The SMU practice for today was different than yesterday as the team began with everyone stretching together except the offensive front and backfield. Then the entire team participated in a fundamental tackling drill and a Jazz Session which appeared to be a ball recovery drill led by Special Teams coach Frank Gansz. The rest of practice was spent in the same unit-specific drills as yesterday.
The motivational prowess of Gansz, considered one of the best special teams coaches and motivators in NFL history, was on full display during the spirited Jazz Session. The coach was heard over the Pettus Practice Field PA system screaming ‘Trust your teammates. Trust yourself. You can do it.' Even the players joined in the encouragement with time.
Mustangs pick up the tempoPractice in general seemed up-tempo compared to yesterday. Part of the reason is the players were not fresh off of conditioning tests like yesterday when many players were unable to finish their set of sprints.
QB search still five man raceHead coach June Jones is not showing who his favorite to start at quarterback is if he has one. The quarterbacks participated in most of the drills at the same time with four different quarterbacks throwing to four different receivers.
Practice makes perfectAll the passing drills in practice will certainly pay off as the receivers are rarely catching the ball in stride. One exception is junior Emmanuel Sanders who, between his fluid routes and sure hands, is looking like a pro prospect.
Most spirited AwardThe award for most spirited scout-teamer, at least for now, goes to linebacker Alex Odiari who must work his way up the depth chart after missing all of last season and most of off-season workouts after transferring from Oklahoma State. The Hebron product is constantly screaming and hyping up his unit as if it is the first. His stay with the unit may help their confidence in the long run.
Most Stylish HaircutAll-Conference USA punter/kicker Thomas Morstead kicked for a scout from the Miami Dolphins and interviewed with him prior to practice. The senior, sporting a fresh Mohawk haircut, said this was his first official workout and interview with an NFL scout.
Big time prospect visits practiceJoey Fontana, the No. 2 center in the nation according to Scout, was at practice along with his parents and was able to take in offensive drills. This is his second visit to SMU.
Running blocks or Running backsAnd, finally, for the second straight day, the running backs worked out with the offensive lineman exclusively. Jones, clearly, wants his backs to be able to pass block over everything.