Rod Report - Day XII (Afternoon)

Rich Rodriguez was in a rather laid back mood when he met with reporters following his team's second Thursday practice

The Mountaineers were in shells (shoulder pads and shorts) for the afternoon session. The offense worked a lot on the two-minute drill in both Thursday sessions.

"We did some third down situations. We did some two-minute drill both this afternoon and this morning, which is probably my favorite drill because it puts pressure on the quarterbacks," said the former Clemson offensive coordinator. "They've got to think quickly, they have to read defenses quickly, and they obviously have to take charge of the offense. We did about 15 minutes of it this morning, and about 20 minutes this afternoon."

For the most part the head coach seemed please with the performance of his quarterback trio during the two minute drill.

"They're getting better at it," he said. (Starting quarterback Patrick White) has done the best, but that's to be expected because he's a veteran. Both Jarrett (Brown) and Nate (Sowers) have been doing better at taking command. I can remember in the spring they were whispering instead of taking command. Now they're being more vocal and more confident. I think they made some pretty good decisions in the past couple of days."

Veteran journalist Mickey Furfari, who is in his 60th year covering fall camp, remarked that it seemed like Rodriguez was poised to throw the ball this year more than he has in the past.

"Oh yea…70 or 80 times a game!" Rodriguez said with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

The head coach doesn't feel that the quarterbacks have done more throwing in this camp than in any years past. He said that he is prepared to throw the ball more this year if it's needed.

"there are times when they can force you to throw the football simply by outnumbering you. Pat's looked very sharp throwing the football, and I think our wide receivers have done pretty well."

The biggest speed bump for the pass catchers has been injuries, both in the backfield and in the receiving corps. Rodriguez didn't seem overly concerned about the timing between White and his receivers being messed up, though he'd surely like to see some more healthy bodies between now and September 2.

"Our wide receivers and running backs have been the most banged up groups, so it's been hard to get that timing down," he said. "Brandon Myles and Ray Bolden have been doing well, and been pretty consistent. Tito Gonzales was doing well but did not practice today. We've got some makeup work to do."

Thursday was the final day of two-a-days, and Friday will be the final workout before the Mountaineers end camp with a scrimmage on Saturday. Following the scrimmage, Rodriguez and his staff will assess the team's progress through camp. Don't expect a decision to be made on the number two quarterback by then though. In fact, we may not find out who White's backup will be until the Marshall game.

"We'll take into account all three scrimmages," Rodriguez said. "They're still pretty close. We may not decide that until it gets to game week, and even then it might be so close that if we get to play our number two guy, we might play them both."

On the injury front, there was relatively good news regarding injured guard Greg Isdaner. His MRI revealed no tear, and his injury has been diagnosed as a sprain. He could return to practice as soon as Monday or Tuesday, but will not play in Saturday afternoon's scrimmage.

Finally, Rodriguez would like to ask a few bozos out there for a favor: please stop emailing kicker Pat McAfee. The sophomore has apparently been getting notes chastising him for being injured or out of shape.

"I don't understand why some of our fans would email our kids," asked the dumbfounded head coach. "They shouldn't do that to those guys. Our kids are working hard. A bunch of fans were emailing Pat McAfee. He asked me what advice I had and I told him to do what I do: don't read them. That solves that problem."

The first half hour of Friday's practice will be open to the media. We'll have notes from that, as well as another Rod Report tomorrow afternoon.


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