First, a set of quarterback drills that hone both the short and long passing game. The signal callers were paired with a series of receivers to work on quick hitches, slants, and deeper go routes, again trying to get as many snaps and reps for as many players as possible. Watch the various release points, the accuracy and the timing, which can give some insight even during this most relaxed of drills.
Next, we move on to special teams for a pair of kickoff return and coverage videos, continuing our series on that aspect of Saturday's practice. In this drill, a coverage man moves downfield in his lane, then attacks the opposing blocker before running into another nearest the ball carrier. The goal is to quickly shed both blocks, and get into and wrap the ball carrier, serving as the return man. It's a drill involving four players simultaneously and maximizes the reps on a per-player basis.
The second segment of the session, with the same set-up.
Our first defensive drill takes us to the linebackers, who are working the turnover circuit. In this segment, the 'backers break into pass coverage, then break on a thrown pass. Continuing on with another drill, the unit works fumble recovery, and scooping the ball and scoring. It's the most basic drills, but one that goes back to coordinator Tony Gibson's philosophy of maximizing opponent miscues and being able to create a positive turnover ratio, as the Mountaineers did in a big way last year in finishing fifth in turnovers gained with 23 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries.
And finally, West Virginia's defensive backs work on the backpedal, hip flips, and acceleration out of breaks in this cone drill, overseen by corners coach Blue Adams. Watch the coach provide instruction, and go through the drill himself to correct one segment of the action. The players also finish break on a thrown pass, mimicking similar game time skills needed. It paid off in portions of the scrimmage session on Saturday, as Rasul Douglas stepped in front of a wideout and picked off an errant Skyler Howard pass, returning it for a touchdown.