Turner effective in Mustangs first practice

Pass blocking, throwing the football and catching the football can be the three ways to describes Southern Methodist University's first practice. On the defensive side of the ball, a lot of teaching took place, with the defense using walk through drills to learn the new defensive scheme.

Southern Methodist University began the June Jones' era officially Monday morning when the Mustangs took the practice field to begin preparations for fall camp and its 2008 season.

Two things were evident from Monday morning's inaugural practice, a lot of teaching will take place over the next 25 days prior to the Mustang's season opener against Rice, and the other evident fact is that SMU will throw the football, a lot.

While the defensive unit spent most of their practice time going through instructional walk-thrus, the offensive unit basically did two things the entire practice.

The offensive line and the running backs worked on pass blocking drills for the majority of practice while all five quarterbacks got plenty of work throwing over and over to their wide receivers.

In a previous interview, quarterback Coach Dan Morrison stated that signal callers get more practice reps than most in the country, it's apparently true.

The practice was well organized and there wasn't much wasted time. Coach Jones spent most of his time with the offensive unit, intensely watching the quarterbacks throwing passes and the wide receivers running their routes.

"We are going to throw the ball a lot," Jones said during his press conference Monday. "That's just what we do. We spread it out and we will throw the ball deep when given the opportunity."

Not much yelling could be heard on the field during the two hour practice session.

"A lot of teaching took place today," junior linebacker Alex Odiari admitted. "Our defensive staff spent most of the practice teaching."

One reason that an emphasis was put on teaching today was due the pre-practice conditioning session that all the players participated in. The players had so many sprints they had to make in a certain time limit, based on their positions.

"For the most part I was pleased with our condition," Coach Jones said. "There were some that didn't make it, I was disappointed in that."

Jones hinted that the Mustang's first practice session wouldn't be a model for people to go by.

"Today's practice was a little different," Jones said. "We will continue to get in a lot of reps offensively every day, that won't change."

Today's practice was one of the first opportunities that all the quarterbacks got an opportunity to throw together.

It was apparent that Logan Turner used his spring season, the only quarterback that participated in the April camp, to his advantage.

He threw the ball with better command of the ball and better accuracy than the other four signal callers for most of the practice.

"Not a bad start for day one," Jones said. "We have a long ways to go, but all the quarterbacks will get a lot of opportunity over the next few days to throw the ball, that's for sure."


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