Notes: Big shoulders

Purdue was back to work on Monday morning for its third day of camp. Boiler Sports Report offers detailed notes from the sidelines in West Lafayette, including some important notes on the quarterback battle.

-- The Boilermakers didn't have too long of a break in between practices. After finishing up on the field Sunday night, they were back to work on Monday morning. For the first time in camp, the shoulder pads were out.

-- For the first day of shoulder pads, the focus is on basic technique while avoiding major contact. Of course, the intensity tends to increase when football becomes a bit more physical. "It's fun to watch the maturity," Hazell said of the first day in shoulder pads.

-- The quarterback battle continues on, with new developments each day. Austin Appleby continues to impress with his consistency. As stated yesterday, he may not be too far behind Danny Etling and Rob Henry. After practice, Hazell said one quarterback is struggling with the language of the offense, but he declined to name which one it was.

-- Etling has shown his abilities in flashes through camp, though is lacking the consistency necessary to be the starter. Of course, it's still very early, but he needs to make better decisions in the pocket.

-- As for Henry, consistency is his game. The fifth-year senior is a trusted veteran leader who makes smart decisions. The issues with him is whether his dual-threat game translates to the Boilermakers' new pro-style offense. Henry's quick feet are useful in roll-outs and when needed to scramble, but this system doesn't require a lightning fast quarterback.

-- In recent history, the receiver position has never been a great strong point for Purdue. However, this year's bunch is quite skilled. There are several wideouts who could be in the mix for playing time. Hazell mentioned Dolapo Macarthy, Danny Anthrop and B.J. Knauf as three receivers who have stood out in camp thus far. Also, keep an eye on sophomore Shane Mikesky, who has put together a solid few practices.

-- Purdue offensive line coach Jim Bridge says his linemen are "workers" and bring the right attitude to practice each day. The leader of that unit has been center Robert Kugler. "You're the quarterback of that line," he said. "I definitely want to assume that leadership role."

-- It wasn't too long ago that Jules Williams wasn't even on the football team. Now, he's seeing valuable reps at defensive end. Coach Ruben Carter is very high on Williams, who moved from linebacker in the spring. He could have a role on the field this fall.

-- The running backs went to work on technique today, focusing on footwork and staying low throw the holes. Coach Jafar Williams has a great approach with his unit. He's a great teacher who seems to garner great respect from his players.

-- Practice ended with Rob Henry striking a 15-yard simulated touchdown pass to B.J. Knauf in the back of the endzone, bringing a celebration for the offense.

The Boilermakers are back to work on Tuesday morning. Stay with Boiler Sports Report for continued coverage of Purdue football camp.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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