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April 25, 2011
Coaches look to develop depth in practice #13
After some early morning rainfall, the sun came out for practice No. 13, which was held in shorts but still featured intensity on both sides of the ball.
The practice was held inside Mountaineer Field, and at the end of practice Offensive Coordinator Dana Holgorsen believed the team still has a long ways to go.
"Just like everything else we're doing in practice, there's a couple things that was alright, but a lot of things we didn't do well .", he said.
"It's the natural progression of the spring. Getting guys good and having them understand what we're doing, it's going to take some time."
The defense continued to look good, including a Najee Goode interception on a soft touch pass from Geno Smith and a breakup on a pass down the middle by Travis Bell and Terence Garvin on a pass intended for Tavon Austin.
The defense also was ready with around five blue shirts waiting on the patented Austin reverse play that has been used multiple times this spring.
Josh Francis drew the ire of Head Coach Bill Stewart when he left his feet on a blitz and happened to collapse into Paul Millard, knocking him over. Millard hoped up on the play, but Stewart was quick to remind Francis about the drills.
"Learn how to practice without pads," he screamed.
Vernard Roberts once again impressed running with the first unit. Roberts had a couple of nice runs and some swing passes, showing a nice burst in the open field.
"His effort has been good, he's just green - same thing as Paul (Millard), he does some good things and then he does a real bonehead thing - the Roberts kid is the same thing," Holgorsen. "He doesn't know what he's doing half the time but at least he does it with a tremendous amount of effort and good attitude. He comes out willing to work every day. I'm happy with where he's at."
Trey Johnson also got in the action with a couple of nice runs, although there was very limited contact.
The first team offense had a couple of nice plays in the two-minute drill near the end of the session, including a great throw from Geno Smith to Tyler Urban down the middle of the field for a nice chunk of yards. Urban continues to show he will be a factor down the middle this season.
On the next play, Smith connected with J.D. Woods for a touchdown on a deep post.
"It's still running the same plays in a hurry up mode which we do a lot of things up tempo so it's not a huge adjustment for them," Holgorsen said. "It's just getting stuff on tape as far as these guys understanding what the situation is and knowing when to get out of bounds and when to try to get as many yards as you can."
Stedman Bailey continued to make plays on the outside with back-to-back catches from Millard on out patterns.
"He appears to be more comfortable and he's making plays. He's doing well. He's been consistent and I like what we've seen from him," Holgorsen said.
Shawne Alston and Ryan Clarke both were still on the sidelines with red jerseys, while safety Mike Dorsey was in a green jersey after a left groin injury.
Ivan McCartney was observed during the early portion of practice practicing blocking against the wall.
"He's hurt I guess. I coach them when they are here," Holgorsen said.
And with one practice remaining before the annual Gold Blue Game Friday, Holgorsen is still looking for consistency at all positions.
"Once we locate those guys that do things right like Tavon. He's been incredibly consistent and good effort. Those are the guys you're looking for. He's extremely skilled and extremely talented," he said. "And if you get him to play hard and know what he's doing and have a good attitude, then you've got a real player."
The next practice session is scheduled for Wednesday morning.