left as TE Chris Zellner made a catch and got out-of-bounds. Instead of going for a touchdown, they elected to bring on the field goal unit. Although Peattie has a strong leg, P Brian Monroe is expected to handle the kickoff duties again this year.
· FB James Bryant received criticism today by running backs coach Don Soldinger. "If you are running around hitting the wrong guy or going to the wrong area, that isn't good--that doesn't win games for you. People look at intensity and think players should be playing, but I am looking at something else. When James Bryant puts pressure on James Bryant, then that is when he will be able to take it to the next level. You have 100-200 plays on the offense. I have no idea how many he knows, but not too many. He knows them, but does not know all the fine points of the game. I told him today that I don't want him to be a high maintenance football players. Guys that are good players are not high maintenance--they put pressure on themselves. When he does that he will not only be good, but he'll be a great one. He is the guy that has to put pressure on himself."
· While Soldinger's statements might alarm some people, it comes as no surprise. Bryant has been a guy since day one that needed to improve on his maturity on and off the field. Although a crowd favorite for his intensity on the practice field, he does not perform consistently to warrant getting the majority of the snaps. Starting fullback Quadtrine Hill is the exact opposite of Bryant and will remain the number one option as long as Bryant doesn't change.
· A number of NFL scouts have been in attendance this week with Monday and Tuesday being the biggest days with about a dozen scouts in on each day to watch 15-20 prospects. Coker believes having scouts in attendance helps the team practice better.
· OL Derrick Morse had a CAT scan yesterday to determine whether or not surgery is needed for a fracured shoulder. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.
· CB Devin Hester is bothered by a turf toe injury according to Coker. Hester was not practicing at the end of practice, but was in full pads. He is rehabbing right now and working to getting back on the field.
· OL Tony Tella was in a walking cast today for the first time today compared to wearing a cast while in crutches since suffering a high ankle sprain on August 8. This is a good sign for Tella who could return to the field within a week.
· LB Roger McIntosh is participating in non-contact drills while wearing shorts and appears to be moving around well. He is suffering from knee surgery to remove bone chips and has not practice yet this fall. Coker expects McIntosh back later this week and progressing with his participation early next week.
· LB Leon Williams is rehabbing a pulled muscle, but was in pads today. On Monday Williams was replaced by LB Romeo Davis as the first-team middle linebacker.
· RB Andrew Johnson is practicing, but not participating in any contact drills due to recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in December.
· OL Alex Pou had off-season shoulder surgery and has been held out of contact drills this fall. He could return to the field at the end of this week.
· 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. All three will miss the 2005 season.
Thursday, August 18 at 8:30 a.m.
Practices are now closed to the public. Tomorrow morning practice will be followed by a 3:30 practice in the afternoon for their third and final two-a-day this fall.
Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org