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"One of the obvious acid tests that coaches look at every single day in practice is the number of mental mistakes," Davis said. "That's usually a pretty good indicator of one of two things: they've either grasped really well what you're trying to put into the game plan and what you're expectations are, or you've got too much in the game plan and potentially there are some things that you need to eliminate before Saturday."
"It's all the special categories day, where we hit red zone, short-yardage, goal line… and then certainly special teams-wise, it's a big day for us," Davis said. "There's still a lot of work to get done before Saturday, but I think that they're working hard and we're moving in the right direction."
"I spoke to Cooter and told him that he had some things that he needed to get accomplished and get done, and that we would revisit it sometime in the near future, and give him an opportunity to demonstrate his willingness and his desire to get back on the team," Davis said.
Each practice consists of one or two drills designed to teach toughness, execution and quality. On Wednesday, that session was an ‘inside run' drill, pitting the first-team offense versus the first-team defense.
"There are things that you want to get accomplished and you certainly don't want to take your foot off the pedal before the end of the week," Davis said. "You want to continue to push and challenge kids to continue to improve and get better. Players play their absolute very best on Saturdays when they are confident they know what to do."
"The style and scheme of the offense – you don't want to give them too many possessions and you don't want them on the field for a long period of time because they are going to wear you down," Davis said. "It's going to put a real premium on us to be able to play more than 11 guys defensively. We're going to have to have some significant contributions, maybe as many as 20 kids playing defensively throughout the course of the game."
On Yates: "The one thing you have to love about T.J. ... he has embraced that idea of 'I've got to work hard and I've got to make sure I know exactly what I'm supposed to and if I do then the other 10 guys in the huddle are going to trust me and have faith that I can make the plays to have a chance to win.' We've got some good young quarterbacks and these guys are growing, but T.J.'s done a nice job."
On Rich: "Johnny White and Richie were there for all the blitz drills and all the scrimmage situations and we felt like at this particular time, Richie separated himself slightly. But I don't want to fall into playing a running back by possessions.... we need him to get into the flow of the game."
"You hope that the reps – you hope that they understand [the] read and returns, the mechanics and the techniques and hopefully you don't give up any big plays," Davis said.
"There's probably as many as seven to 12 that are preparing to have an opportunity to contribute and play either special teams or in a backup roles or something for this weekend," Davis said. "... I'm pleased with our freshman class."
"This is about this season," Davis said. "This is about playing these games… Right now, it has almost nothing to do with 2008. This is 2007 – this is one game at a time, 12 straight weeks."