March 30, 2011
On campus in Nashville - The energy returned to Vanderbilt's practice facilities Tuesday as Head Coach James Franklin put his Commodores through a fast-paced workout that lasted more than two hours.
Two days removed from a productive scrimmage in Vanderbilt Stadium, the Commodores spent more than an hour in 11-on-11, non-tackle drills. Much of the 11-on-11 work was directed at the short-to-intermediate passing game and outside rushing attack.
Franklin liked what he saw as the Commodores completed their sixth practice.
"We're getting better every single day," Franklin said. "I was impressed today.
"We have to clean up the missed assignments, dropped balls, things like that. On defense, we just have to understand how to practice under control. There are periods that we want to go live, and there [are] periods where we want to stay up and stay healthy, and that's really what we're trying to do right now," the head coach added.
The Commodores continue to work at Franklin's desired tempo. On virtually every down in the 11-on-11 segment, the play would continue downfield until a whistle was blown, defenders sprinting down field in pursuit of ball carriers.
Session Ends with Dore Wars Drill
The practice concluded with a brief, 9-play segment of `Dore Wars, pitting three offensive players trying to open holes for a runner taking on three defensive players in goal-line situations. The full-contact drill is intense, competitive and physical.
"We're starting to understand how to compete, which is really what I'm looking for," Franklin said. "Those drills kind of show that."
After safety Kenny Ladler (So.) stood up tailback Micah Powell (R-Jr.) for no gain on the deciding final play, Franklin announced the defense as winners. Several up-downs were in store for the entire offense.
In team passing drills, running backs Zac Stacy (Jr.) and Wesley Tate (R-So.) turned short catches into long touchdown receptions.
On defense, cornerback Trey Wilson (Jr.) continued a strong spring, intercepting one pass and making plays on several other attempts. Recently turned safety Javon Marshall (So.) also earned praise from coaches for a diving pass deflection. Late in the practice, tackle Vince Taylor (R-Fr.) recovered a fumble that he forced.