Practice Report: March 7

Earlier today the Canes had their second spring practice.

SHANNON

"Today went well. We still have a long ways to go and things to get done. We are working on turnovers—turning the ball over, not turning the ball over, and creating turnovers. Today the defense created a lot of turnovers. The offense has been working on not turning the ball over. We are going to emphasize that because that can win and lose games for us. We have to get those things corrected and we will."

• Cornerback Bruce Johnson and running back Derron Thomas both sat out the first two practices. Johnson and Thomas are expected to return to practice later this spring.

• After the teams showed great enthusiasm the first day of spring practice, Shannon was also pleased with the tempo of today's session. "The tempo was a lot better [today]. Everyday we have to get better with tempo."

• Shannon wants to put an emphasis on drills, such as offensive linemen falling on loose balls and turnover drills, year-round. "Drill-work, because of the fundamentals and doing the small things, are what will win and lose games for you…when you do simple drills for 2-3 minutes a day and emphasize it, the players really respond to it."

• In the first 20 minutes of practice, Andrew Bain, Derrick Morse, and even Reggie Youngblood at times, took turns lining up at center during blocking drills. "You have to find the right mix of guys that will best help us win games at certain positions" Shannon said. "Some guys are going to get [injured] so you have to make sure you do a good job in spring football of making them play every position."

• New offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland fits the mold of former UM offensive line coaches Art Kehoe and Mario Cristobal. Stoutland is a high energy coach who is not afraid to correct a player by getting in his face.

Terrell Walden is currently running track for UM and is not on the football team.

• At the end of practice a group of linebackers, Tavares Gooden, Romeo Davis, Demetri Stewart, Eric Houston, and Spencer Adkins all caught balls from the jugs machine. The linebacker with the best hands: Gooden.

• Former center Brett Romberg attended Tuesday's practice.

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