Coach O: We had a walk-through this morning and simulated preseason game number II this afternoon. This afternoon, we had a huge special teams scrimmage. Our kickoff return team looked excellent. We made some strides in our kickoff team, but we still have some work to do. Joshua Shene looked good again in placements and Justin Sparks punted the ball well today. He's getting in the mix for the punting job. He's been very consistent and had some big kicks today. We are taking a hard look at him. We had a couple of reshmen show out on special teams with some good tackles. The first two groups went 48 plays each and we ended with a goalline scrimmage. It was a good scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The offense took the ball and scored on their first possession. In the second half, the dfense came to life some and started getting some sacks and pressure. It was very competitive on both sides.
Q: Who is surfacing in the return game?
Coach O: Mike Wallace had a real good day today, as well as Dexter and Marshay Green. Those three guys continue to look good back there. Lionel Breaux didn't have a big day today, but he has potential there. Those other three, every time they touched it, it seemed they were going a long way.
Q: How did the QBs look?
Coach O: All three had some good throws today. Brent had a really nice pass downfield and operated the offense well. Nothing has really changed. It's back and forth every day out there, as you guys saw Monday.
Q: Do coaches treat the QB position as differently as media and fans do?
Coach O: It's a position that demands competition. I don't think it would be a story at all if we had a great, standout QB because he would have already won the job. Right now, all our guys do some things well and do some things not so well. That makes it a story. Maybe whoever wins it early will become a good QB during the season, or maybe we'll have to go in a different direction. We don't know yet.
Q: What's it like having a lot more competition at a lot more spots?
Coach O: It's fun. I looka t tailback. Bruce could not practice today and Cordera stepped in and had a great scrimmage. He played with the ones and was outstanding. Competition makes everything exciting out there.
Q: How did the linebackers look?
Coach O: Tony Fein had a big day. Chris is doin well with some things and struggling with others. It's a battle there, which is good. At Sam, Ashlee Palmer had a good day, but he still makes mental mistakes sometimes and gets in the wrong position. The good thing is that he is athletic enough to make up for his mistakes.
Q: Any eligibility news? Intersession guys?
Coach O: I wish I had some eligibility news, but I don't. The intersession guys returned today - Brandon Jenkins, Antonio Turner, Nate Banks. Mico McSwain is not going to make it. I am disappointed for him, but there comes a point where he has to do it. You have to fish or cut bait. We laid out everything for him we possibly could and he didn't get it done. I hope he finds his way on some NAIA or Division II team.
Q: You are thin at corner. What can Nate Banks bring to the table for you?
Coach O: Experience. We can play some coverages with him maybe the other guys can't play. We need him.
Q: How much catching up does Brandon have to do?
Coach O: I think he's in better condition than he's ever been. He will be in our rotation. He has a chance to catch up. That makes us that much deepre. We need him to play in the rotation - we need a good rotation inside to keep from getting in the shape we were in last year. I was a little disappointed in our defensive conditioning today, but if we get a good rotation going, we'll be OK.
Q: Do you have some guys hitting the wall now?
Coach O: Overall, for what we have been putting them through, no. But you could see when the offense started moving the ball we needed a little more pep in our step and a little more speed. We have to find it.
Q: Has camp been tough?
Coach O: This is the toughest of my three preseason camps here, but we can be tougher because we have more guys to work with. We have competition and can let it fly a little. We have to perform under any circumstance we have facing us, so we don't talk about the heat, but this has been a tough camp overall.
Q: Doesn't having more bodies out there give guys a chance to recover between reps though?
Coach O: They get a lot more recovery time. Today, a guy would go 12 plays and get a 12-play rest. That's not bad.
Practice report, Wednesday
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