"We had a game, special teams and all, so guys could get used to the tempo of what it's really going to take to play an entire game," Shannon said. "The funny thing is you almost cover every situation possible - short-yardage situations, even goalline. The guys did a good job."
Being so early in the preseason, often times the most successful scrimmages are the ones that are played with the least amount of mistakes. Shannon was pleased with the lack of mistakes on Thursday.
"There weren't many penalties," he said. "We have to correct some things on a whole, but for the most part, it was aggressive and they played well."
One of the most important areas of any football team and one that has been a staple of UM's success over the years is special teams. Shannon likes what he saw with that unit on Thursday as well.
"We had a couple of good kickoff returns," he said. "We had one or two punt returns over 10 yards, and another fair caught. The biggest emphasis this year -- since they moved the ball back five yards (on kickoffs) -- is that the ball is always going to be returned. You better work on your return and cover game."
Because of the rule change with the kickoffs, Shannon believes it forces teams to change some things up in practice. He talked about that.
"You really don't ever go live (on special teams) this early, because you're always afraid of injuries," he said. "But you have to do that, because guys have to get used to it."
As the team heads into Friday's practice to continue its preseason work and to correct some of the mistakes made on Thursday, Shannon said there's a lot to take from Thursday's performance as a team.
"I was pleased with everyone's enthusiasm," he said. "Sam Shields made some plays. The receivers caught the ball well. We had some nice runs. The defense kept up and played the run well. It was good all around."
The team returns to the practice field at 7:50 am on Friday and CanesTime.com will continue having complete coverage of all the news.