Johnson Pleased With Tuesday Morning Effort, Squad Moves Into Full-Pads on Wednesday 8/13/02

Tuesday Morning with the Commodores - Coach Bobby Johnson liked what he saw from his Commodores in a spirited two-hour practice Tuesday morning at the John Rich Football Complex.

Speaking to the media afterward, the coach said he looked forward to the team’s first two-a-day practice in full pads scheduled for Wednesday morning. The team is scheduled to practice at 6:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Wednesday through Friday.

“I feel better this morning about what I saw than yesterday. The players were quite spirited out there,” Johnson said.“I thought our guys were concentrating much better on what they needed to get done.”

Both offensive and defensive units took advantage early Tuesday of the opportunity to improve off a Monday afternoon session the coach termed “ragged.” The offense coordinated by Ted Cain and directed by quarterback candidates Benji Walker and Jay Cutler, was as effective in 11-on-11 and team drills as it has been since veterans reported last Saturday. An energetic and aggressive defense was frequently praised by the coaching staff during an hour of non-tackling drills.

“Our concentration and focus was better than Monday. That’s the way this team will get better and it’s a good sign as we go to full paids,” the coach said.

Plenty of Competition at Receiver
Several Commodores are in the mix for playing time among receivers where three senior starters - tight end Tom Simone and wideouts Dan Stricker and M.J. Garrett - return from a year ago.

Competing with Simone at tight end under Cain’s watchful eye are juniors Nick Getter and Dan Murphy, sophomore Curtis Brancheau and redshirt freshman Dustin Dunning. The wide receiver candidates, coached by J.D. Hall, include senior Ryan Cuffee, junior Markessus House, sophomore Brandon Smith, redshirt freshmen Keith Williams, Jerrin Holt and Jason Caldwell, and freshmen Grant Brigham and Erik Davis.

Keeping the Training Staff Busy
With temperatures forecast to reach 90 degrees for much of the coming week, Tom Bossung and the eight-member Vanderbilt training staff may be the busiest folks on the practice fields.

Since the start of camp, the trainers have worked to make sure Commodore players consume a sufficient amount of fluids through each workout and during the team’s mid-practice breaks. Throughout practice, Bossung has a trainer assigned to every position grouping, monitoring each player’ fluid intake during the strenuous camp.

Bossung’s staff assistants are Molly Malone and Ryan Cobb. Also contributing are graduate assistant Mark Bussman and student aids Mark Creasy, Amber Dixon, Emily Spears, Cara Johnston and Dave Seecharun.


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