Our defensive backs did well in this drill for the most part, and you will see more on this in the report…Jeremy Mincey and Joe Cohen were flipping sides of the defense so that Mincey stayed on the weak side of the offensive line. Last year until the last game or two, Mincey always rushed from the left side while Cohen always rushed from the right... The same goes for the five-man front look that our defense showed in games late last year. With the same 4-3 personnel as usual, the Sam linebacker comes up and presses tight on the tight end. It gives an appearance of a fifth man on the line, even though the Sam (mostly Todd McCullough) doesn't have his hand on the ground…When going to a nickel defense, Reggie Lewis was inserted with the first team defense to cover the inside slot receiver…Backup quarterbacks Gavin Dickey and Cornelius Ingram were not at the first practice. Dickey is with the baseball team at Ole Miss while Ingram is with the basketball team in Nashville where the Gators play Ohio U in the first round of the NCAA Tournament…Lance Butler was at practice today.
LT: Tavares Washington, Jason Watkins/Carlton Medder
LG: Lance Butler, Drew Miller
C: Mike Degory, Jim Tartt
RG: Steven Rissler, Jim Tartt.
RT: Randy Hand, Phil Trautwein
RB: Skyler Thornton, DeShawn Wynn, Markus Manson
QB: Chris Leak, Josh Portis
WR: all mixed, but: Dallas Baker, Andre Caldwell, Jemalle Cornelius, and Chad Jackson usually started.
TE: Tate Casey, Dane Guthrie (didnt see him after he came up lame), Markell Thompson
WDE: Jeremy Mincey, Jarvis Moss
SDE: Joe Cohen, Tranell Morant (Steven Harris was late because of class)
DT: Ray McDonald, Michael Hill
DT: Clint McMillan, Branden Daniels
WLB: Brian Crum, Bryan Royal (Earl Everett was late because of class)
SLB: Todd McCullough, Bily Latsko
MLB: Brandon Siler, Eric Rutledge
SS: Jarvis Herring, Tony Joiner
FS: Kyle Hackson, Terrance Holmes
CB: Dee Webb, DaWayne Grace
CB: Vernell Brown, DeShawn Carter
THINGS I LIKED: Coach Greg Mattison (co-defensive coordinator/defensive line) was vocal and will have a lot to do with how aggressive we are on defense. He was in charge of a pursuit drill that the defense ran for quite some time today. The team still has the same hustle in between drills, where players run to their next drill. There seems to be no time wasted on the practice field…Coach Chuck Heater (corners) is really intense. He is very visible as well as quite vocal. He spends a lot of time teaching. I had a player tell me he is the best secondary coach since Stoops...In the five-yard fight drill, Dallas Baker excelled. Chad Jackson was good. Most of the DBs held their ground except on those two players. Baker gets the first congratulatory head slap from Coach Billy Gonzalez (receivers) for his play in the drill. Reggie Lewis looked solid in his new position at corner…People will like to hear that the offense included a lot of slants and deep routes which we saw in both one-on-one and pass-skel drills…I think Markell Thompson was running faster today than I ever saw him run last year…All the offensive linemen have been fitted with knee braces to help prevent any debilitating injuries this spring. We'll see if they wear them in the summer and in games, too.
THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE: Dee Webb must have felt like he was still in his track shoes because he wound up on his butt because of the slippery surface due to two days of heavy rains…Tight end Dane Guthrie seemed to pull a hamstring while in one-on-one drill against Jarvis Herring…We didn't get a big eyeful of the offense as it pertains to the H-back today. That was a little disappointing, but understandable in that they are installing the offense little by little.
HIGHLIGHTS: In the wide receiver vs. defensive back one-on-one drills, Dee Webb made a great break on the ball and had both hands on it but it bounced out of his hands right into Kyle Morgan's waiting arms…Jemalle Cornelius ruled the roost in the WR/DB one-on-one. He continually made cuts that left the defenders in his wake…On one particular play in pass-skel, Brandon Siler covered Markell Thompson aggressively all the way down the field. Siler broke up the pass just as it got to Thompson, this despite Thompson looking much faster than he did last year.
LOWLIGHTS: The weather conditions were not good at all. It was cold and wet. It didn't rain but the threat of rain seemed imminent from the start…Although the defensive backs did well in the five-yard drill, they didn't look good very often in the one-on-one although it has to be noted that the wide receivers have a major advantage in the drill…Josh Portis under-threw Bubba Caldwell and Terrance Holmes made a shallow break to intercept a deep pass…Leak threw into double coverage during pass-skel drills. He has to get away from doing that…Markell Thompson dropped a wide open pass during pass-skel drills…Bubba Caldwell dropped a pass in the one-on-one drills…Portis under-threw again and Webb picked a long ball off in front of Kenneth Tookes.
PLAY OF THE DAY: Josh Portis hit Kenneth Tookes for what would have been a touchdown in the pass-skel drill. Tookes was running a go route on the right side and Portis hit him in stride about 55 yards from the line of scrimmage. Tookes had pretty good separation on the play.
PLAYERS OF THE DAY: I'll call it a tie between Dallas Baker and Jemalle Cornelius. Dallas shined in the 5-yard bump drill. He was consistently the receiver that didn't get held up inside the five yard barrier…Cornelius was uncoverable in one-on-one drills with precision cuts that left defenders watching him run by. He did it on three occasions in a row where the defensive back was left standing absolutely still while he ran by.
THINGS HEARD AND SEEN: Urban Meyer: "I don't know who you are, and I don't care. If you go slow again, you will be off the team." …Skyler Thornton was the first running back out during drills, followed by DeShawn Wynn, then Markus Manson…Vernell Brown was the first cornerback out there opposite Webb. As we mentioned above, Reggie Lewis was the first nickel inserted into the lineup…Ray McDonald and Clint McMillan started at defensive tackle. The ends were Joe Cohen and Jeremy Mincey…The linebackers were Brandon Siler, Todd McCullough, and Brian Crum (Earl Everett was late because of class)…Jarvis Moss lined up with the second unit at weak side defensive end…The second corners out there were DeShawn Carter and DaWayne Grace...Soon you'll see his picture in the galleries. Reynaldo Hill showed up at practice today. He told us that Atlanta, Jacksonville, and the New York Giants seem to be after him hard. Reynaldo had a great Pro-day here in Gainesville a week ago and broke the national record in the 60 yard shuttle with a 10.5 seconds. He ran a 6,62 in the three cones drill and it was one of the fastest times in the nation this year at combines.