Commodores Continue Focus on Concentration, Conditioning in Monday Morning Practice 8/12/02

Monday Morning with the Commodores - With the start of full-pad practices just days away, Coach Bobby Johnson continues to search for more focus from his Vanderbilt players.

“We have the right amount of energy and enthusiasm. We need the overall concentration to get better now,” Johnson said after a two-hour practice Monday that started at 6:00 a.m.

The Commodores spent much of the session working on fundamentals, individual techniques and team drills. The squad is expected back on the field today at 3:30 p.m., and has two practices scheduled Tuesday before the first full-pad session Wednesday morning.

Johnson’s desire for more focus was evident during the team’s 11-on-11 segment Monday. The offensive and defensive units had bright moments during the 30-minute drill, but both experienced a variety of missed assignments and mental breakdowns that limited their overall effectiveness. The coaches, who do not shy from praising an outstanding performance, also demand better when a letdown occurs.

The Interior Front
Through the first week of practice, coaches Robbie Caldwell and David Turner have provided every Commodore interior lineman an opportunity to determine their role on the squad.

Along the defensive front, Turner has worked up to nine candidates in the first rotation. Sophomores Matt Clay and Aaron Carter, junior Brett Beard, redshirt freshmen Trey Holloway and Ralph McKenzie, and freshmen Ray Brown - have worked at defensive tackle. At defensive end, Chuck Losey, redshirt freshmen Jovan Haye and junior Libnir Telusca have received most of the snaps. The staff has limited sophomore Robert Dinwiddie, a standout in the spring, to individual drills and conditioning.

On offense, senior Jamie Byrum, sophomore Greg Robson and freshman Adam Dossett are handling the center chores. Senior Jim May, junior Jordan Pettit, redshirt freshman Nigel Seaman and two freshmen, Steven Brent and Adam Dossett, are getting looks at guard. At tackle, sophomores Justin Geisinger, Kenan Arkan and Brian Kovolisky, redshirt freshmen Ryan King, and freshmen Mac Pyle and Blake Luker are getting the snaps.

Happy with Dore Jam
Johnson probably had to soak his right arm in the tub of ice after Sunday’s enthusiastic Dore Jam activities. The line of Commodore followers seeking an autograph or conversation with the coach stretched 50 yards during much of the fan day activity. Johnson liked what he saw from the crowd of nearly 5,000.

“It was great to see so many Commodore fans come out and support their team. I enjoyed signing every autograph and saying hello to every fan,” Johnson said. The crowd, the largest fan day in recent memory, enjoyed autographs, free food and refreshments, live music, an array of kids activities, interactive contests with other Commodore sports teams and the dedication of the team’s new practice facilit to Vanderbilt alumnus and athletic booster John Rich.

Moving Up the Practice
Starting today, the Commodores will move the afternoon practice to 3:30, instead of 4:00. The morning workout will continue to start at 6:00.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)