August 13, 2007

Special teams ironed out during morning session

MADISON, Wis. - Taking part in its second two-a-day session of fall camp, the University of Wisconsin football team, dressed in full pads, returned to Camp Randall Stadium Monday morning, participating in both individual and team drills.

The practice lasted a little over two hours long and included all facets of the special teams game, and some situational work on both offense and defense.

The following are BadgerBlitz.com's observations from the seventh day of fall camp, Monday, Aug. 13.

Injury/Sidelined report

Defensive ends Matthew Shaughnessy and Kurt Ware were in full pads as they walked onto the Camp Randall field about 45 minutes into practice. This was the first time Ware has been seen in pads, however, both players did not participate in team drills Monday morning.

Wide receiver Isaac Anderson, linebacker DeAndre Levy, defensive tackle Brandon Hoey and defensive back Otis Merrill again missed practice, but roamed the sidelines, because of injuries. ?
After about an hour into practice, freshman cornerback Mario Goins began running on the sidelines and did not participate in team drills. Also, wide receiver Richard Kirtley appeared to injure his leg during a passing drill against reserve cornerback Chris Eernisse.

Third-string quarterback Dustin Sherer did not participate in the majority of practice.

Starting things off

Taylor Mehlhaff began practice on the right note, drilling four field goals from increasing distances, the last from just inside 40 yards.

The No. 1 field goal unit included Mehlhaff, holder Ken DeBauche and long-snapper Steve Johnson[db], with the remaining blocking core consisting of [db]Garrett Graham, Gabe Carimi, Eric Vanden Heuvel, Nick Hayden, Mickey Turner, Jake Bscherer and Andy Kemp. (The final player on this unit was not noted)

First team drill, 11-on-11

Jaevery McFadden filled in for Levy at outside (will) linebacker, with Jamal Copper and Kirk DeCremer at the defensive end spots. Jason Chapman, Nick Hayden and Mike Newkirk shuffled at defensive tackle.

Tyler Donovan continued to build his comfort level with senior wide out Paul Hubbard, as the two connected on a deep pass in the first session.

Danny Kaye played with the fist unit at left tackle.

Skeleton drills

Donovan continued to look strong, connecting with tight end Andy Crooks over the middle of the field.

Following that play, defensive back Kim Royston intercepted an Allan Evridge pass in the secondary. Two plays later, Jonathan Casillas almost joined the party, dropping an interception that could have been returned for touchdown.

"Change the game, Jonathan," head coach Bret Bielema proclaimed from about 50 yards away from play in response to the drop. "Make that play for your team."

Evridge did improve his play later in the drill, finding freshman Daven Jones on a seem through the middle, as Jones made an acrobatic catch and continued to stride down the field.

The offense then was moved back to their own 2-yard line for a situational drill. After a few running plays, Shane Carter and Jay Valai[db] recorded interceptions, with Valai's coming on a ball thrown by Donovan.

[db]Marcus Randle El continued to look consistent working with the second group, catching two passes in a row while appearing 100 percent after a knee injury that set him back a season ago.

Finally, running back Lance Smith appeared to have his best day of fall camp, earning praise from his coaches on a handful of his runs.

Kickoff coverage

The No. 1 kickoff unit consisted of Allen Langford, Strickland, Prince Moody, James Kamoku, McFadden, Royston, Jones, Valai, Tyler Holland and Josh Nettles, with Mehlhaff handling the kicking.

The Badgers return to practice Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. Please stay tuned to BadgerBlitz.com as we plan to bring you more coverage from fall camp this week.

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