Practice Report: 8/18 Afternoon

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Hurricanes held a short practice for their final scheduled two-a-day of the fall.

The team began practice at 3:30 and concluded at 4:45, marking their shortest non-weather related practice of the fall. The guys were in shells and the practice focused a lot on special teams.

This week in particular the team has been enjoying their time in the ice buckets after practice and today was culmination of this event.

Orien Harris and Baraka Atkins were getting the small guys, Sinorice Moss and Tanard Davis, and dumping them in the ice bucket. But their best target is when they got Coach Coker. Although when he was dumped in he did not go under and was just standing there, but got splashed quite a bit. Coker responded, "I like seeing guys have fun."

"We got done early today and we worked a lot on special teams. I like to keep them out of heat for a little bit. We went pretty long in the morning and we will have a long one tomorrow and Saturday. It was a good change for us and we got a lot done also. A lot of guys are getting a lot of work in a lot of situations."

"We have led the nation in non-offensive touchdowns, which is a tremendous statistic. Any time you are that explosive and can score on special teams or if teams make bad plays on special teams--I think special teams is a key. We have good athletes and have good speed so it gives us a chance to have some good players on special teams."

"I am fine with only having three two-a-days this year. We can only have 29 practices before the first game and we can use them however we want to. We will find out on Labor Day if we used them wisely. I'm not a guy that thinks we need to be out here all day. The thing we've done is we've used our meeting times in good shape."

· Today the team stretched differently with the defense in one large circle on the 'defensive' field and the offense was broke down into their position groups on the 'offensive' field. They will occasionally mix this up throughout a year, but the best is when they are in their rows clapping with their new 2005 beat with Tavares Gooden shouting commands and various individuals dancing to the beat--most notably Orien Harris.

· LB Tavares Gooden has regained his first-team status today when he played with WLB Jon Beason and MLB Romeo Davis at the strongside position replacing LB Glenn Cook. Gooden is a special player who could have a very productive junior season after posting 83 tackles and 10 for loss last season as a first-year starter.

· CB Marcus Maxey has always been one of the most athletic players on the team and one of the fastest. Maxey, at 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, can provide a lot of matchup problems for opposing teams. With a productive senior season he could vault himself nicely in preparation for the NFL Draft because of his outstanding testing ability.

· The first unit OL continues to be as follows: LT Eric Winston, LG Tyler McMeans C Anthony Wollschlager, RG Andrew Bain, RT Rashad Butler.

· The second unit OL is as follows: LT Chris Rutledge, LG John Rochford C Tyrone Byrd, RG A.J. Trump, RT Cyrim Wimbs.

· Coker has made it a point to let people know he is more than willing to play true freshmen this year. He does not want older players in a comfort zone thinking they will play especially if younger players have more ability. This is a very encouraging sign for the 17 players in the 2005 signing class headlined by Kenny Phillips, Randy Phillips, A.J. Trump, and Reggie Youngblood.

· RB Charlie Jones had a nice 15-yard run up the middle today showing good speed through the hole. He still sits third on the depth chart at tailback, but is expected to receive carries. At the very beginning of practice offensive line coach Art Kehoe was impressed with how Jones was going through drills and shouted to the team, "Guys, watch Charlie Jones practice."

· The quarterbacks and wide receivers worked on inside slant routes, but were not on target in their typical fashion. For whatever reason they weren't completing as many passes as they would have liked, but this is not a cause of concern. However, this route becomes an asset particularly on short yardage situations, but it is all about the timing.

· OL Anthony Wollschlager, OL Tyrone Byrd, and OL A.J. Trump were all in full pads today while their teammates were in shells (shoulder pads and shorts). These three were in full pads because they are working on their snapping ability before and after practice.

· OL Alex Pou also joined them after practice and was moving around well. Once he returns from injury he could compete for the starting center position although it is unlikely he will win over the coaches in the next two weeks.

· Miami head basketball coach Frank Haith was in attendance and had a long conversation with Coker after practice. Haith came out to practice last week as well.

· The University of Miami begins classes on August 24.

· LB Roger McIntosh practiced today, but is still being guarded from contact drills. He is expected to resume hitting next week.

· OL Tony Tella, who has a high ankle sprain, has been considered a "bonus" by Coker if he plays in the season opener. "Hopefully we get him back the week of preparation before the game and do some conditioning before that." Definitely not words of encouragement for an immediate return, although Tella believes he will play in the opener.

· OL Derrick Morse had a CAT scan yesterday to determine whether or not surgery is needed for a fracured shoulder. Results of the CAT scan are "to be announced". Morse expects to miss 6-8 weeks.

· Players practicing on a limited basis: CB Devin Hester (turf toe), SS Brandon Meriweather (sore hamstring), OL Alex Pou (shoulder surgery recovery), LB Eric Houston (pulled hamstring), and RB Andrew Johnson (ACL recovery)

· 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.

Friday, August 19 at 8:30 a.m.

Practices are closed to the public.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

Canes Time Top Stories