Practice Resumes

After getting an off day from the practice fields Sunday, the Rebels resumed their fall camp today with the first of two practices in the IPF this morning. Local rain forced the Rebs inside.

After a day off from the grind of fall camp Sunday, the Rebels cranked it back up Monday morning in the Indoor Practice Facility.

Although they seemed a bit sluggish at first, the Rebs cranked it up to finish off the 2-hour, 15-minute workout.

"We were sleepwalking a little bit at the start, but I thought it picked up and ended well," said Coach Hugh Freeze. "We got a lot of stuff worked on that we have to start getting in, like the two-minute drill."

Freeze gave a brief statement about the grading from Saturday's first scrimmage.

"It's never as bad as you think nor as good as you think," he noted. "It wasn't quite as good as it looked that day defensively and not near as bad as we thought it was offensively.

"We started off so poorly offensively and that made it look bad. Bo (Wallace) actually played pretty well except the last two plays, when he threw two picks. Prior to that, he actually had a good game. Bo graded higher than Barry (Brunetti). Those two picks hurt his grade - he was very solid other than those two plays."

Monday, the practice ended with several two-minute drill possessions.

"We were not bad for the first time we've done it," said Hugh. "We got in the scoring zone with the ones every time and we were successful with all our field goal attempts. We got down there to give us a chance and at least got three points out of each drive.

Ralph Williams
File Photo

"There are still some things we need to talk about with our quarterbacks, but they seem to have a decent understanding of urgency and getting out of bounds and those things. It wasn't bad at all."

The defense started installing their 4-3 package today after being exclusively 4-2-5 up to this point.

"We are going to need the 4-3 at times this year - we know that, so it's time to put it in and get used to it," Hugh closed.

The early look of the 4-3 indicates the coaches will remove the Husky and insert another true linebacker. Today, it was Ralph Williams at the Wolf LB slot. He was backed up by Keith Lewis.

Random Noteas:

* TB Jeff Scott, who sat out three days last week with a concussion, returned to practice Monday morning. "He's a rep guy. We need him out here and are glad to have him back," Freeze stated.

* CB Wesley Pendleton sat out Monday morning's practice with a "tweaked knee." "We are not concerned it's anything too severe," said Freeze.

* OG D.J. Bailey was also held out with a knee issue. He sprained the MCL on his "other knee," the one not surgically repaired last year that he rehabbed all spring and summer. "He's day-to-day. Right now, if we had to decide today, we would probably redshirt him, but we are still a long way from game time and if he comes back from this injury and is in the the top seven or eight, it would be hard to redshirt him," said Hugh.

* DT Uriah Grant tested his shoulder some today with more work in some D-Line drills. The hope is to keep feeding him more and more work each day this week and get him back full steam next week.

* A cornerback who has worked himself into the picture of the rotation is Cliff Coleman. While he doesn't possess the short cover quickness of Senquez Golson, Pendelton or Collins, Cliff has good deep speed and he rarely makes mistakes in his short route coverage. So far, good fall camp for Coleman. Another player who has a chance to help at CB in a few more weeks is recent transfer Louis Covington. He's got good short area quickness, speed and he's gritty. Look for him to get a shot around the third or fourth game for some PT as well.

Denzel Nkemdiche
File Photo

* LG Aaron Morris was dressed out today after missing several days last week due to a pulled Achilles tendon. He did not go through any full-contact drills, but he was moving around OK in non-contact drill work.

* More and more, it looks like Cameron Whigham, Bryon Bennett, Issac Gross and C.J. Johnson will be the first unit on the D-Line. DL Coach Chris Kiffin will rotate several players in and out, so we're not sure about the significance of that, but they are the ones getting the most work with the ones right now.

* Junior LT Emmanuel McCray seems to have solidified his position at the important island tackle slot. Emmanuel has not missed any practice time due to the chronic tendonitis in his knee this fall camp. That's a good sign.

* A minor surprise today saw true freshmen Ben Still at center and Robert Conyers at LT getting reps with the number two offense.

* WR Tobias Singleton appears to have been moved inside to the slot receiver at times. When Collins Moore went down, that left Korvic Neat and Philander Moore in the slot, both smaller guys. The coaches apparently want someone with some more size inside as well so Tobias and Randall Mackey have been working in the slot too.

* Early on in the Red Ball drills, the offensive coaches used the tight ends more in the passing game. Jamal Mosley, Ferbia Allen and John Youngblood all had chain-moving catches in the drill.

* Mackey is showing more and more each day that he is a valuable weapon. He's a downhill, one-move runner who just has a knack with the ball in his hands. One has to wonder how good he would be right now had he played TB his whole career. He's pretty good as is, perhaps the biggest threat the Rebel offense has.

* In the Red Ball drill, Wallace found Neat for a short TD pass. Neat has started to show up in the receiving game more often lately. "I've been doing pretty good. I have come a long way since the spring," said Neat. "I am working on my route running and reading coverages quicker. When you can instantly recognize a coverage, you can adjust your route quicker and get open easier. I'm getting to that point now, I think. I've only had two drops this fall camp."

* It has to be the title of a country song - you don't know what you've got until it's gone. The Rebel offense must have felt that way when Donte Moncrief was missing last week with a bruised knee. He's back now and making plays. He is an impact player in this offense.

* PK Bryson Rose hit all three field goal attempts in the two-minute drill with the clock below 5 seconds. They were from 32, 37 and 40 yards. Andrew Ritter also made his only attempt, a 35-yarder. . . The only offensive possession in the drill that did not produce points was a bad handoff exchange between Brunetti and Mackey that resulted in a Denzel Nkemdiche fumble recovery and killed the drive.

* We get asked all the time if big Terrell Brown is going to get any playing time. The answer is yes. He is now on the field goal unit as a tight end in protection.

* To the untrained eye, Wallace seems to be edging out ahead of Brunetti in the last couple of days at QB. Still a long way to go, but that appears to be the trend right now. We'll see.

* We will have another practice report tonight after this afternoon's late practice.

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