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Football Camp Notes...
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 08/15/2002
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Aug. 15, 2002

TUCSON - Football Camp Notes...

Thursday, Aug. 15

..."We just keep plugging along... nothing eventful happened," Wildcat head coach John Mackovic told the media after the morning practice, which the team conducted in 'shells' or half-pads. "We'll put on pads tonight and get an opportunity to do some light scrimmaging," he said. "We can go full speed and make some plays. I kind of consider this the mid-point of training camp. Generally at this time the guys are the most tired. After a bit they'll get a some new (vigor) and things will pick up again," he said....

...The morning workout was a bit of give and take, according to the head coach. "The offense would get a few good plays, then the defense would bounce back and make some good plays. We need to keep pushing," he said. Mackovic told the team that his offense, particularly, demands precision. "That's what practice is all about. They need to know the down and distance at all times (for example). The defense needs to know the down and distance. What's someone going to run on 3rd-and-9? A pass play. Attention to detail goes a long way in practice." ...

...Quarterback Jason Johnson continued the superb completion rate he's shown throughout camp. In morning skeleton drills he completed nine of 10 passes to eight different receivers, then added five-for-7 for 149 yards in the full-team period including a sharp 70-yard touchdown throw to junior receiver Andrae Thurman. The lone incompletion in 'skelly' was a dropped ball and receivers dropped two of his throws in the team drill...

...Senior defensive tackle Young Thompson was in on two sacks in the team drill, and the defense showed some power against running plays although tackling isn't part of the regimen... Linebackers Spencer Larsen and Scott McKee and defensive end Javier Martinez each knocked down passes, two thrown by redshirt freshman Nic Costa and one by true freshman Ryan O'Hara... Costa completed four of his six throws in seven-on-seven drills while O'Hara was two-for-three...

...The Wildcats have a pile of contenders for the twin deep spots on kickoff returns. Receivers Gary Love (15 returns in 2001) and Thurman (15) are back, but special teams coordinator Scott Pelluer and the staff were testing redshirt freshmen running backs Mike Bell and Gainus Scott, freshman wide receivers Biren Ealy and Mike Jefferson, juco transfer receiver Juan Valentine and freshman cornerback Jay Martin as deep men. All have one thing in common -- speed...

...Junior punter Ramey Peru served notice he's still a contender for his job in the morning's alternate kicking with true freshman Danny Baugher. Peru banged his 20 punts for a 44.1 average, with hang time in the consistent 4.5-second range. Baugher averaged 43.6 yards... The team punts in the morning and place kicks in the afternoon or evening on two-a-day schedules...

...Freshman running back Beau Carr is in action after receiving medical clearance... No depth chart has been in evidence, but it's apparent that after first-team All-Pac-10 pick Clarence Farmer, redshirt freshmen Bell and Scott, redshirt freshman Sean Jones, sophomore Chris Harris and freshman Gilbert Harris appear to be the leading contenders in the backfield...

...A full medical evaluation of senior offensive tackle Darren Safranek's left knee is still in the works, but Mackovic said Thursday that specialists feel if the swelling reduces Safranek could wear a brace for protection and work his way back into playing shape within a month if ligament damage is slight... A number of other players were banged up and either held out or limited on Thursday, but apparent depth has kept drills moving briskly even with a dozen players restricted to basic conditioning...

...Friday morning the team will practice on the campus field near McKale Center in the morning, then assemble for Fan Appreciation Night at 6 p.m. in Arizona Stadium prior to the evening practice on the new turf in the stadium... Workmen lined the field Thursday afternoon for the first time since the Arizona Cardinals held a mini-camp there in June in the first test of the new grass...

...Technology and a networking solution devised in the last month have afforded some nifty means for coaches to use practice videotape nearly by the time they return to campus following sessions. Football video operations director Sean Hollister said considerable tape from the four cameras used at practice is taken back to McKale Center following specific drills, digitized and swiftly ready for instructional use in coaches' offices, unit rooms and team auditoriums. Any one 'tape' of major practice periods -- pass skeleton, team, pass rush, etc. -- reaches its destination through the network. Some individual practice periods -- tight ends working alone, for example -- are put on VHS. When UA later exchanges game video with opponents, exhange coordinators will be sending small DVD copies rather than unwieldy collections of videotape...

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