Thursday Practice Report

August 25th Practice Report

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It was very hot today, and the guys seemed to be o.k. with that.  There was a few spots of blessed shade due to some clouds.
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Today's practice was much more intense than yesterday's.  The defense was especially rowdy!
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All throughout practice the sweet smell of BBQ wafted through the field due to the contest tomorrow.  It gave us a glimpse at what tailgating will be this year, not to mention made us hungry.

 

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Leach was very involved with the screen drills today, and doing his best to encourage some energy out of both sides of the ball.
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Harrell seems to be more comfortable than in past practices, and did a good job of leading Filani with an over-the-shoulder pass for a TD.
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The double pass from R. Johnson to M. Johnson saw some reps today.  This is going to be a fun play to watch come September!
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Olomua still seems to be getting the majority of the screen passes over the middle.  He appears very comfortable with making these grabs and doesn't seem nervous about getting popped as he catches the ball.

 

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We seemed to be connecting on all field goals and extra points today. 
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Chad Hill looked very intense on the punt team, and got into a little scuffle with a scout player.  He was all over the field and really moving out there!
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Reyes looked as impressive as always.
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There doesn't seem to be many offensive players on the punt coverage team, but M. Johnson was looking great with some blocks to open up a lane that E. Morris took.

 

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Filani is not afraid to catch in the middle, he really stretches out for a couple of grabs without fear of getting hit.
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Leach and Harrell were seen goofing around by joking with each other here.  We think it is great to see that bond forming between these two!
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Amendola continues to impress and live up to his reputation by making some impressive grabs for TDs.
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The O-line had a good rhythm today, they seemed to click really well.
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Olomua will lay some people out this year, a.k.a. "Lower the boom!"
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The DBs had a lot of holding today, but were very riled up.

 

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Hodges did not participate in this drill, he was with the O-line doing the run-scat drill.
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Harrell looked, as stated above, much more comfortable out there.  He doesn't seem as afraid of making mistakes as he used to and is increasing his throws downfield.  He looked pretty good today.
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Olomua took back what would have been an interception by stripping it out of S. Lewis' hands.
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Danny made some REALLY good moves out there today, he juked a DB onto the ground!
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B. Douglas looked to struggle a little bit in this drill.  He was full of spirit, but dropped a couple of passes he probably should have caught.
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E. Morris was all over the field today catching passes!  He was a sight to see, believe us!
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There was no lack of scuffles between the DBs and receivers today.  A lot of blows were thrown and a lot of talking going on.  Leach simply encouraged everyone to continue and keep their heads in the practice.
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On the downfield blocking practice runs, Leach wanted to hear a lot of pops today.  The spirit from the 1-1 drill carried over, and some situations became heated.  Eric Morris really knocked our socks off today, he was able to read blocks and make some good moves to keep running!  He is very agile, look for him to be a threat this season!

 

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Hodges looked great on ball placements today!
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Hodges found D. Amendola open in the middle of the field for a nice TD!  He threw over three or four defender's heads.
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We can't express how great Hodges looked on ball placement today, he had several over-the-shoulder passes to D. Amendola.  These two seem very comfortable with each other.
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The Offense clicked well during this drill, they were very systematic.
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Hodges had many TD passes today, going over…in between…and sometimes through defenders to get the ball to the receivers.  He was on FIRE!
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Meeks called a huddle halfway through this drill to pump up the other DBs.  He seems to be a real leader on this defense and attempted to get the other players' heads back in the drill.
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S. Woods had difficulty on a pass play while being wide open, he bobbled the ball a little and ended up dropping it.
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R. Johnson looked impressive today by snatching several balls away from DBs.
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Harrell had a some impressive downfield passes today, most to Danny Amendola.
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In this drill, the offense connected with 80-90 percent of the passes
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Harrell still seems to struggle with holding onto the ball a little too long sometimes.
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During the Red Zone portion of this drill, Hodges and Harrell both made some good throws for TDs.  We look much improved from our Red Zone abilities from last year!

 

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D-line looked good against the run today, and did a good job getting pressure on whoever the quarterback seemed to be.  NOTE:  This was against the 2nd string O-line, the starters gave them a run for their money!
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The second team O-line was seen doing up-downs after their part in this drill, for quite a while we might add.
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The starting O-line was giving five or six seconds per snap for the quarterback to find an open receiver.
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M. Johnson made several impressive grabs today during this drill.
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Keyunta Dawson accidentally ran into Hodges after G. Hall blocked pushed him into Hodges.  Leach is not happy when one of his quarterbacks gets touched, and made his feelings clear.
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The defense continued to look improved on the run, and was surrounding Henderson on a couple of run plays.
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Hodges scrambled on a play and got the pass off to R. Johnson for a 15 yard gain.  He is quick, and will be a double threat!
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Brandon Jones got pushed back on top of Hodges today.  Coach Bedenbaugh was not pleased and Brandon got an earful.
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E.J. Whitley did a good job at being the vocal leader of the O-line today.  He was getting everyone fired up!
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Gabe Hall makes a HUGE downfield block to D. Slay and another DB, knocking them both over.  This erupted the offense, and made the drill pick up the pace.  We were very impressed with this block!
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D. Slay did a good job at trying to get the defense fired up when they moved to goal line.
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The defense got VERY upbeat, there seemed to be a great competition between the two sides of the ball.  All you could hear was "Stop the run!"  The D was very pumped up, and stopped the majority of the offense's efforts to cross the goal line.
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During goal line, Leach again shows his bond with the players by joking with R. Johnson, who ends the conversation with patting Leach on the bottom.
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DBs had a lot of holds on goal line.
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S. Woods made a hard run up the gut for a TD, and does a great celebratory dance!

 

This practice was much improved from what we saw yesterday!  There was a lot of intensity from both sides of the ball, leading to many confrontations between players.  Saldi was seen on the field with a short arm cast with his index and middle fingers in the cast as well.  He was not in shoulder pads, but had a jersey.  Leach took time out of practice, during special teams, to talk with a soldier who brought his family to practice.  It seemed to us that they had a very good conversation and were exchanging some stories.  The soldier then got a first-class tour of the athletic facility by Chris Cook.  Tomorrow is the last open practice, and we will be there to cover it!  Check out our interview with Cody Hodges!

 

Cody Hodges

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