Wednesday's practice report
Aug. 10, 2011
Nashville, Tenn. - Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin didn't see the tempo he expected to see out of his Commodores Wednesday during the squad's first full-gear practice this season.
Coming off strong practices on Monday and Tuesday, the Commodores worked for more than two hours Wednesday, continuing to focus on position fundamentals, conditioning and scheme installation. The only full-go portion of practice came in the closing minutes when Franklin staged four series near the goal line.
"For the first time in pads, I think we might have been a little reserved and afraid to make mistakes," Franklin said. "You kind of expect it, but I do not want to play that way. I want the guys to play fast and fly around."
The offense lacked consistency through the session, just one day after putting together their most impressive practice. While the rushing attack showed positive signs during portions of the practice, the passing game never seemed to hit its stride. After impressing during early passing drills, neither senior Larry Smith nor junior Jordan Rodgers consistently found receiving targets in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
Full Contact Work Near the End Zone
The Commodore offense pushed in touchdowns on three of four "live" possessions near the goal line that capped the workout.
After failing to score on the initial possession due largely to an excellent push from the interior defensive line, the offense came alive, scoring on a 2-yard rush by junior Zac Stacy, a hookup from Larry Smith to Brandon Barden, and a pass from freshman Josh Grady to freshman tight end Steven Scheu.
Several defenders, including tackles T.J. Greenstone and Colt Nichter, and linebacker Chase Garnham, posted impressive stops during the goal line segment.
Other Practice Highlights:
During an early 11-on-11 period, cornerback Eddie Foster returned an interception 20 yards for a score.
Freshman Jerron Seymour continued to impress, including cutting to the outside on a rush intended inside the tackle and outrunning defenders to the endzone.
Junior linebacker Tristan Strong made an acrobatic interception with a one-handed pick in non-tackle 11-on-11 drills.
Practices Likely to Intensify Thursday
The five ice tubs situated next to the practice field are expected to get plenty of action Thursday as Commodore players will participate in their initial two-a-day session of preseason camp. The team is expected to stage a 90-minute workout starting at 9:30 a.m., then return to the John Rich Practice Facility for a similar session in the early afternoon.
The staff plans to stage a single practice on Friday, and return with two workouts on Saturday before taking Sunday off.
Saturday Morning Practice Open to the Public
Commodore fans can see how much progress Franklin's squad is making early in camp this Saturday when the team holds its only preseason practice that is open to the public.
Gates at the practice complex behind McGugin Athletic Center will open Saturday at 9 a.m., with the practice getting underway around 9:30 a.m.