August 13, 2011

Practice Rewind: Day 6 (am session)

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Coach Banker + Jabral Johnson

RELATED ARTICLE : Fall Camp Headquarters


Ahh the joys of two-a-days, daily doubles, twin bills. The Beaver football team got into the meat of their fall camp this morning as Coach Riley led them out for their first am practice of camp. They'll return tonight to Reser Stadium at 6:30 pm for the nightcap. The morning session however saw the team come out in full pads and they were ready for some contact.

This fall there will be an extra emphasis placed on these morning sessions as the team will play a rare 9 am kickoff game in the 2nd week of the season against the Badgers of Wisconsin. With such an early kickoff, it is imperative that the Beavers take full advantage of these early practices and treat them as game-like.

Practice started with special teams work, field goal and punting. I don't think Johnny Hekker was quite awake during his first set of reps punting as several were shanks. As he warmed up though, he uncorked a few boomers that had Markus Wheaton, Jordan Poyer, Rashaad Reynolds and Brandin Cooks backpedaling as they tried to coral the kicks.

After special teams work, the first half of practice the schedule went as follows: customary position/individual work, followed by inside drill, skelly with an emphasis on 1st & 10 situations, and a full team session focused on 1st & 10. The team then split again for some 1v1 and 3v3 work, then jumped back into a 3rd down skelly and wrapped up with a full team session working on 3rd down.

One area the Beavers really struggled in last year was 3rd down situations on both sides of the ball. The offense failed to move the chains on 3rd down, while the defense seemed to not be able to get off the field. At times, both sides of the ball looked good. Ryan McCants was called on often to convert on 3rd & short yardage, while Scott Crichton and the defensive line pinned their ears back and got after the quarterbacks on 3rd & long situations.

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