August 9, 2008

Practice report: Two-a-days are here

The Missouri Tigers will have their first two-a-day practice session on Saturday. Practice number one was a two hour and fifteen minute session in full pads. PowerMizzou.com has the day's report:

*Brian Coulter was without any red and was ready to go in practice. He is, it appears, being worked in slowly. I'd expect it to be a couple of days at least before he is really up to speed.

*Chase Daniel was back in action as expected, with mom and dad watching from the sidelines.

*Jake Harry had another solid day punting the ball. But, as Gary Pinkel said after practice, "We never really know until we're in that first football game." It wasn't at all a comment against Harry, just the truth that kicker and punter are the positions where it is most difficult to simulate real game situations.

*The Tigers will be breaking in a new long snapper this season. Brock Christopher is running first there right now, but after practice Pinkel was gushing about freshmen Beau Brinkley and Brad Madison at that spot. Apparently, it really helps to be from Northwest Missouri if you want to be a long snapper. Ray-Pec walk-on Terry Dennis worked in the rotation as well.

*Castine Bridges appeared to tweak an ankle early in practice. He put on a red bib and was held out of 11-on-11. In his place, Tremane Vaughns and Kevin Rutland both took reps with the first team.

*Some notes from one-on-one receiving drills:

Derrick Washington beat Sean Weatherspoon with a nice route. Washington has quick feet and really changes direction well.

Jeremy Maclin nearly made a circus catch on a fade over Hardy Ricks but could not quite hold on. I've been impressed with Ricks this first week.

Tommy Saunders made a great catch on a slant despite near perfect coverage by Carl Gettis.

Justin Garrett won the first two matchups I saw him in. I think Garrett is another guy who has really had a good week.

*Austin Wuebbels was splitting time with Dain Wise with the first team offensive line at right guard. Both players got plenty of reps.

"He's making good progress," Dave Christensen told me. "He's put some weight on, now he's up over 300 pounds. He's a physical kid, he's still going through the learning process, but he's doing a nice job out there competing."

Daniel told me the new-look offensive line has picked things up faster than he expected they would.

*During 9-on-9 drills, Washington broke free from Weatherspoon. As he headed back to the huddle, the tailback let the SI cover boy know about it. "You know I'm breaking that arm tackle," Washington screamed.

*Back to the offensive line, I spent a lot of time watching the one-on-one drills with the defensive line. Here are some highlights:

Terrell Resonno beat Ryan Madison twice by just using his speed to go to the outside.

Wuebbels made an impression with a takedown of Dominique Hamilton. It wasn't all perfect for the redshirt freshman. Ziggy Hood ran right through him on one rep. Again, nobody has had much success slowing Hood this week. Wuebbels did stonewall Jaron Baston later in the drill.

Elvis Fisher stonewalled Stryker Sulak in the first two matchups they had. I really think Fisher has a lot of promise. After Sulak heated up, he had his way in a couple of matchups with other linemen, including one time he went right around Kurtis Gregory.

Gregory got some revenge on Chris Earnhardt, nearly throwing him in the air.

Coulter's first shot was against Colin Brown and the all-Big 12 tackle won the matchup pretty easily.

Dan Hoch had a tough time handling Tommy Chavis. On one play, Chavis went around Hoch, who wrapped his arms around Chavis' waist from behind to slow him down. "Hey, hey, hey, hey, freshman, don't do that," Hood hollered.

*In a one-on-one drill where skill players try to get past a defensive man, Trey Hobson drove LaRoderick Thomas backwards a full ten yards before picking him up and slamming Thomas to the turf.

*Here are some highlights of 11-on-11:

Jimmy Jackson did not get a handoff clean from Daniel and put the ball on the turf. Luke Lambert pounced on it for the takeaway.

With the score tied 6-6, the first offense went against the first defense on a third and four. Hood burst through the line and batted down Daniel's pass to give the defense the win.

At one point, Andrew Gachkar pushed Daniel, who hit the ground on an option. Gachkar was immediately reprimanded by coaches and players alike. Quarterbacks, especially the starting ones, aren't supposed to hit the grass.

Jimmy Costello made a nice play late, stepping up in the pocket to avoid pressure. He tossed about a 40-yard pass into the arms of Gahn McGaffie who was just a couple of yards behind Cornell Ellis.

*Play of the Day: LaRoderick Thomas took a screen pass, put on a fancy move and completely reversed field. He ended up with about a 35-yard gain after an impressive run. Thomas is running second team and could be a legitimate threat for some meaningful playing time.

*Player of the Day: It has to be Wuebbels. His day wasn't perfect, but he has done enough in camp to put Wise on notice that the starting job is not locked up by any stretch of the imagination.

The Tigers return to practice at 3:45 this afternoon for the day's second session.



 

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