Bednarik, Brady Ready For Challenge

In the midst of the dog days of summer, the West Virginia University football team continues its preparation for fall practice, which begins Saturday, August 6.

Much of the summer attention has been heaped on the question marks surrounding the quarterback position. While youth and inexperience will be a focal point throughout two-a-days next month, so too will the health of Adam Bednarik as he works his way back from off-season shoulder surgery.

Bednarik had surgery to repair a complete tear of the rotator cuff in his throwing arm prior to WVU's appearance in the Jan. 1 Toyota Gator Bowl. Bednarik has been throwing freely this summer, while receiving treatment twice a day as part of the rehabilitation.

"It's been feeling pretty good," Bednarik said. "I've been getting therapy extra therapy here and there."

The extra therapy comes as a result of the extra strain Bednarik is placing on his shoulder this summer as he tries to get to full strength, both in terms of distance and velocity. He says he can now throw a football up to distances of 50 or 60 yards, and says his velocity is increasing gradually.

Bednarik is expected to compete for the starting quarterback job vacated by Rasheed Marshall. But the redshirt sophomore will be monitored closely as the rigors of fall two-a-days begins to impact an arm the Mountaineers are relying upon.

"If it starts bothering me, we'll back it down a bit," Bednarik said.

Bednarik's health could have a direct effect on how much impact J.R. House has for the Mountaineers this season. The 25-year old freshman is also working his arm back into football shape following surgery, and has looked good in summer workouts.

* * * * * *

If you think Phil Brady is worried about one of the nation's most-coveted punters entering the WVU program this fall, think again.

Phil Brady
Brady, now a senior, enters his final season without a guaranteed job. The nation's No. 1 prep punter, Scott Kozlowski, will create a fierce competition in August for punting duties this fall. Brady welcomes the challenge.

"I think its a good thing," Brady says of Kozlowski's arrival. "It's like with a race. If you are running against someone, you are going to run faster."

Brady's spent the summer months in Morgantown working on all the nuances that could help him produce a stellar senior campaign, such as flexibility and leg strength. Oh, and then there's consistency.

"It's hard to do it right every time, and that's the key," Brady said. "A 70-yard punt does nothing if you hit two 10's right after it."

On an interesting side note, Brady was quite complimentary of WVU's punt coverage in practice over the past year. He said that they were so fast and applied so much pressure, that in-game situations were actually much slower. Brady stated that he rushed several punts early in the season for this very reason, as he expected opposing punt coverage units to be arriving quicker than they were. Even Virginia Tech's.

BlueGoldNews Top Stories