Practice Report: 8/31

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

The team practiced in shells for two hours beginning at 2:30 p.m. with the loud speakers on to simulate the crowd for their upcoming game at Florida State.

"It was good to get back out here after missing yesterday. We needed to get this one in. Guys were running around and we looked fast. I have liked what I have seen. We have got everyone back healthy that we expect to play in the game. That is without a doubt, encouraging. I think we are getting better as a football team. We need to play and find out what we are all about."

"The crowd noise was pretty intense. I couldn't hear anything. I have been around crowd noise for a long time, but this is about as good as it gets. Even when we did the two-minute drill we didn't have any false starts. That is why you have it and that is what you like to see."

"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."

· SS Brandon Meriweather is expected to play after dealing with a hamstring injury for the majority of the fall. "His role is going to be on special teams and be a leader in the secondary," Coker said. Meriweather is not expected to start, but will be in various nickel and dime situations.

· The three freshman defensive backs FS Kenny Phillips, CB Randy Phillips, and CB Bruce Johnson are the next three guys on the depth chart after the top six guys returning. They are expected to play on special teams and could be used on the defense as well.

· CB Randy Phillips came down with an interception today as QB Kirby Freeman floated a pass in his direction as FS Kenny Phillips came hard on a blitz. Hopefully for Canes fans it is sign of things to come with the Phillips boys.

· LB Leon Williams could regain his starting middle linebacker position back based on his ability and knowledge of the defense. The coaches have made zero indication to the media about Williams getting his spot back, but don't be surprised if it happens. He is getting back healthy after dealing with a groin injury.

· OL Eric Winston has showed no ill effects of recovering from a torn ACL. He has not missed any sprints or drills this fall. Coker was concerned about the possibility of his knee swelling up, but that has not been the case. He plans on wearing two knee braces in the game Monday.

· CB Devin Hester is looking better and better each day. Today he ran the ball very well while working on special teams. He is running with no major signs of a sore turf toe. Hester is expected to be the return man as well as play in the secondary.

· OL Derrick Morse has a fracured shoulder. He is expected to miss 4-6 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.

Thursday, September 1 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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