Day 2 in the books

Northwestern took to the practice field for its second preseason practice. With the players not yet wearing pads, the coaches get to work on technique and intricate details of each position. PurpleWildcats.com offers notes and quotes from Tuesday's workout.

• It will still be a few days before the Wildcats don full pads and are able to tackle. Said Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, "I think they're kind of tired of not playing football."

• Each of Northwestern's practices this week have been held at 4 p.m. That is so the team can meet together and spend time in the film room beforehand.

• With the players unable to do full contact, most individual position drills are aimed at improving technique. The offensive linemen have focused on their footwork and staying low in blocking drills. The early portion of camp is about focusing on the little details so each player is ready for live action.

• Both Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian have each been very impressive in the first two practices. Colter has a tremendous first step after receiving the snap, and is skillful when throwing across his body. Each are a must for a dual-threat quarterback.

• Colter's accuracy appears to be stronger than last season, which surely is a welcomed sign. However, his one interception during team drills came when defensive back Joe Cannon jumped the receiver with an impressive diving catch.

• While Colter is likely to be the starter for Northwestern, Siemian could land a role in the offense; similar to Colter last season. Siemian, though, has his eyes on beating Colter. "I want to start," he said.

• Siemian's most notable highlight from Tuesday came when he threw a 30-yard completion through a narrow gap of two defenders and into the hands of Demetrius Fields.

• There's an interesting competition at the cornerback position, where two starting spots are open for the taking. Redshirt freshman Nick VanHoose is likely to land a job. Also, Demetrius Dugar has seen many reps with the first-team defense.

• The competition for the jobs at right guard and right tackle will be heated, though it's definitely a friendly battle. Said senior Chuck Porcelli, who is pushing to start at tackle, "We really help each other. We push each other every day."

• Now that he is officially a running back, Venric Mark has seen many reps at his new position. Mark looks impressive thus far, though it is hard to judge his true abilities as a running back in non-contact drills. However, given his natural speed and athleticism, he could fare well.

• Freshman running back Stephen Buckley had a highlight-type run, when he sprinted through the defense and toward the endzone. That was my first live glance at his speed, and it was quite impressive.

• The reps at running back remain up for grabs, and Matt MacPherson's unit has some talent. One guy who may be overlooked is redshirt freshman Jordan Perkins, who was injured for much of the 2011 season. However, the reps in practice have been evenly distributed thus far.

• Though updated weights have not yet been revealed, it appears both Chance Carter and Deonte Gibson have added ample size to compete on the defensive line. Both were very impressive during the spring, and have carried that momentum forward through summer workouts.

• At the conclusion of practice, freshman offensive lineman Ian Park was practicing snaps with starting center Brandon Vitabile. Park has the versatility to move around on the offensive line.

• Northwestern hosted a notable visitor on campus during practice. Monroe, LA. receiver Taijuan Thomas and his family were on the sidelines for practice, being glad-handed by Pat Fitzgerald, athletic director Jim Phillips, and just about everyone else. Thomas and his family will remain in town overnight.

• The Wildcats return to the practice field on Wednesday afternoon. However, that practice will be closed to the media.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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