8/9 Practice News and Notes

Alex Kinal takes a punt (via MessengerNews)

Made it back out to the practice field tonight, and I'm sure WakeJake can add his own notes. I went to the other side of the field and managed to see the kickers and linemen a lot more, as they went head to head.

You can also check in on our Twitter feed and see what we were thinking/tweeting as it was happening.

Click through the jump for thoughts on tonight's practice!

 

  • Tonight was the first practice with shells on, and the guys were rearing to hit each other on both sides of the ball. There were a couple of tackles, but for the most part they just played wrap-up. The D-line and O-line went pretty hard at each other and it was fun to see.
  • Nikita Whitlock was once again a menace to deal with, and simply put cannot be blocked one on one, especially in the drills that were being done. He got to the "quarterback" (yellow cone thing) every single time he blitzed.
  • The guards and tackles did a nice job of picking up the blitzes, and also did well on the one-on-one drills. It's hard to discern how well the O-line is working as a unit because of the constant shuffling going on between players. Still trying different players in different places.
  • Derricus Ellis did a great job as OLB in the team drills, as well as head to head vs the O-line. Look for him to see the field a good bit in some reserve/sub action. Tristan Dorty also stuck out a good bit at DE.
  • The D-line dominated the O-line in the 2nd team drills, and Duke Mosby was really impressive going up the middle. Gabe Irby got some snaps at center for 2nd team, and was thrown into 1st string a couple of times to get snaps in.
  • Garrick Williams will not be a QB anytime soon, as he could not handle the snaps from any of the centers haha.
  • Got my first close-up look at Chad Hedlund (PK) and Alex Kinal (punter) as they were on my side of the field. Kinal continued to hit the ball very impressively, and it is fairly obvious that kicking distance is not a problem. I am very eager to see how he does in the team scrimmages. Not sure how the coaches are viewing the punter position (if Newman is getting looks), but Kinal and Wulfeck have been punting while Hedlund and Newman have been kicking FG's.
  • Chad Hedlund and Jimmy Newman worked on kickoffs and placekicking for a good bit. Newman was pretty impressive on the kickoffs, with most of them going pretty deep into the end zone. Hedlunds were landing at about the 5-10. I would guess a lot of that is technique, but it is also hard to discern after just one practice as to what he leg power is.
  • When they got into the pass skeletons, it was clear to me that the QB's knocked off a log of rust last night and were getting into a solid rhythm today. The d-line pressured a lot, but the QB's made accurate throws, especially when rolling out (which happened a lot as well).
  • Brendan Cross had a really nice throw to Dembry across the middle that dropped right in over the safety. Tanner Price also threw a perfect ball to Brandon Pendergrass on a wheel route to the sideline. That was really fun to see.
  • There was a funny moment when Quan Rucker and Matt James (I believe it was James) ran into each other on a deep crossing route. Probably not funny for the coaches, but humorous from a viewer's perspective.
  • Chris Givens showed his speed in the 11 on 11 drill when he took a screen pass to the house. In the same vein, Josh Harris reached another level as he blew through the defense.
  • Riley Haynes had a pretty big hit on Tommy Bohanon on one of the first plays, and the defense got really excited about that.
  • There was a good bit of electricity pretty much all over the field, which was really run to see. A brief skirmish broke out on the scout/red-shirt field, but it was short-lived and increased the intensity.
  • As the practice round down it was obvious that the D-Line was ahead of the offense, but once again I'm not sure whether it was because of lack of cohesiveness in the O-Line, or pure dominance by the D-Line. 
  • Daniel Mack had a really nice tip interception and the coaches were pretty fired up about that since it was off of a tip.
Practice is tomorrow at 7:45 again, and I would encourage anybody that can make it out to stop by for a little bit and check out the team. I can't wait for the scrimmages when the guys are going full speed at each other. I'm pumped up for football this season, and hope springs eternal!!! Go Deacs!
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