Junior linebacker David Kirksey posted a big hit and an interception in day five of preseason practice on Tuesday.
Aug. 12, 2008
NEW ORLEANS - One day after having to head inside due to inclement weather, the Tulane University football team was treated to cool temperatures and a light rain as the Green Wave went through a 24-period session in day five of preseason camp Tuesday afternoon at the Westfeldt Practice Facility.
While the team is beginning to take shape, head coach Bob Toledo and his staff picked up the pace a bit as the Wave went through its usual routine of individual, position and team drills. The Tulane team took the field in shells - helmets, shoulder pads and shorts - for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, but will don full pads for the first time on Wednesday with a tentative start time of 9:40 a.m. If the rains that have haunted Tulane's recent practice carry over into the morning tomorrow, the team will lift weights in the a.m. before taking the field a approximately 3:20 p.m.
"We did some good things," Toledo said. "Defensively, we have a lot of younger players and we're doing some newer things so there was a little more confusion on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively, there was a little more assuredness. The entire staff is back and we're doing the same thing. There is a little more confidence there. Defensively, we're experimenting with some things and we don't quite know it as well yet."
Toledo added a couple of new wrinkles to the arsenal on Tuesday, introducing kickoff coverage and having his team go through third-and-long scenarios in the team portion of the afternoon.
Junior kicker Ross Thevenot got the day started on a positive note by making all six of his field goal tries with the No. 1 kicking unit, including a 42-yarder, and closed out the period by splitting the uprights from 32 yards out in a hurry-up situation.
In third-and-long drills, sophomore quarterback Kevin Moore connected on all three of his pass attempts, including an 11-yard strike to junior receiver Jeremy Williams on the first play of the drill. On the second-to-last play of the period, Moore found true freshman running back Albert Williams for a 10-yard gain, but Williams paid for the reception as sophomore Devin Holland delivered a crushing blow that drew hoots and hollers from his fellow players and coaching staff as well.
The offense held the upper hand in the early goings of the middle drill - where the offensive line works on running-game situations against the defensive line and linebackers - but the defense took control of the latter portion of the period with several big hits for minimal gains.
The defensive effort continued into the seven-on-seven skeleton drills as Holland broke up a pass that was eventually picked off by junior linebacker David Kirksey. The offense, however, bounced back with a solid showing in the full-team portion of practice later in the day. The play of the day came at that time when converted tight end Cody Sparks - who played linebacker during his first two seasons at Tulane - made a sliding, one-handed grab of a Moore pass for a big play.
The intensity figures to pick up even more on Wednesday when the team goes full pads for the first time during preseason drills. One of the big drills expected to be added tomorrow is what Toledo calls the "alley drill" where an offensive blocker and a defensive player go one-on-one in short yardage situation with a ball carrier trying to advance in a small portion of turf.
"Now we've got pads and that's why I want to make sure we get one of them in tomorrow for sure," Toledo said. "We've got to start finding out who among the younger guys is going to be physical. We've got a pretty good idea among the older guys, but we need to find out which of the freshmen are going to play for us so we can start giving more reps to them in other drills."
Following Wednesday's full-pad practice, the Green Wave return to action on Thursday, Aug. 14, with a tentative start time of 9:30 a.m. at the Westfeldt Practice Facility. Tulane opens the 2008 season on Saturday, Sept. 6, when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on the University of Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Season tickets for the 2008 Tulane football season are now on sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. For more information on 2008 Tulane football tickets or tickets to any future Green Wave home athletic event, contact the Ticket Office at (504) 861-WAVE.