Saturday Practice Report

Northwestern returned to practice after a week of taking final exams. The Wildcats practiced for two hours inside the Nicolet Football Center. Here's the scoop from Saturday's practice.

• The Wildcats donned full pads for practice.

Northwestern plans on practicing two days in-a-row, then a day off practice routine, leading into the holiday break.

• Both Evan Watkins and Kain Colter continued to adjust to their new playing time. After practice, Pat Fitzgerald said, "I'd say (Evan) has been steadily improving. He and Kain have done a nice job."

• Fitzgerald later said of his QB's experience gained, "In the long run, for these guys to get this kind of experience, it's going to be invaluable."

• RB Mike Trumpy was back in action, but was limited to non-contact drills. Trumpy wore a red jersey, to keep him out of contact drills.

• The first thing I noticed when walking into the facility was the weight room. There was one person working out. That was Dan Persa, who limped around the weight room in his walking boot, doing every exercise he could physically do.

• My first observation of practice was Coach Fitzgerald's involvement. Fitzgerald is always involved with his team's drills, and is always loud and enthusiastic with each drill. At random times in-between drills, Fitzgerald dives to the ground, and has a player hurdle him.

• It's been no secret; the Wildcat defense has struggled in the past few games. The attitude around the NU defense has not changed. Safety Brian Peters said, "We have a great attitude right now, offensively and defensively." Later, he added, "When we play with attitude, we're a dangerous bunch."

• The continued swagger around the practice comes from the Northwestern head coach. Brian Peters said, "A lot of (our attitude) comes from Coach. He's our go-to guy, he's our leader, his enthusiasm sparks us."

• The offensive and defensive lineman took part in a very physical one-on-one blocking drill, with their teammates surrounding them. Defensive end Vince Browne described it as an "intense" drill, which leads to bragging rights amongst the lineman. Browne admitted that it's a drill you don't want to lose.

• The Northwestern football program will be in attendance at Monday night's Bulls game, and next Sunday's Blackhawks game.

• The Cats return to practice tomorrow morning. That practice will be closed to the media.

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