Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CMU Spring Practice Notes: Tuesday

The Chippewas hit the pads for the first time this spring and the coaching staff made sure they established a physical tone to practice. Here are some observations from the practice.

-The highlight of practice was the "Hoot and Holler" drill which was a 4-on-4 battle between the hashes from the 10-yard line. Each set of three blockers and a ball carrier went up against four defenders. They had four downs to score. There were plenty of big hits, with perhaps the biggest coming from Derek Carter as he hammered Malek Redd. It was one of the loudest pops I have heard in quite some time.
-Taylor Bradley, Tim Phillips, Tyler Reed, Matt Torres, and Kito Poblah each had nice runs to score while LaVarus Williams had a couple of nice hits.
-In passing skeleton against the defense, A.J. Westendorp had some nice deep ball throws including a sure fire touchdown pass to Jordan McConnell that would have been about a 70-yard play had the drill been able to go the full field. Westerndorp also had a nice throw to Jerry Harris that drew a pass interference penalty on Gary Jackson.
-McConnell also caught a nice deep ball from Ryan Radcliff in the drills.
-Dannie Bolden had a nice diving pass deflection on a pass to Torres that was on a 10-yard in route.
-The biggest issue of the day and for the spring so far has to be fumbled snaps under center. Each quarterback struggled with it and all stayed after practice to work on exchanges.
-The two-minute drill ended practice and the defense got the nod after Richie Hogan missed a lengthy field goal of over 40 yards.

The practice was certainly physical and gave the players an idea of what is expected on the field in the fall. Speaking of physical, Jahleel Addae is really playing physical from the safety position. I have been impressed with him. He is taking second string snaps right now, but I would have to expect he will see the field in the fall. The linebackers should be solid as Berning and Bellore are two of the best and guys like Staten and Shamari Benton have looked good in their positions. The biggest concern position wise would probably be defensive end, where CMU is lacking a lot of capable bodies who are of size and speed to play the position. Practice continues on Thursday, will have more info then.

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