Commodores’ Focus, Concentration Excellent in Monday Practice 8/19/02

Monday Morning with the Commodores - Head Coach Bobby Johnson praised the Commodores’ concentration on the practice field early Monday during a two-hour session.

Following an off day Sunday, the Commodores were efficient and focused during the practice that included individual fundamentals and team drills aimed at correcting mistakes made in the squad’s first preseason scrimmage Saturday.

The Commodores returned to the field Monday afternoon, and has two practices scheduled Tuesday.

“We did a nice job out there this morning,” Johnson said. “What I was most pleased about was our concentration level, especially the first practice after a strenuous scrimmage. We spent a good deal of time correcting some of the things we did wrong during the scrimmage.”

Scrimmage in the Stadium
Nearly 300 Commodore fans visited Vanderbilt Stadium Saturday to watch Johnson’s team in its scrimmage. The defensive intensity was evident from the start of the 90-minute session as they limited the offense to just two first downs in the first four offensive series. The offense, directed by junior Benji Walker, redshirt freshman Jay Cutler and freshman Steven Bright, showed improvement in the rushing game as the 75-play scrimmage progressed. The unit notched a pair of rushing touchdowns toward the end of the scrimmage.

Though no score was recorded, the offense was performing up-downs at the conclusion of practice.

Visitor at Afternoon Practice
Rudy Kalis, sports anchor for WSMV-TV in Nashville, spent and hour watching the team Monday afternoon. Kalis will perform play by play duties for the NBC affiliate in Nashville in Vanderbilt's season opener at Georgia Tech.

The Offensive Backfield
Several key positions in the Commodore offensive backfield, including the eventual quarterback, remain up for grabs.

On Monday, Walker and Cutler continued to alternate snaps at quarterback with the first unit. Both are mirror images of the other, offering good size, strong arms and a dual threat at the position. Neither enters the season with an abundance of game experience. Three other quarterbacks - Bright, senior Howdy McPherson and freshman walk-on Jason Burns - also are getting plenty of snaps.

The team’s five tailback prospects - junior Ronald Hatcher, sophomore Norval McKenzie, junior Jason Bourque, freshman Kwane Doster and freshman Ron Bullock - were active at Monday’s practice. Redshirt freshman Matthew Tant saw repetitions at tailback and fullback.

Competing for playing time at fullback with Tant are seniors Mike Adam, Bara Cola and Juan Rojas, junior Zeke Brandon and freshman Brad Anderson.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
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