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Football Camp Notes...
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/14/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Aug. 14, 2002

TUCSON - Arizona Fall Football Camp Notes...

...The UA football team ran its first practice session in pads Wednesday morning, then donned shells for an evening practice with sharper results. Head coach John Mackovic said after the morning drills that the players seemed affected by the additional weight of hip, thigh and knee protection. "The players wait and look forward to pads, then when they carry the extra weight it's different. I thought we looked a bit sluggish." he said.

...Senior quarterback Jason Johnson was held out of the morning seven-on-seven and full-team drill sessions. "We held him out for his arm," Mackovic said. "He's been doing a lot of throwing. He did all the conditioning and technique work and he did the running work. We'll do that for all the quarterbacks from time to time," he said.

...With Johnson watching, redshirt freshman Nic Costa got a bunch of morning work and was sharp in the seven-man skeleton drills. "He completed 10 of 13 in skeleton and I think about five-for-nine in the 'team' period," Mackovic said. Later in the evening, when the team wore helmets and shoulder pads, Johnson came back and completed all 11 of his passes during the skeleton session and had only three misses in team drills...

...Mackovic said he doesn't like to have the team in full pads for both practice sessions on any given day. "We'll stick to that. The passing game looked sharper this afternoon."...

...Sophomore defensive tackle Vince Feula was back in uniform and practicing Wednesday after final clearance for his summer school academic work. The 300-pound tackle worked his way into the rotation during spring ball and his return bolsters the Cats' depth on the interior...

...Redshirt freshmen halfbacks Mike Bell and Gainus Scott drew some praise from the head coach. "They will get some playing time. They're both good receivers. Mike has an explosiveness and balance, then when he gets in the open field I'm not sure anyone can catch him," he said...

...Senior offensive left tackle Darren Safranek underwent MRI testing Wednesday after an injury in Tuesday's session to his left knee. Mackovic said his status will be known in the next 24 hours. Safranek started seven games at right tackle a year ago and would have been an 11-game starter if not for shoulder and knee injuries which required offseason surgery... In his absence coaches worked sophomore Chris Johnson, senior Makoa Freitas and freshman John Parada on the left side in Wednesday sessions. Mackovic had said moving Freitas, a two-year starter, from left tackle left guard was an effective move, but the change might be problematic if Safranek's out for any length of time.. Other players slowed by injury are defensive ends Andre Torrey (hip) and Fata Avegalio (knee), but both are expected back in action shortly. Freshman wide receiver Mike Jefferson also had an MRI examination of his knee, though he's been practicing since reporting and earlier X-rays were negative...

...The team will run some situtational scrimmage plays Thursday evening, emphasizing items such as down-and-distance or short-yardage, then run a more game-like scrimmage period Saturday evening. "We'll develop some game conditions Saturday," Mackovic said, involving the units in full single-drive play conditions...

...The Wildcats enjoyed a steak dinner Wednesday and were excused from position-coach, unit or team meetings to get a full night's rest...

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