Aug. 8, 2013
Franklin Interview | Dore Jam Sunday
NASHVILLE - Considering the abundance of storms moving through Middle Tennessee, it was a small wonder the Commodores finished their full workout Thursday.
The squad focused on fundamentals, special teams and 11-on-11 drills during the two-hour session. More than an hour of the workout came under rainy skies.
Head Coach James Franklin liked what he witnessed from the Commodores despite the storms.
"We got to work in some rain which I think is great. It gave our quarterbacks and running backs a chance to work on ball security. I thought that was a real positive today," Franklin said. "We also pushed them at the end of practice to build some mental and physical toughness. Overall, we got some really good work done."
The Commodores will return to the practice field Friday afternoon, then conduct their first two-a-day session on Saturday. The team's first preseason scrimmage is expected to come in the second practice on Saturday.
Practice Ends With Brief Full-Contact Session
The Commodore defense again held the upper hand on their offensive counterparts during a brief full-contact scrimmage that capped the practice.
The live session started impressively for the offense, which produced three first downs to push the ball inside the 20-yard line only to commit a turnover on a mishandled snap. A 20-yard catch by Jordan Matthews and quarterback Josh Grady's 23-yard scramble were the biggest offensive plays.
After the fumbled snap, the defense quickly stiffened. Sacks by linebacker Larry Franklin and defensive end Landon Stokes and a tackle for loss by safety Jahmel McIntosh forced a punting situation on the second series, and safety Jalen Banks made an acrobatic deflection of a third-down pass to tight end Steven Scheu to stop the final drive.
Sharing Thursday Lunch With University Employees
Franklin and the coaching staff shared lunch with hundreds of university employees earlier in the day. The appreciation event is sponsored annually by the Commodore athletic department.
Franklin tried to greet every employee that attended the luncheon, thanking them for supporting the Commodores. Dozens of players also greeted employees, though their stay was cut short by a severe storm.
"It was only disappointing because our players couldn't spend more time with the employees," Franklin said. "I got a chance to shake a lot of hands, pose for a bunch of photos and generally thank the campus community for their support."
More Autographs, Fan Events Scheduled This Weekend
The Commodores will get a chance to say hello to many more supporters this Sunday when the program hosts its annual Dore Jam, the team's annual Fan Day activity. The two-hour event will start at 3 p.m., at the team's John Rich Practice Facility.
Dore Jam, presented by Gary Force Acura, is a free activity, and features an opportunity for Commodore fans to meet their favorite players and coaches. Free posters featuring senior offensive and defensive players will be distributed for autographs.
The event also includes an array of kids activities and free snow cones, hot dogs and sodas.