NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Five days after leaving the Vanderbilt team, defensive end Theron Kadri was welcomed back Saturday by Head Coach Bobby Johnson and his Commodore teammates.
Kadri, a junior from Brighton, Tenn., participated in the Commodores' 90-minute practice Saturday in Vanderbilt Stadium. Afterward, Kadri said recent talks with teammates, coaches and relatives made him realize his mistake.
"Just talking to my teammates and family helped me realize I'd made a mistake and that I wanted to be back with this team," Kadri said after the practice. "I was just going through some personal things, a multitude of things really. It feels good to know they're still willing to welcome me back. I more dedicated to this team than ever before."
Kadri asked Johnson if he could return to the team during a meeting Friday.
"I think a lot of his teammates went to Theron and had a good talk with him. I think Theron knows the best place for him is Vanderbilt. And we're glad to have him back," Johnson said.
Kadri's return adds depth at a position that was adversely impacted last week when 27-game starter Steven Stone went down with a foot fracture that is expected to keep him sidelined through September.
Kadri was a top reserve before Stone and fellow end Broderick Stewart for much of the 2008 season, earning a late-season start at Wake Forest for the injured Stewart. He contributed 19 total tackles last year, including a career-high five stops against Tennessee.
Special Teams Focus of Saturday Work
The Commodores devoted more than half of the Saturday session to special teams work, starting with kickoff units and concluding with the entire squad huddled around conversion units trying to affect field goals attempted by Ryan Fowler and Brett Upson. Virtually every aspect of special teams were addressed.
The offense and defense also spent time dedicated to red-zone opportunities while working at different ends of Dudley Field.
Johnson's 104.5 Radio Show Slated Sunday Night
Johnson's first radio show of the season is scheduled Sunday at the Commodore Bar & Grille, located in Holiday Inn-Vanderbilt on West End. The one-hour show starts at 6:30 p.m. CT.
Commodore fans are urged to attend and enjoy free appetizers, then watch five former Commodores and their Chicago Bears teammates take on Denver in a much-hyped NFL preseason encounter. The game, of course, features the return of former Commodore great - and Bronco 2008 Pro Bowler - Jay Cutler to Denver. Cutler's former Vanderbilt teammates on the Bears' roster are receiver Earl Bennett, offensive tackle Chris Williams, linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and cornerback D.J. Moore.