Practice Report: 8/29

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The Hurricanes practiced in preparation for their season opener, which is just one week away.

The team practiced in shells for two hours beginning at 5:50 p.m. Practice was originally scheduled for 2:20.

"This was a 'Wednesday' practice for us. We went through a lot of different situations. I was pretty pleased. It was a much better practice today than yesterday. Since they didn't have school today we had a lot of meetings. I think we used our time pretty wisely."

"The pace of practice has picked up lately. It really has. I wanted to pick up because we really needed to get into a rhythm of practice and the rhythm will need to be there in the game. We have to understand the energy we need to play with on Monday night."

"I think we are getting everyone back. That is one of the reasons I moved practice back in the evening. A week ago at this time having guys with bumps and pulls--it is not a big deal. But now, we need to get everyone healthy to go to Tallahassee."

· Coker still does not have electricity due to Hurricane Katrina. He suspects many of his players do although some might not. Louisiana natives Derron Thomas, Akieem Jolla, and Vegas Franklin had their families evacuate in preparation of the hurricane hiting their area. "It is very unsettling for those guys," Coker said.

· OL Tony Tella participated in practice today and yesterday after recovering from a high ankle injury he suffered August 8. He is expected to play in the opener, but not start.

· LB Roger McIntosh also participated in practice today and yesterday. He is currently the second-team strongside linebacker behind Tavares Gooden.

· LB Spencer Adkins reminds Coker of Devin Hester in the way he gets his speed immediately. "His closing speed is unbelievable. He is physical and very strong. He will be an outstanding player for us." He could play in the defense this year, but will start out on special teams.

· CB Devin Hester is expected to play some on offense this year. "We will have some things we will like him to do. How much--maybe we use him, maybe we won't, but there will definitely be some things we will work on," Coker said. Last year Hester rushed for 40 yards and 1 touchdown while catching 1 pass for 25 yards.

· QB Kyle Wright continues to impress Coker. "I have been pleased with Kyle. I have said all along that I don't have any worries about Kyle. Will he play his best game against FSU next week, probably not. But I think Kyle will do fine."

· WR Khalil Jones is one of the hardest working players on the team. Today he caught a touchdown pass from scout team QB Jorge Fernandez in the back of the endzone. Jones has been picking up his play recently and is showing no definite signs of playing with a splint on his broken finer.

· TE Buck Ortega still has a firm grasph of the number two tight end spot behind Greg Olsen. Ortega catches the ball well and understands his role on the team. Last year he caught eight passes as a junior.

· LB Romeo Davis still feels comfortable at middle linebacker, but is not overly excited about the potential of starting there in the opener. He has always been confident in his abilities, but he is even more confident that the coaches are comfortable with him on the field.

· CB Randy Phillips worked with Marcus Maxey after practice to work on a few minor adjustments. With Devin Hester dealing with a turf toe, Phillips becomes the third cornerback on the team. He is up to the challenge and looks forward to the game.

· CB Devin Hester is still dealing with a turf toe, but there should not be any doubt he will play in the season opener despite missing practices.

· SS Brandon Meriweather still is not able to do a lot of running around due to a hamstring injury and expects to play in the opener.

· LB Leon Williams is still being guarded a bit, but is expected to play in the opener.

· OL Derrick Morse has a fracured shoulder. He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks.

· RB Andrew Johnson is still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered last December. Johnson could be cleared to practice within a month, but it is still unsure whether or not he will play this season or redshirt and come back next year as a sophomore.

· DT Teraz McCray, CB Glenn Sharpe, and CB Carlos Armour are not practicing and are still recovering from ACL injuries. All three will miss the 2005 season.

Tuesday, August 30 at 3:20 p.m.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com


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