March 27, 2014
On campus in Nashville - The Commodores reached the midpoint of Spring Ball Thursday with Head Coach Derek Mason feeling good about the squad's development.
The Commodores worked indoors and out for the second straight practice Thursday. The team started the session focused on special teams and position drills outside at the John Rich Practice Facility, then moved inside to the spacious practice facility for 90 minutes of 11-on-11 drills, individual instruction and playbook expansion.
Mason limited full contact during the session. Dressed in limited gear, the players were urged to stay off the ground by using "thud" tackle techniques in 11-on-11 segments.
The Commodores got plenty accomplished during the Thursday practice.
"I feel good about where we're at on both sides of the ball," Mason said. "These guys are doing a great job of coming out here with intent. It's starting to look like football. Our guys are on the right track, doing the right things."
Mason says team might not scrimmage this Saturday
The squad's second scrimmage of the spring might not happen during its next workout.
Mason said the team will likely hold a regular practice on Saturday, as opposed to a scrimmage in Vanderbilt Stadium.
"We'll from the scrimmage and just think we need to get a good practice in (Saturday). I want to get one more practice focusing on fundamentals under our belts," Mason said. "We still have plenty of opportunities to scrimmage in front of us."
Kimbrow, Webb impressing at running back
The added repetitions this spring is paying off for running backs Brian Kimbrow and Ralph Webb. With 2013 starter Jerron Seymour active but seeing limited reps, Kimbrow and Webb have been among the offense's most impressive performers. Both have run with power and purpose this spring.
On several occasions over the last two weeks, Mason has praised Kimbrow's spring performance.He gave similar treatment to Webb on Thursday.
"Ralph is one of those guys that is flashing, and flashing often. He has shown the ability to run hard and run behind his pads. I'm pleased with what I see with Ralph right now," the coach said.
Twitter: Matthews expected in NYC for NFL Draft
Vanderbilt's record-breaking wide receiver Jordan Matthews will be the first Commodore to watch his draft status unfold from the Big Apple.
Matthews, holder of a bushel of Southeastern Conference and team receiving records, confirmed via twitter (@jmattjmattjmatt) that he has accepted an invitation by the NFL to come to New York as part of its draft coverage. He plans to be in the city two days before the draft, which is scheduled for May 8-10 at the Radio City Music Hall.