WFU Practice Report: August 10th

As football season is just around the corner, the gridiron Deacs have hit the practice field in preparation for the 2009 season. The following is DeaconSports' football practice update from August 10th.

It was a very spirited practice all night as they're hitting a little for the first time. The 1st half of practice contained a lot of drills and everyone seemed to be working very hard. The 2nd half of practice saw the defense getting the better of the O when they ran 11 on 11.

The defense was really swarming to the ball. Linebackers plugged a lot of holes against the run and secondary's coverage was really solid. Defensively, Josh Bush made a couple of great defensive plays in pass coverage, knocking down some potential long-gainers.

The quarterbacks, led by Riley Skinner, had a tough time finding receivers that were open. Mike Rinfrette did break one up the middle for a long gain for the offense and Chris Givens ran an end-around successfully, making a nice cutback to weave between some defenders and break through.

Givens and Jordan Williams made some nice catches during drills. Givens is showing nice hands so far. Marshall Williams also made some tricky grabs including an impressive one-hander on the sideline.

In drills, Skinner was deadly accurate most of the night. He threw perfect bombs in tight coverage to both Devon Brown and Givens. Brown continued to be the biggest threat underneath. Ryan McManus seemed okay but did not stand out. QB Brendan Cross still appeared smooth and accurate though he's mostly just getting drill reps right now. Skylar Jones looked good on short and underneath routes, hitting multiple receivers in stride, but didn't throw many long. Stachitas still seemed inaccurate and inconsistent. Not throwing for a long period coming off shoulder surgery could be affecting his timing...

On special teams, Shane Popham punted with the cover team most of the time. He had good hang time on his punts. Alex Wulfeck looked solid practicing off to the side as well. He hit some long ones and got good hang time on most punts. Jimmy Newman was inconsistent tonight. Several times in practice, he couldn't get his punts to turn over but his hang time is still really good. Popham was the most accurate on FGs by far. You can tell Newman's leg is the strongest of any kicker, but he just wasn't as consistent on FGs or punts tonight.

In line drills, Chris DeGeare looked like a man out there and was solid on every rep during one on one's. Jeff Griffin also looked good. Defensively, Kevin Smith and Kyle Wilber looked explosive coming off the edges. Both were very quick tonight. Frank Souza made some big impressions. He had a nice burst and showed great strength bull-rushing a couple of OL.

Michael Campanaro and J.T. Dixon were not dressed. Camp probably has another 3 weeks to fully heal.

With Riley Skinner running the first team offense, QB Ryan McManus was running with the 2nd team while Skylar Jones was with the 3rd. Joe Looney was going mostly with the 1st team OL along with Nenon, Birdsong, Griffin and DeGeare. Barrett McMillin ran mostly with the 2nd team. Kevin Harris seemed to get the majority of reps with the first team offense and made a couple of very nice runs in traffic. Josh Adams also ran with the 1st team often.

Offensively, WFU ran a lot of three wide receiver sets during 11 on 11. Usually Marshall Williams, Jordan Williams and Devon Brown ran with the first unit. Givens, Terence Davis, and Danny Dembry seemed to be with the 2nd team although a lot of switching back and forth occurred.

Next practice: Tuesday 8 PM. Thursday will be the first of two-a-days. The scrimmage Saturday will be at 2 PM over at BB&T Field. FanFest starts at 5 PM on Saturday.

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