Practice Report: Rebs respond with solid workout

Coach David Cutcliffe was not pleased at the end of practice on Tuesday, but Wednesday's work brought a better response when he addressed the media.

"From start to finish, we had good work and that's what we need. That's the only way to improve and to correct the things we've been doing poorly in games," Cut said. "Now, we have to put it together with a productive practice tomorrow and we'll be ready to test the water again Saturday against Vanderbilt.

A good practice did not mean everything was cured, but it's a step in that direction.

"We don't like that we don't have Bobby (Harris) in the starting offensive line, but the spirit and the attitude of the number one OL has been exceptional, as much as you could ask for," he continued. "We certainly are not excited about the number of injuries we have, but most are getting better every day and we are doing our best with the players who are healthy."

With the threat of bad weather tomorrow brought on by the beating Ivan has given the coast, Cut said practice will be held in the stadium and the Rebs will work unless it's a total downpour or lightning is in the area. "We have no choice. To be properly prepared for Saturday, tomorrow is an important day," he closed.

* The Rebs' injury report improved, but is still "iffy." . . . DT Chris Herring (calf muscle) was at practice today and did some light work. He's still favoring his leg, but said he is better and plans on playing Saturday. . . DT Michael Bozeman (concussion) did not practice today and is doubtful for the Vandy game. He, too, said he's better, but not ready to come back yet. . . OG Doug Buckles (sprained knee) practiced at full speed today. . . WR Taye Biddle (bruised quad) was in a yellow jersey today, but he did go through some drills and expects to play Saturday. . . DT Daniel Booth (calf muscle pull) was 90% yesterday and said he was even better today. . . OT Bobby Harris (sprained ankle) practiced some today. He is favoring the sprained ankle some, but he also said he was better today and hopes to be able to contribute some Saturday, even if he does not start. . . LB Brian Lester (pulled abdominal muscle) said he was much better today, but still hurting a little. He expects to play Saturday as well. . .S B. Brown (pulled calf muscle) did not practice today, but at the end of practice he did field some punts and did some take-offs after the catch. He said he was "much better" today and expects to play against Vandy. . . Isn't it strange how most of the injuries are to players with the letter "B" in them? Twilight zone stuff. . . Forewarning: Some of these players will try to play Saturday even though they will not be 100% healthy.

* With number one snaps, QB Ethan Flatt continues to make strides in his development. He appeared to be making good decisions and throwing the ball very well today. . . Micheal Spurlock and Robert Lane also picked up their games after pretty solid performances yesterday. . . I don't know if this has anything to do with it or not, but it appears the thought that the job is "open" has spurred them all to a higher plane of effectiveness. We shall see. . .

* While the offensive line was spirited and chattering everyone up, two normal non-stop talkers - FS Eric Oliver and SS Kelvin Robinson - have been quiet this week, by design. "Everyone is so used to hearing me run my mouth that I thought I'd try something different this week to get their attention," E.O. noted. "I'm tired of the losing. I've just kept my head down and gone to work. I'd do anything to shake us up somehow. The roles on the team are reversed right now. We felt we needed something different to send a message to the underclassmen. Anything to snap us out of it."

* TE/OT Coach Matt Luke tried a different approach today as well with his traditional Wednesday Winning Edge talk. . . Matt was low key - for him - in addressing the entire squad. "We need to get rid of this bad taste that everyone on this field has in our mouths right now," he began. "The way to do that is to go out there and have fun and make plays. Make plays like you do out here at practice. Make plays like we all know you can. And if you make plays, you will catch fire. And if you catch fire, this bad taste will leave and this will all be fun again."

* At the IPF today, a lot of sodding, landscaping and blacktopping was going on. Sometime next week, we've been told, the North and West sides of the IPF will be turned over to the athletic department. When the team will move in there is still undecided, but those areas will be completed next week.

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