River Falls Recap: 8/3 AM Practice

Practiced started off low key this morning with the team broken up by position and working on skills. By 9:16 a.m. the team gathered together on the middle practice field for a team stretch and warm-up. This morning's practice was the warmest so far with a temperature of 75 degrees.

Offensive tackle Damion McIntosh was back on the practice field and in pads with his teammates after spending the first few practice sessions in a conditioning boot camp. Tight end Brad Cottam spent time on the bike instead and did not practice with the team after leaving Sunday's practice with a slight limp.

At 9:23 a.m. the team broke apart for more position-specific work. The offensive line was aggressive as it worked at driving a five-man sled off the line. The next drill required the line to carry medicine balls, weaving in between barriers and practicing pass blocking.

The defensive line went one-on-one with a single sled and worked on blocking technique. Safeties had their own one-on-one session, working on covering the pass and closing for the tackle. The running backs worked one-on-one with blocking pads.

The receivers and quarterbacks paired up in a passing drill in which several passes were dropped. The passes were accurate, but the receivers were inconsistent, which has been a problem that has the attention of the coaching staff. Dwayne Bowe has been the only receiver to show that he can manage the responsibility.

The running backs used four cones set in a box formation as they carried the ball while changing direction and speed.

On the other side of the ball, the linebackers ran through different schemes and worked on communicating the coverage and learning their assignments.

A drill that has been run at every practice so far brought the quarterbacks and receivers together, with four quarterbacks throwing to receivers who do not know who they will be receiving the ball from until it is thrown. The drill tests the ability of the receivers to react and adjust quickly.

The defensive backfield ran a man coverage drill. Each defender had to locate an offensive opponent, but the drill did not permit tackling.

Making the running game the focus, quarterbacks, offensive linemen and running backs took on the linebackers after an air horn signaled at 9:48 for a change in drills. The drill consisted of three different groups setup on the right, left and center of the field taking turns for reps. Running backs took handoffs and had to identify the open hole. The drill was run at half speed without tackling.

Next, quarterbacks Brodie Croyle and Ingle Martin spent time with the running backs while Tyler Thigpen and Matt Cassel worked out with the receivers.

Kicker Ryan Succop began field goal practice at 10:01 a.m. and missed his first attempt from the 25-yard line on the left hash mark, hitting the left upright. He made his next three attempts from the left hash at the 29, 32 and 34-yard lines. He did not face a full-speed rush.

After field goals the team transitioned to a kickoff cover drill. Defenders took off from three lines, working past blockers and moving up field to pinch the runner.

The quarterbacks tested their accuracy as they worked with netted targets. Getting down the three-step drop was the focus.

At 10:08 a.m. the offense and defense ran a 7-on-9 drill for 20 minutes before closing with 11-on-11. Safety Jon McGraw had an interception, picking off Croyle 15 yards up the right sideline.

Over at the designated conditioning zone, the players appeared to be "fishing," as they pulled dummies towards them by a string while sitting on the ground.

The final horn of practice sounded at 10:50 a.m.. The team made its way to the middle practice field and was led through a team stretch by strength and conditioning coach Cedric Smith.

River Falls Recap: 8/2 PM

River Falls Recap: 8/1 PM

River Falls Recap: 8/1 AM

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