Football Camp News and Notes

The first week of fall football camp felt more like spring football, due mostly to the absence of the physical grind of previous years.

That's not to say there isn't hard work being done. It's simply that two a day practices put a special kind of physical demand on players that one daily session, no matter how long, can't imitate.

Quarterback Rasheed Marshall, among others, wonders how the lack of daily two a days might affect the team, but notes that the rigorous conditioning schedule could help fill the void.

"Maybe," Marshall said of the idea that the team might miss the mental and physical boost they normally get when two a days are over. "Our practice schedule is different, but we condition here and there. Our conditioning can play a part, and it can drain you out, so we'll just have to see how it plays out."


Players missing practice time Saturday morning included Vince Beamer, who tweaked the hamstring that he injured at the Big 33 game, and Josh Bailey, whose shoulder injury could keep him out for at least another week.

The list grew in the afternoon session, when Travis Garvin, Miquelle Henderson and Chris Henry all were sidelined. Henderson continues to struggle with rehabilitation of his broken leg, while Henry had problems with his back. Jahmile Addae was held to limited contact during the afternnon session as well.

Adam Lehnortt also was on a stationary bicycle for much of the afternoon session. Lehnortt's absence gave Alex Lake a number of repetitions at middle linebacker, where he responded well.

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Work continues on new rush schemes and blitz pacakages, with the linebackers getting a great deal of walk through time on the new looks.

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The defensive line is doing a much better job on getting their hands up in passing lanes. Warren Young, who appears to be making steady improvements in his game, deflected at least two passes during Saturday's drills.

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While the indoor facility did allow Saturday afternoon's practice to be completed, the shortcomings of such a building are quickly apparent. Work on the punt and kickoff games are hampered due to the fact that kicked balls almost routinely bounce off the roof, or worse, get hung up in the netting in the ceileing. By the end of Saturday's punt work, almost a dozen footballs had failed to return to earth.

The AstroTurf2000 surface also prevented the practice from being a full tackle session, as the coaching staff didn't want to subject the players to the turf burns that old style artifical surfaces can cause. Getting an AstroPlay surface in the indoor facility remains one of Rich Rodriguez' top facility improvement requests.

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