Monday Night's Practice Report

After shutting down the red zone during the morning, Wisconsin's defense shut down the two-minute drill in the evening, making the offense scratch its head after a long day of football in Camp Randall.

MADISON - Even a change of clothing couldn't help UW's offense break through against the defense Monday night.

Even though the team switched from full pads in the morning to just short and shoulder pads Monday night, Wisconsin's defense kept the pressure on the quarterbacks, results that were apparent during the two-minute drill at the end of practice.

With both units starting on their own 28-yard line, both units couldn't avoid the interceptions. With the ones, Scott Tolzien was able to move the chains on fourth down with a 25-yard completion to Nick Toon. He wasn't as fortunate on the next fourth down, being sacked on an outside rush by Chris Borland and compounded the problem by continuing the play, not seeing cornerback Antonio Fenelus on a pass play intended for Kendricks.

Jon Budmayr's Monday blues continued when a pass intended for Jared Abbrederis sailed on him and landed in the waiting arms of safety Conor O'Neill, who also picked off Budmayr in the morning session of practice.

"That was the first time we worked two minute and you can tell we need to work in that department," Head Coach Bret Bielema said.

The goal for the double day practices, according to Bielema, is to try and be specific on certain areas of the game, like red-zone offense and the two-minute drill in the extra periods.

Cornerback Depth

Fenelus was the star of camp Monday with his second interception and after a slow start, according to Bielema, has played exceptional since last Thursday. Working with the ones, it appears Fenelus has leapfrogged Devin Smith for the starting cornerback spot opposite Niles Brinkley, pushing Smith to the nickel position.

Marcus Cromartie has also stepped up his game. Having longer length than Fenelus, Cromartie has been pushing for a spot in the rotation, which Bielema says is feasible with how well the group has been playing.

Even with the young guys raising their game, it appears Brinkley, the lone senior cornerback, has taken his experience to heart.

"You can all the defensive coaches this (but Niles) is playing the best football he has ever played here," Bielema said. "He's very consistent …He's committed to doing what he needs to do."

Precautionary Measures

Much like in year's past, players with minor injuries will get one session off so they are fresh when the season starts. One of those players is senior Blake Sorensen, who got sore on the backside of his calf. Bielema didn't think it would be anything significant.

Defensive end Pat Muldoon and safety Aaron Henry sat out as precautionary measures due to previous ACL knee injuries. Henry suffering his knee injury preparing for the 2008 Outback Bowl and Muldoon suffered his in scout team work last season. On the same accord, Curt Phillips returned for the night shift after sitting out the morning session.

"It's kind of the Joe Thomas formula of guys that have had knee injuries," Bielema said, referring to how Thomas went through fall camp in 06 after his knee surgery. "The one thing we've really found, if guys are feeling good and practicing well, especially with knee injuries, to let them keep doing that and not overtax them. Keep them out of double days. What really happens is once it's irritated and you get swelling in it, it's hard to calm it back down."

After going through a procedure Tuesday to help him with a chronic groin problem, sophomore defensive end Brendan Kelly will miss three weeks. With NCAA rules stating that if a person can't compete or practice until after the first day class, the school can bring in another player.

That allowed Bielema to remove Kelly from the 105-man roster and replace him with redshirt sophomore linebacker Coddye Ring-Noonan.

"The good news is after those three weeks he's probably going to be able to hop right back into it if everything goes well," Bielema said. "(The surgery is) something to help him with the healing process."

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