Passing Game Gets Workout

Continued gloomy weather chased the Mountaineer football team indoors for practice on Wednesday, and as a result the emphasis was on the passing game in the cozy confines of the Caperton Indoor Facility.

Although the sun was out and shining by the end of practice on Wednesday, the threat of more rain and the general gloomy conditions led the Mountaineer football team to move their thirteenth practice of the year inside.

The team was equipped in "underlays" which aren't full pads, but do allow for some contact. No tackling was done, and the quarterbacks again donned hands-off jerseys for the session.

Other than a couple periods of limited work on the running game (which was again hampered due to the absence of Jason Colson and Bryan Wright), the passing game, and pass defense, were under the microscope. During seven on seven drills, a great deal of work was done on the short passing game, including screens to both the wide receivers and the running backs, while 11 on 11 work turned to intermediate and downfield passing.

The defense also got into the act, and worked on implementing a number of different blitzes out of their base 3-3 set.

The offensive star of the day was was wide receiver Brandon Myles, who has been making an impact on the crowded wide receiver corps this spring. The speedy sophomore made a number of catches, including a diving grab inside the five-yard line, a nice adjustment on an underthrown deep ball, and a leaping grab over cornerback Anthony Mims.


The running game continued to suffer as both Jason Colson (ankle) and Bryan Wright (sprained knee), sat out the session in red jerseys. Both were termed very doubtful for the spring game this Saturday. Wright has been examined by physicians, and there does not appear to be any damage that would require surgery.

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Offensive line coach Rick Trickett continued to look at different combinations along the offensive line. With Jeremy Sheffey in a red jersey, both Garin Justice and Travis Garrett got work with the first team line at tackle, with Jeff Berk moving back to guard.

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Execution was a bit better, but judgment of improvment is tough to make when full contact is off the boards. Generally, however, receivers caught the ball better, and the quarterbacks, highlighted by Charles Hales, threw the ball well.

Kay Jay Harris had a highlight play where he tipped ball up to himself and caught a pass between two defenders on wheel route, and Chris Henry made another excellent grab.

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Rasheed Marshall also made some plays with his feet, avoiding the rush and either taking off for gains or getting passes away. His best of the day was a play on which he avoided a blitz, then hit Miquelle Henderson, who completed the sequence with a nice move that allowed him to get into the end zone.

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The defense worked on a number of blitzes, which showed the staff's intent to get pressure on the quarterback in any manner possible. Adam Jones had a stellar play where he slapped the ball out of Rasheed Marshall's hands, which was recovered by Jason Hardee.

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With running backs again in short supply, Lawrence Audena was back on offense today.

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Dwayne Thompson got all of the third team snaps as Adam Bednarik remained on the sidelines during the seven on seven and 11 on 11 sessions.

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Teams were selected for the Gold-Blue spring game on Saturday.

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The Fairmont State coaching staff took in practice on Saturday. Six former Mountaineers are on the current Falcon roster.

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