The weather was again great this evening. Irish Eyes had a few staff members at practice. This is what they saw.
I didn't see Anthony McDonald out there, but the linebackers were a ways away from me. I looked for him and didn't see him.
I was mainly by the D-line and O-line today.
The D-line had a new drill that was actually kind of cool. Jappy Oliver put two big circles out on the field and the D had to come off the ball and circle around the circle touching the ground periodically. I'll post that video in the morning. You can see some quickness out of the D-line. Also, it was real good to see guys like Brandon Newman and Hafis Williams giving it their all.
That says a lot to me because this is their first time through a fall camp, and they've gone through two physical practices and this is the second practice of the day and both were really giving it a lot of effort.
Jappy still continues to bark at the D-line. He hasn't let up one iota.
Then I went over to watch the O-line work on staying low and getting a good strike. Head coach Charlie Weis was over at this drill watching for the entire individual drill we get to watch.
He didn't stop teasing me either. He said he wasn't sure if he had a bigger staff or I did. It was good natured ribbing as usual.
As I've mentioned many times, Weis is very good to the local media. He was also giving Ben Ford (Elkhart Truth) the business as well.
Mood was light. Looked like it was going to be a fun practice.
The offensive coaches huddled as coordinator Mike Haywood told tight ends coach Bernie Paramalee, receivers coach Rob Ianello and Powlus what plays the unit was going to run at the start of practice.
Corwin Brown was cracking up the defense as they stretched. He is still calling Sergio Brown "Fredo"
The first and second offensive units ran some plays against air. Each unit came out in a three-wide receiver, one running back, one tight end set. The first group featured David Grimes, Duval Kamara, Golden Tate, Armando Allen and Mike Ragone, while the second group had Richard Jackson, Robby Parris, Michael Floyd, Robert Hughes and Kyle Rudolph. Mike Turkovich was the LT in the first group and Matt Romine worked with the second.
They ran each play twice, the first was an end round to Tate and Floyd. The second was a swing pass to Allen and Hughes.
As the offense split up, the QBs worked on their drops and rollouts, the RBs ran through ball security drills over bags, the line practiced drive blocking and the tight ends worked on catching and ball security.
All of the tight ends and wide receivers did a good job catching the ball with their hands.
It seems like the WRs have been watching Generation Kill as they repeatedly shouted "Get some!"
The WRs ran threw a five-cone drill where they ran threw the cones before catching balls from Director of Personnel Tim McDonnell. For whatever reason, the WRs and Ianello call McDonell "Eli."
Some of the younger guys had trouble with a drill to work on dragging feet near the sidelines. Ianello's quote: "We're dragging the front foot and lifting the back, just like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant."
The Irish Eyes staff was doing some game-planning during stretching, and coach Weis shouted from across the field, "So is that your entourage, Mike?" He certainly seemed in a pretty good mood throughout our time viewing.
Sergio Brown was singing the lyrics to a song. I've noticed the DB's like singing during stretching to lighten up. Jimmy Clausen heard him singing and said, "Where you at, Serg?" to which Brown replied, "say something, JC."
Weis stopped by and shared a laugh with Raeshon McNeil.
I saw a very interesting exchange between coach Powlus, Clausen and Evan Sharpley. As Sharpley was stretching Clausen's back, he looked over his shoulders at a photograph that Powlus had taken from a previous practice session. For about 5 minutes, they talked about identifying the Mike. Clausen said, "I didn't see the Mike. I didn't see them coming." After a while, Sharpley chimed in and offered some input and they seemed to solve the problem.
There was certainly more chatter than in the morning session.
Weis walked over to R.J. Blanton and as he walked away said, "that might be a record, Blanton." He replied, "what's that, sir?" Weis finished, "that's 5 seconds without you saying something," he said with a laugh.
I then watched the defensive players pursue the ball carrier. They lined up in the nickel. The front three were Justin Brown, Ian Williams and Kerry Neal. The LB's were Maurice Crum, Brian Smith and Harrison Smith. The nickel back was Sergio Brown and the rest of the DB's were Terrail Lambert, David Bruton, Kyle McCarthy and McNeil.
Brian Smith seems to have a great time on the practice field. Also, the rest of the players give him a hard time and joke with him.
Tenuta was working on taking proper angles to make tackles. "Break your hips down and make the tackle," he said. "All the way through, men. You better be falling downhill."
B. Smith was struggling with his break on play-action pass. Tenuta was losing his patience and kept the commentary going. "I'm not going down and doing all this buls*** for you to head in the direction," referring to the motion of the play-action.
He did seem a little more hesitant to offer his usual commentary, though. "I want to be nice today. This is where I would say one of my comments. Let's get our heads in it, men. Head downhill."
Jake Golic was motoring around campus on an awesome ND golf cart, as he pulled up for the second practice. His father was there as well.
As the IE team was gathered around Mike Frank for a quick meeting, head coach Charlie Weis joked around with us from the middle of the field.
As the team was stretching, Corwin Brown told the media "watch for that one right there," talking about Gary Gray.
On my way over to watch the defense and the DBs, I saw the offense go into a play set with three WRs. They were Grimes, Kamara and Tate, who took the ball on an reverse. I expect to see that play a lot this fall.
The defense was working as a unit at first, lining up and pursuing a ball carrier down the sideline. The first team defensive line was Morrice Richardson, Justin Brown, Ian Williams and Kerry Neal. Second team was Darius Fleming, Paddy Mullen, Pat Kuntz and Ethan Johnson. Third team was Kapron Lewis-Moore, Sean Cwynar, Emeka Nwankwo and Kallen Wade.
I went over with the DBs after this. They were working on man-to-man cover skills. They were backpedaling straight, backpedaling for fade routes and also getting their hips around for go routes. Corwin Brown seemed to be pleased today with everyone. To me, the secondary is the strength of the defense this fall, even without Darrin Walls. A lot of guys can play.