Commodores show improvement in spring drills

The Vanderbilt Commodores conducted their third spring practice session under cloudy skies in Vanderbilt stadium on Friday evening. Vanderbilt practiced in full pads for the first time under new Head Coach Bobby Johnson.

The Commodores started out with their usual stretching and agility drills and then moved into offense versus defense matchups.


Head Coach Bobby Johnson gives instructions to linebacker Libnir Telusca.

Both quarterbacks executed the offense well with each completing many fine passes. Running backs Ian Gaines and Ronald Hatcher also raised some eyebrows with their agressive play. Offensive lineman Nigel Seaman displayed great improvement over the first two practices.


Defensive coordinator Bruce Fowler gives instructions as Kelechi Ohanaja (48), Justin Giboney (14), Ben Koger (25), and Mike Martin (7) listen.

The offense looks to be a little ahead of the defense at this point and seemed to frustrate the defensive players at times. Offensive and defensive players showed super motivation late in the practice session encouraging their team mates on repeatedly.


Quarterback Benji Walker (3) assists fellow quarterback Jay Cutler (17) in stretching.

The team appears to be getting more comfortable with the new coaching staff. The coaches continue pressing the players to perform drills correctly by shouting out instructions and giving players "up and downs" but the players seem to be getting used to their coaches expectations.


Offensive linemen Jordan Pettit (74) and Greg Robson (67) conduct warmup drills.

After the practice Head Coach Bobby Johnson had these comments on the practice session:

"It's only the third day of practice, our first day in pads. I thought it was a typical first day in pads. They wanted to get out and hit and go hard. Sometimes when you do that they want to please you so much that they forget their technique and sorta go wild on you a bit so you have to re-teach them somethings. I was pleased with their attitude and their agressivness. I think we have some guys that'll hit out here."

On players that stood out:

"No, in three days I'm not ready to proclaim anybody a allstar. I'm pleased with a lot of guys. The key thing is they have a great attitude and they want to get better. Nobody likes to lose and these guys have done enough of that. They are working hard and trying to get better."


Strong safety Ben Koger runs through drills. Koger had a fine interception in Thursday's practice.



On goals for Saturday:

"We are not going to scrimmage tomorrow. It's just a regular practice. We'll do some hitting and tackling and stuff like. Right now we are down to just eight offensive linemen."

On the condition of the offensive line:

"Justin Giesinger is coming off that leg and I don't know if he's going to be able to go tomorrow. We just have to watch him closely. He didn't reinjure anything. It's sore and tender on him. We just have to be smart about it. Jim May is not hurt anymore than he was but he is coming off an operation and we can't afford to get him hurt out here. We have to keep those two out of contact."

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