Partial Pads, First Contact Highlight Day Three

On a mostly cloudy day with a few sprinkles of rain, the Mountaineer football team broke out shoulder pads for the first time this fall.

Special team work continued to get increased attention, with field goals, kickoffs and kickoff return team getting early period work. Both the first and second team field goal units went head to head with the field goal defense in live drills.

Next up were the kickoff and kickoff return squads. Adam Jones, Kay Jay Harris, Brian King, Cassell Smith, Bryan Wright, Jason Colson, and Aaron Neal all got chances to run back boots.

The teams then broke up into individual units for several periods of work. Head coach Rich Rodriguez again spent much of this time with the receivers. Passing drills were run almost nonstop during this time, with the receivers working on a couple of drills designed to drag their toe and keep it in bounds near the sideline.

From day to day, players can obviously have ups and downs. One of today's "up" players was receiver Rayshawn Bolden, who really seems to be improving.

In another bit of promising news, WVU's think quarterback corps continues to look solid. Charles Hales and Dwayne Thompson again threw the ball really well and Rasheed Marshall also continues to throw a better ball than he did last year. Marshall's short touch passes appear to be much more accurate and catchable so far this fall.

The offense and defense then squared off against each other for some half line drills, with plays alternating to each side. This lead to some of the first contact of the fall, with both the running and passing game getting attention.

As is usually the case when any pads are in evidence, some inside run drills with just the lines and running backs was also conducted, while the receivers and defensive backs squared off. Offensive lineman Dan Mozes continued his impressive play during one on one line work, while Ernest Hunter, Tim Brown and Adam Lehnortt also drew notice for solid play.

The cornerbacks also played well during these segments, with Jones, King and Frazier all making impressive plays. King had the hit of the day as he collided with Josh Bailey during skeleton drills. Bailey, to his credit, was able to hold onto the ball for the reception. Wide receiver John Pennington made a great diving catch as he tipped the ball in the air and grabbed it while landing on his back.

As has been the case the first two days, practice wound down with 11-on-11 work. The highlight of the 11-on-11 was a Brian King interception for a score.

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