Practice Report: 8/19

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Hurricanes practiced for two hours in the morning.

The team began practice at 8:30 and practiced for two hours.

"I thought we were really sluggish today. Guys were a little bit tired and a little sore. I think we were sluggish on both sides of the ball. I think the defense really picked it up during the two-minute drill and had a nice finish."

· QB Kyle Wright continues to receive rave reviews from Coker including today when the head coach called him "special". Coker also added, "He looks very comfortable in the pocket, has a nice presence about him, and is throwing the ball very well."

· FS Kenny Phillips had the play of the fall when he dove to pick off a deep pass. Phillips stretched out to make the catch after TE DajLeon Farr did not go up for the ball. It was thrown a bit high, but 99% of the time the ball would have been incomplete and the offense would have had another down. "It was a phenomenal play by Phillips and we have seen a lot of that during camp," Coker said.

· TE Greg Olsen has been considered the best tight end in the country by Coker. Comparing Olsen to recent great Hurricane tight ends Jeremy Shockey and Kellen Winslow, Coker feels Olsen is ahead of those two at the same stage in their careers in terms of being the total package. Olsen, a redshirt sophomore, is eligible for the NFL Draft in April.

· CB Randy Phillips was not to be outdone by Kenny Phillips as he picked off a 50+ yard desperation throw by QB Kyle Wright as time was running out during the two-minute drill. Wright saw WR Akieem Jolla deep downfield with 1-on-1 coverage, but Phillips--not Jolla--made a play on the ball.

· OL Anthony Wollschlager is having more consistency at the center spot and unless things change, he will start in the season opener against Florida State.

· SS Lovon Ponder made an interception today, which was good to see for the redshirt freshman safety. Ponder is a third-team safety and will have a hard time seeing the field in his career with Kenny Phillips, a true freshman, and Anthony Reddick, a sophomore, holding down the starting spots for the future.

· CB Devin Hester is still bothered by a turf toe and there is no reason to rush him back until game week. Hester will see plenty of time in the Florida State game even though Marcus Maxey is expected to start. He is currently being guarded since he is not able to push off.

· OL Tyler McMeans did not finish practice as he hurt his arm. Coker does not think the injury is serious. McMeans was the first-team left guard.

· LB Roger McIntosh is practicing, 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 this week to determine whether or not surgery is needed for a fracured shoulder. Results of the CAT scan are "to be announced".

· Other players practicing on a limited basis: SS Brandon Meriweather (sore hamstring), OL Alex Pou , 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.

Saturday, August 20 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

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