Monday's practice session was in shorts and helmets, and as a result there was very little in terms of offense vs. defense work. There was some team pass protection with the offensive and defensive lines working on footwork and techniques, but other than that the offensive and defensive teams worked without opposition for most of the day.
The offense worked on increasing the tempo of their play calls and snaps. They ran several series of plays starting from midfield or the forty yard lines until they reached then end zone, then quickly regrouped to run another series.
The defense again focused on pursuit and alignments as they hustle to get their base coverages locked down before Saturday's scrimmage.
Players looking especially crisp included offensive lineman Lance Nimmo and wide receiver Miquelle Henderson, who was the target of several passes. Nimmo, who has been encouraged by offensive line coach Rick Trickett to be a bit more aggressive, looks to be putting everything together in anticipation of a good senior season.
Defensively, linebacker Grant Wiley appears to be moving well, with little trace of the hamstring injury that plagued him last season. Up front, Jason Davis is working toward the level of consistency that the coaches want. The talented Davis has all the skills to be an excellent defensive end in the 3-3 stack.
An anticipated position change came about in the secondary, where former free safety Angel Estrada moved down to the first team bandit spot in front of Chris Flanagan. That moved sophomore Jahmile Addae to first team at free safety. At the spur, converted wide receiver Jermaine Thaxton got most of the first team work in front of Arthur Harrison.
Fullback Hikee Johnson remained sidelined with a hamstring problem, which kept Moe Fofana on the field for most of the snaps at fullback.
Practice continues tomorrow with the team returning to pads and a full contact workout in the afternoon.