Final Week of Camp Begins

The first of Monday's two practice sessions were conducted in shells on Mountaineer Field, and it's the toughest time of the preseason.

"This is our version of hell week," head coach Rich Rodriguez joked after the morning session, but the fourth-year head coach undoubtedly would like a little assistance from the underworld with the weather. "It's hot, but not quite hot enough yet," Rodriguez observed.

That didn't keep the coaching staff from turning up the heat on the receiving corps, which suffered through a second session of dropped passes - at least too many for the coaches' liking. Everyone, including the injured receivers, went through some individual work with the jugs machine following the regular practice session.

Specail teams work continued to heat up, but the results there were more encouraging. Phil Brady and Brad Cooper both booted the ball well during punt and placekick practice, with Cooper nailing another 40-plus yarder, which was his bugaboo last year. The punt block team also got in some extensive work during the morning session.

Without full pads, the passing game was again the focus of the offense, with short and medium range throws dominating the work. Wideout Nathan Forse had the play of the morning with a juggling 45-yard touchdown reception of an Adam Bednarik pass.

In additon to the throw, Bednarik also had some nice scrambles, and displayed what Rodriguez called "command of the offense". However, the battle for the third QB position is far from over, as the Mountaineer mentor termed it "neck and neck" between Bednarik and Dwayne Thompson.

RIFLE REPORTS

In other QB news, Charles Hales will get 25-30 snaps per game at wide receiver, according to Rodriguez. Hales and Thompson "are both good enough to be in the wide receiver rotation right now". Hales snaps likely won't come at quarterback, barring injury. "Rasheed Marshall is a quarterback only," Rodriguez noted.

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Wideout is still littered with missing players, including Miquelle Henderson, Eddie Jackson, Tito Gonzalez and Dorrell Jalloh. On the good news front, Jackson is expected to be cleared for action on Tuesday, with Henderson following in a couple more days. Still, both have missed the bulk of camp so far.

Offensive lineman Travis Garrett (elbow) and defensive back Jerry White were in green (limited action) jerseys, while defensive back Dee McCann is still sidelined with a hamstring injury. Offensive lineman Mike Watson, who returned to practice Saturday, is still working with the reserves.


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