Practice Notes: Passers, receivers solid

Some notes from Wednesday's practice on quarterback play, Braxton Miller imitations and Kyle Prater.

-The starting offense focused primarily on the passing game Wednesday morning, and the entire unit looked sharp from top to bottom. Both Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian excelled at firing in passes to their receivers over the middle, and were able to squeeze passes through some very tight coverage.

- Colter hit Rashad Lawrence with a perfectly placed fade in the back left corner during a red zone drill. Siemian found Tony Jones open on a sideline post route and Dan Vitale on another back corner fade. Overall, the duo looked prepared for Saturday's game.

-Both Matt Alviti and recent Rutgers transfer wide receiver Miles Shuler played the role of Braxton Miller against the first-team defense, which emphasized quarterback containment and cutting off option runs. While the defense did a solid job of holding off the scout offense's running game, there wasn't as much success in the secondary on passing plays, save for an Ibraheim Campbell interception of P.J. Carollo.

-The play of the receiving corps was a major factor in the success of the passing game throughout practice, as Tony Jones, Christian Jones, Rashad Lawrence, Dan Vitale and Cam Dickerson all had excellent catches throughout scrimmage and drills. Very few passes were deflected or dropped, and Kyle Prater also had several snags over the middle, as his role in the offense seems to grow.

-After practice, Pat Fitzgerald told reporters that his team is trying to focus on the positives in preparation for Saturday's game, and noted that defensive backs coach Jerry Brown instilled an appreciation of how difficult and rewarding it is to win a long time ago.

-Fitz also said he believes his players are much more equipped to handle the hype and excitement surrounding the game than he was as a player, partially due to the inescapable media saturation of the 2010's.


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