Coach Johnson Likes Energy,
Effort by Freshmen During Second Day of Practices; Upperclassmen
Set to Report Friday 8/8/02
2 of Preseason Drills at Vanderbilt - Commodore Head Coach
Bobby Johnson enjoyed what he saw Thursday morning from his
freshmen and walk-ons during a crisp 90-minute session that
differed vastly from opening day practices on Wednesday.
“I was pleased with what I saw
out there this morning,” Coach Johnson said as he left the
renovated McGugin Practice Complex. “The energy level was
very good. We have some guys working hard out there. We’ll
just go one practice at a time working to get better.”
Johnson and his staff have progressively
added team drills and individual assignments through the three
practices, and are expected to continue the process at Thursday’s
practice. The newcomers have only two practices remaining
before the upperclassmen begin Saturday afternoon. Full-squad
two-a-day practices begin Monday.
Dressed in pads, helmets and
shorts, the newcomers spent much of the early Thursday practice
working on fundamentals and techniques with their position
coaches. During one 15-minute segment late in the session,
line assistants Robbie Caldwell and David Turner were teaching
correct techniques in a one-on-one drills while defensive
coaches Warren Belin and Jamie Bryant were pinpointing proper
reads during passing drills. Offensive coaches Ted Cain, Jimmy
Kiser, J.D. Hall and Charlie Fisher spent the segment rolling
out more of the team’s playbook. “We tried to sharpen up on
some of the things we had introduced in earlier practices,”
Coach Johnson said.
The coaches saw a much more
focused squad Thursday morning than the group that gathered
24 hours earlier for its first organized practice. The team
eased through stretching and flexibility drills that opened
practice Thursday after struggling to perform the same routine
up to the coaches’ standards on Wednesday and were enthusiastic
throughout the session.
Who Was Catching Those Punts
During fundamentals involving position players and their coaches,
Coach Johnson worked with freshman punter Greg Johnson (Lilburn,
Ga.). As the punter started booting the ball, the head coach
joined in the drill, catching a handful of the punter’s efforts.
Dore Jam Coming Sunday
This Sunday afternoon, Commodore followers have a great opportunity
to get close to their playersand Johnson’s new coaching staff
and be among the first to see the new Vanderbilt football
uniforms designed by NIKE. The 2002 co-captains - Jamie Byrum,
Rushen Jones and Dan Stricker - are scheduled to unveil the
new look at Dore Jam, the university’s expanded Field Day.
The event features free food
and drink, music, kids activities and interaction games for
spectators. A ticket giveaway to the Furman home opener, featuring
two free tickets to the first 2,000 adults attending, also
is included. Several other Commodore teams, including soccer,
golf, baseball and lacrosse, will be represented at the free
event. A dedication of the new complex also is scheduled.
Natchez Trace will be closed between Blakemore Avenue and
Jess Neely Drive to accommodate inflatable games for kids
and food booths. Activities start at 4:00 p.m.
Several upperclassmen, including LB Hunter Hillenmeyer, OT
Justin Geisinger, TE Nick Getter and DE Jovan Haye, watched
portions of the Thursday practice. Also catching some of the
action were “Voice of the Commodores” Joe Fisher and recently
retired Vanderbilt baseball coach Roy Mewbourne.