Aug. 7, 2013
NASHVILLE - The Commodores struggled Wednesday to sustain the intensity and concentration they displayed collectively on Tuesday when the squad staged its first full-pad practice of preseason camp.
After the two-hour practice at the John Rich Practice Facility, Head Coach James Franklin told media members he was less than pleased with the Commodores' energy.
"I didn't think today was very good to be honest," the coach said. "We just got to that point of camp that we need better leadership to fight through it. We have pretty high goals and expectations and I didn't think we practiced very well today."
While the Wednesday session was the team's second consecutive practice in full gear, the Commodores did not conduct a "live" scrimmage during the workout. The squad concentrated on fundamentals, scheme installment, special teams, and individual and team drills.
The Commodores will cap their first full week of camp on Thursday. According to their coach, the team will continue to work on self improvement.
"Right now, we are focused on us. We aren't doing anything that has to do with Ole Miss," Franklin said. "Right now, it's all about our development as a team and trying to be the best Vanderbilt we can be."
Running Back Corps Bring Different Styles to Offense
Despite a lack of offensive consistency in the team's first two full-pad practices, Franklin has seen plenty to like about his running back corps topped by Wesley Tate, Jerron Seymour and Brian Kimbrow. The trio along with Derek King and two true freshmen are trying to replace the production of two-time All-Southeastern Conference recipient and current St. Louis Ram Zac Stacy.
"I liked things with all of the backs. Jerron has had a really nice camp, and so have Brian and Wes. The two young guys, Ralph Webb and C.J. Duncan, also have done some really nice things," Franklin said.
"We have a good group right now, and better depth than in the past. They all have some special qualities. If one of them ends up saying 'I'm going to be the man,' and demands the ball 30 times a game, we'll more than happy to do that. Otherwise, we'll rotate them," the coach added.
Highlights of 11-on-11 Drills
Several Commodores contributed stellar individual plays during several late-practice segments of 11-on-11 drills.
Cornerback Torren McGaster had two pass deflections, including one on a well-thrown deep pattern.
Wide receiver Jonathan Krause had three catches resulting in first downs, including one over the middle when he eluded two defenders.
Safety Kenny Ladler posted a turnover after taking the ball away from a would-be receiver.
Cornerback Tre Bell had an impressive return after picking off an errant pass.
Running backs Duncan and Webb both showed quick burst during impressive rushes off tackle. Webb also took a pass from Johnny McCrary for long yardage.
Cornerback Darrius Sims closed the session with an diving deflection of a pass thrown to a sideline receiver.
Two-A-Day Sessions Expected to Start on Saturday
With summer school classes ending on Friday, the Commodores' initial two-a-day session is slated for Saturday at the John Rich Practice Facility. Franklin has plans for five two-a-day sessions through Tuesday, August 20. Classes for Vanderbilt's Fall semester will begin on Aug. 21.
Local Sports Radio Shows to Broadcast from Practice
In the next week, Nashville's three sports talk radio stations will air their afternoon drive-time shows from the McGugin Center balcony overlooking the Commodores' practice.
This Friday, Thom Abraham brings his show that has expanded to both AM and FM formats to the practice sidelines. Abraham's four-hour show starts at 2 p.m., and airs on WNSR AM-560 and WNSR 95.9-FM.
Next Wednesday, 104.5 The Zone's Three-Hour Lunch (3HL) Show co-hosted by Brent Dougherty, Clay Travis and Blaine Bishop will broadcast from 3-6 p.m. On Thursday, the Sports Night Show with George Plaster, Willy Daunic and Darren McFarland will air from 4-7 p.m., on flagship 102.5 The Game and other affiliates across Middle Tennessee.