Practice #5: Full Pads & Full Contact

The Rutgers football team added full pads and full contact drills to the practice routine today and, with that, came a more energized practice from all sides.

The primary drills added were redzone and goal line drills which ended up being a fairly balanced competition between the offense and defense.

"The one thing that is good is that they went back and forth," Schiano said. "It wasn't one sided. Initially it started one sided, but we kept going and they kept playing so that's good … I thought that Joe [Martinek] ran really hard."

The offense and defense were into it, displaying levels of excitement not seen yet, but that is to be expected anytime there is such a fine line between success and failure.

"Whenever there's a line separating who wins and who loses, it's really exciting," said freshman cornerback Brandon Jones on the goal line drills. "Overall, it's just battling and battling for a touchdown or for a big stop. It's a great thing."

Jones, who redshirted last season and is in the midst of the competition at No. 2 cornerback, said that this is all exciting because it's one step closer to Opening Day.

"Every second we can feel the game getting closer," Jones said. "Just being out there with the team and all of the pads, you know it's getting close and that's a great feeling."

Junior left tackle Anthony Davis reclaimed his spot with the first team today after Schiano said he came within "striking distance" of his target weight.

"He's getting close," he said. "As long as he's in striking distance, he'll make it … He was not when he started here a couple of days ago."

Davis said that he was glad to be back with the first team.

"It feels good [to be back]," Davis said. "I'm back with my boys … It was Coach [Schiano]'s decision. Of course you want to be on the first team. That's everybody's goal so I didn't pout about it. I just did what Coach asked me to do."

Davis seemed just as glad, however, to start hitting.

"It was pretty exciting today," Davis said. "It was nice to put on the pads and start hitting again. That's why most of us play."

Senior Kevin Haslam moved back to right tackle where he played last season.

Schiano said that he is still waiting for senior wide receiver Tim Brown to step up from a big play receiver to an every down one that the Knights can count on.

"The thing that's going to be interesting is Tim's going to have to make the catches that every downers make," Schiano said. "I know Tim can make the spectacular over-the-top catches, but he's got to make the non-spectacular, boring advance the chains catches where he knows he's going to get smacked."

The Scarlet Knights suffered two injuries on the first day of hitting in training camp. Freshman cornerback Darrell Givens hurt his knee and could not continue, Schiano said, but the severity is not yet known.

Junior tackle Howard Barbieri aggravated an ankle injury that had bothered him earlier in camp.

Schiano said that he wants to wait until after the scrimmage to judge separation of the quarterbacks.

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