Spring Practice #8 Notebook

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — On Teddy Dellaghana's first punt, the ball sailed quite the distance. On his second and third attempts, the ball traveled significantly less. Despite the inconsistencies, which Rutgers' Head Football Coach Greg Schiano talked about, the head man remains upbeat.

"Some good, some not so good, typical spring scrimmage," Schiano told reporters after the Scarlet Knights' eighth spring football practice. "I thought Mike (Teel) threw the ball well. The running back, Mason (Robinson), continues to perform well."

"What I'm looking at is we've had five (practices) in pads, we have six more in pads, now we need to make some serious progress," Schiano added. "I'm satisfied that they're working hard. I'm satisfied that they're making some plays in the pass game."

Early on, Teel threw the ball efficiently, nailing Tiquan Underwood with a 50-yarder down the right sideline before Underwood was forced out of bounds. Eventually, RB Robinson scampered into the endzone from the four, before losing his helmet on the play.

After that set, the offensive line struggled, while the defensive unit stepped it up.

"Initially, the offensive line played well and then it got sloppy," Schiano said. "Defensively, I thought they came out and weren't ready to play initially, but they got better as the day went on, but you can't do that. The first play counts just as much as the 50th."

Examples of the defensive pressure included Jim Dumont and Al-Ghaffaar Lane's combined one-two punch on one tackle. Dumont hit the hole, before Lane finished the play for a loss.

"We're getting better," Schiano said, referring to his defensive unit. "It's slow progress. They're fun to coach because they're great kids who want to do well. It's just taking a little longer than you like."

The Knights also welcomed back wide receiver Tim Brown to the field today. Brown missed the first half due to academic regulations.

"We're going to decide," Schiano said of Brown. "He was dressed today."

Meanwhile, Brown must contend with wideout Dennis Campbell, who has looked sharp thus far.

"Dennis just needs to round out his game, little things," Schiano said, "like attention to detail." Overall, the defensive players seemed more motivated on the field.

Blair Bines, a linebacker, pummeled Chris Paul-Etienne for a sack, while LB Manny Abreu also earned several solo tackles, including a devastating blow on Robinson.

However, Paul-Etienne launched a 35-yard deep pass to sophomore Pat Brown, who turned it into a 62-yard catch-and-run. That play helped even things out for the offense.

Schiano compared practice to a boxing match.

"This heavyweight fight was one side won big early, one side won big late," Schiano said. "You'd like to see it, trade blows back and forth. Then you got something cooking. What today's scrimmage showed is peaks and valleys from both sides. That's not a good thing. It has to be sustained throughout 60 minutes and more if the game decides to play into more."

Play of the Day: Towards the end of practice, DT Wayne Thomas sacked QB Steve Shimko with such force, I felt it from my seat.

In Case You Missed It: Schiano on Art Forst and the new players' adjustment, "I think they have a long way to go but they're getting accustomed to it."

Schiano also offered a thought on OL Kevin Haslam, who must help fill a void left by the Scarlet Knights' three offensive linemen who graduated after last season.

"I think Kevin's getting better this spring," Schiano said. "He's growing, getting tougher, better, but he had a long way to go. I think it's going to be close, but he'll be ready."

Scarlet Report Top Stories