Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday's early practice notes

Just a couple quick notes to report from our early practice-viewing session:
  • DT Mike Blanc, a possible starter, did not participate in warm-ups or the early drills with the team. His left wrist and hand were in a wrap. He was wearing a jersey and a helmet. No word on the injury. Gene Chizik doesn't like talking about injuries at all, so this we'll consider this a day-to-day injury to watch. Jake Ricks and Zach Clayton are the only defensive tackles other than Blanc with experience. Nick Fairley also practices in the first session, presumably because the position lacks depth to the point that the Tigers can easily get him a sufficient number of reps.
  • WR Tim Hawthorne is currently in a walking boot. He's still not dressed in jersey or helmet.
  • Quarterbacks, running backs and receivers all held footballs during the warm-up drills on Thursday. Coaches periodically tried to rip the balls away from them. RB Eric Smith was the only player I saw fumble. We don't yet know what the penalty is for fumbling during the warm-up period.
  • Several defensive players have said defensive coordinator Ted Roof stresses takeaways by implementing drills focusing on them. Here's an example: The first drill for linebackers today focused on the players intercepting passes. Antonio Coleman and Zac Etheridge both said they think the extra drills produced results during the spring.
  • CB Demond Washington was the only player I noticed who moved from the second practice session to the first group.
  • Not a practice note, but S Daren Bates has been cleared by the Clearinghouse. EDIT: has reported that Washington is in. Chizik did not confirm that when we talked to him tonight.

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