Commodores Get Plenty Accomplished
in First Full-Pad Practice Wednesday Morning 8/14/02
Wednesday Morning with the
Commodores - In their first two-a-day session in full
pads, the Commodores went through a high-energy, two-hour
practice Wednesday morning that Head Coach Bobby Johnson called
an effective workout.
“It was our first practice in
full pads and the guys were getting used to that, but I thought
it was a good workout that we can build from,” Johnson said.
The Commodores spent nearly an
hour on team drills while devoting portions of the practice
to playbook reviews, position techniques and special team
instruction. The coaches frequently reminded overzealous players
that the practice was a non-tackling affair. The morning practice
followed a Tuesday afternoon session that focused largely
on team teaching.
The Commodores return to the
practice field at 3:30 p.m. today. The squad continues with
two-a-days Thursday and Friday, then practices once Saturday
at 2:00 p.m.
Greeted by Rain
The Commodores got drenched by a 15-minute rainstorm - the
first of the preseason - just as practice started. Johnson
said rain had no affect on the players, staff or practice
“No, it didn’t bother anybody,
other than keeping the temperatures down a little,” the coach
said. “More importantly, the drainage systems beneath both
fields worked just as we thought they would.” The dual combination
of synthetic and natural grass fields at newly dedicated John
Rich Football Complex will give coaches more practice options
during adverse weather than previous years.
Competing in the Secondary
Several young Commodores are making a push for playing time
in the veteran-laden secondary where three senior starters
return- cornerbacks Rushen Jones and Aaron McWhorter, and
safety Justin Giboney.
Sophomore Lorenzo Parker,
a pair of redshirt freshmen (Dominique Morris and Cheron
Thompson) and freshman Kelechi Ohanaja have been
impressive at cornerback. At safety, freshmen Andrew Pace
and Ben Koger are getting repetitions with senior Mike
Martin, junior Jonathan Shaub, sophomore Nick
Lyle and redshirted freshman Ronnie Swoopes.
“Eye In the Sky”
Crew Assists Coaches Video tapes are the key way position
coaches show players how to correct mistakes made on the practice
field. At Vanderbilt, a seven-person crew directed by Rick
Dixon has the responsibility of turning hours of tape into
useful teaching footage minutes after practice ends.
The video crew shoots practice
drills from three field towers and two ground locations, then
hurriedly dubs tapes so Commodore position coaches can review
the film shortly after practice. During normal preseason practices,
the staff can dub 120 tapes daily.
Coordinator Michael Ketchum
oversees the actual practice shoots while Wes Whaley, Sara
Young, Steven Parks, Kathi Hull and Chris Barnett man the
cameras. The team’s video quality has been enhanced by the
addition of three towers recently built at the practice complex.