Rod Report - Day Four

Punter Phil Brady has the best practice of his career Wednesday as West Virginia pressured the senior and newcomers Pat McAfee and Scott Kozlowski.

Brady got off several long, booming punts against a full blitz.

"Every punt he had was outstanding," head coach Rich Rodriguez said of Brady. "Kozlowski punted well, too. But (Brady) has worked hard at it. He needs to do it consistently."

Brady has said that he is so harried at practice that even the vaunted Virginia Tech special teams did not faze him.

Yesterday was the first day in a helmet and shoulder pads, and McAfee was less crisp and accurate.

"You could tell it with him," Rodriguez said. "Today with pads on and a live rush, he was better. Tomorrow in full gear it will be another test for him, but I like his temperament so far."

Bridgeport standout Tim Lindsey is West Virginia's long-snapper until he loses the job, Rodriguez said. Lindsay was in class today, and thus did not snap.

"Behind him we have (tight end) Adam Hughes and (defensive back) Leyonne Price," Rodriguez said. "But Tim Lindsey is the guy. We're ok behind him. We were spoiled with Scott Fleming. But at least Tim has snapped in a game."

WVU improved overall from yesterday's sloppy, over-aggressive session. The Mountaineers trimmed 20 minutes off Tuesday's poor performance, an indication that WVU not only practiced more intelligently and harder, but also with better attention and ability.

Roriguez ordered practice tape off NFL teams to show West Virginia how to practice in just helmets and shoulder pads. That will arrive Thursday, and the team will view it in preparation for future practices. The Mountaineers drill in full pads for the first time Thursday. The first two-a-day practice is Friday.

"I can't wait," Rodriguez said. "We need it bad. Heck, these guys are getting popsicles. Can you imagine that" Water" We never got water. And some are still cramping up. But I think players today are more muscle-bound and have less fat, and so it is tougher on them in some ways."

Half of the practice time thus far has been individual - drills, hand and footwork, getting out of patterns and pass coverage. WVU also works two special teams along with extra point and field goal and punt everyday.

Today's session was kickoff, and West Virginia now has all phases in.

The Mountaineers uses 10 minutes everyday to practice third and long. They are also extensively working against the blitz in anticipation of a more-aggressive Syracuse defense.

WVU will begin tackling live and at full speed Thursday. That gives the staff the best chance to evaluate newcomers. The Mountaineers are a bit nicked-up, but there were no significant injuries.


Adam Bednarik's arm is showing signs of fatigue. Rodriguez said he will limit throws over the next few days. Bednarik and Pat White ran well in today's session, and White, especially, made good decisions in the running game.

J.R. House and Dwayne Thompson are still very much in the running.

Linebacker Johnny Holmes is impressing, but Rodriguez cautioned that the coaches had to realize that he was a freshman. Holmes is winning most of the sprints, and he is running to do that instead of just going through the paces.

"He is only 215 pounds, but he has to play bigger than that," Rodriguez said.

Linebacker Boo McLee is finally running West Virginia's defense more consistently than his high school defense of Uniontown.

"He is finally getting it," Rodriguez said. "He can make big plays for us."

Receiver might be West Virginia's biggest offensive concern, Rodriguez said. Brandon Myles made a great catch, but was a little sore and did not finish practice. Vaughn Rivers and Jeremy Bruce are also doing well.

Rayshawn Bolden did not have a good practice Tuesday, though he looked good during media hour.

Marquis Melvin's career as a Mountaineer is over.

The freshman defensive back from North Carolina left on the first day of camp to sign a recording contract. He was able to come back, but again did not show for today's practice.

"This is the second time," Rodriguez said. "His career is over. This is the second fastest quitting I have ever had."

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