September 1, 2009
CMU prepares for their season opener at Arizona
Game Week. It's what every college football team has been waiting for and marks the culmination of months and months of strenuous practice and workouts. For Central Michigan, game week started today and the Chippewas stage their final preparation before Saturday's game at Arizona. ChippewaCountry was able to attend practice today and came away some practice notes.
Standout Position: Quarterback
-The Chippewas QB play has seen times of inconsitency during camp and practice, but those times appear to be gone. It's starts with Dan LeFevour, who looked poised and accurate today. He didn't have a turnover and repeatidly put the ball where only his receivers could catch it. Ryan Radcliff and Derek Rifenbury both looked sharp as well. A.J. Westendorp ran the scout team and continues to improve every day he is on the practice field. Westendorp already has the build of a Division 1 quarterback, and once his mechanics come around he will be a solid QB.
As a whole, the quarterbacks were just sharp. Even in drills they consistently put the ball on the spot.
Concern: Offensive Line
-This unit took some bumps today as they received the best effort from the defense all practice long. Mike Repovz spent some time at tackle today as the offensive line tries to gel. Jeff Maddux returned to full contact practice and Eric Fisher once again looked very impressive. Overall, it appears this unit had an off day. They had some mental lapses and missed a few assignments, but they have been sharp all camp and the problems are easily correctable.
*Zurlon Tipton ran with the scout team offense as a running back.
*The punt return game is in great hands. Antonio Brown was his usual self and Ronnie Kennedy fielded punts as well.
*What can you say about Eric Fisher? Every day he gets better and better and he displays a mean streak that you look for in offensive lineman. He may be the steal of the 2009 recruiting class.
*Shamari Benton has been making solid contributions on special teams and looks to be an important piece there.
*Only a few players still have the white stripe on their helmet: Will Schwarz, Aaron McCord, Adam Schneid and another offensive lineman that looks to be walk-on Zach Wiersma.
*Also having a real strong practice today was Jahleel Addae. He caught the ball well and showed the ability to stretch the defense. Addae and Sean Skergan appear to be fighting for the #4 wide receiver position.
*Vince Agnew had a blocked field goal.
*At the end of practice, LeFevour went over and addressed the offensive line after they had a rough day. Just goes to show the leadership qualities he possesses and the importance he places on the offensive line.
*Caesar Rodriguez continues to look very strong as a pass rusher. He gave the offensive tackles fits today in drills.
*Calvin Hissong, Jean Pitts and Anthony Quinn were all present today and helping the team in any facet they can. CMU prides itself on keeping players involved with the program even if their health won't allow them to play.
*Sean Murnane was back practicing 100% and displayed what coaches have been saying, he's made huge improvements. Murnane was unstoppable at times at defensive tackle and looks primed for a big year.
*And finally, the team looks healthy as all the key players were back in practice today with little or no lingering effects. For a team that battled injuries every week in 2008, its refreshing to see 2009 is off to a healthy start.
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