After a grueling first scrimmage yesterday evening and a heavy dose of film work, the Wolfpack players were back on the field this morning and Head Coach Chuck Amato was pleased with the effort he saw from his players.
"We put them in helmets and shoulder pads, and we emphasized the passing game today," Amato said following practice. "They went a long time yesterday. [They] stayed in last night watching the film of that daggone scrimmage. We got them up an hour earlier this morning to finish it all up and try and make the corrections of the mistakes they are making. That was a good, good, good practice."
With classes starting tomorrow NC State has no more two-a-day practices and is working out each evening for the remainder of fall practices.
Heppe Sidelined 4-6 Weeks
In yesterday's scrimmage the Wolfpack suffered an injury to a key offensive lineman when reserve center Kalani Heppe broke four bones in his foot.
He will be sidelined four-to-six weeks according to Amato.
"Kalani broke four bones in his foot during the first series and didn't miss a snap," Amato said. "[Only] if all our kids were that tough. He's going to be out, I want to say either four-to-six weeks, but I don't know the exact time."
Heppe, a red-shirt freshman from Bealeton, Virginia, has been NC State's reserve center. Left guard Leroy Harris will now serve as backup center for starter Jed Paulsen.
"The no. 2 center will be Leroy Harris," Amato said. "Jed knows what he's doing in there. Leroy went in there just for a little bit yesterday, but he'd be our second-string center."
Minor Injuries for Long, Lawson
Heppe wasn't the only player to get knicked up the past couple of days as reserve tight end Roddy Long and starting defensive end Manny Lawson also suffered injuries.
"Roddy Long tweaked a shoulder, and Manny Lawson has a bruise on his ankle that we're getting an X-ray on," Amato said. "He's walking around pretty good."
"Everything else being equal, we didn't hit anybody hard enough yesterday to get anybody hurt," Amato added. "If they got hurt it's because they slipped on something in the shower."
Depth a Concern on the Defensive Line?
With Manny Lawson bruising his ankle and Kennie Covington and Chip Cross ineligible for the 2004 season, NC State's defensive line may have some depth issues.
Lawson remains the starter at weakside defensive end with Mario Williams holding down the strongside defensive end spot. Red-shirt sophomore John McCargo also seems to have locked down his position at defensive tackle. In yesterday's scrimmage Tank Tyler worked beside McCargo at defensive tackle.
"We put him up there yesterday and wanted to get a change of pace," Amato said.
Behind the starters, there are some quality players battling to crack the two-deep lineup.
"Geez, I don't even know... we don't have anybody left," Amato said. "We've got Pressley and yesterday it was Herndon at tackle. We really rolled about four in at defensive end. We had Maurice Charles, we had Renaldo Moses, we moved [Martrel] Brown out to end from tackle, and we had [Raymond] Brooks. They got a lot of reps yesterday."
Martrel Brown had been performing well at defensive tackle and his move to defensive end will likely at depth at that position. Brown and Raymond Brooks should be able to play both defensive end and defensive tackle for the Wolfpack.