Pads A Poppin'

The football team donned full pads for the first time this afternoon on the grass practice fields at the Mountaineer football complex.

The coaching staff wasted no time in getting to work this afternoon, as at least six practice periods were devoted to full out scrimmage work.

The passing attack received a good deal of focus, with attention paid to every part of that play phase. Head coach Rich Rodriguez hopes to be able to do more in the passing game this year than he did last year, when his attack was limited due to personnel mismatches and shortages.

This season, Rodriguez plans to get his entire pacakge installed, and so far progression in that area looks good. He estimated that he had approximately 70% of the offense in at the conclusion of last week's practice, so barring any major problems he should be able to get most of his scheme ready to go by the start of the season.

The defense held the upper hand for a good bit of the session. Adam Jones, Lance Frazier and David Upchurch all recorded interceptions, while some players at new spots drew notice.

With the injury situation still a concern in he secondary (more on that in a moment) second teamers got a lot of playing time. Arthur Harrison and Mike Lorello got the majority of repetitions at free safety, with lawrence Audena and Jahmile Addae moving up to the bandit spot.

Upchurch got the majority of his time at defensive end, with Kelvin Dubouse and Ernest Hunter manning the nose guard.

The defense also worked on a variety of zone blitz packages this afternoon, which figures to be the key to an effective pass rush with only three down linemen in the base defense.


The injury front for some players took a little turn for the better today, as wide receiver Miquelle Henderson returned to the field and the prognosis for defensive back Brian King brightened. King, who suffered a muscle strain in his back that left him hobbled on Saturday, has improved rapidly and hopes to get back on the field soon.

On the down side, Travis Garvin was dressed in a green shirt which signified limited contact for him. Lew Daniels sustained a possible concussion late in practice, while Anthony Mims continued to struggle with his hamstring. Mims could be ready to return Wednesday or Thursday.

Tight end Josh Bailey returned to practice after spending some time with his father, who has some health problems.

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