Aug. 15, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - A heavy downpour briefly fell on the Tulane University football team as it wrapped up the first half of a two-a-day practice on Wednesday morning at the Westfeldt Practice Facility, but rain could do little to dampen the Green Wave's spirits as the squad went through a two-hour session to open day nine of preseason camp.
With a second practice period slated for the afternoon at the New Orleans Saints' indoor facility later in the day, the Green Wave are officially midway through preseason drills and first-year head coach Curtis Johnson could not help but smile when asked how he thought things went during the morning practice.
"I like it," Johnson said. "What I liked about today was it was hot when we first got out here and then it rained. I loved the change. Every time we make a change, it's something else and the kids are responding to the changes.
"Today was a review again. We did a little more red zone and a little third down. It was another review, and then later on we're going to inside. I want us to be sharp and crisp. I want us to know what we're doing and where we're going. It's been working out well."
The Tulane team spent an extended portion of the morning practice focusing on special teams as the coaching staff drilled the squad on punt return, punt coverage and both kickoff and kickoff return. From there, the Green Wave went to seven-on-seven drills before wrapping up the morning with a full-team session focusing on third-down-and-distance scenarios.
Sophomore running back Keith Harvey II turned in the run of the day with a broken-field jaunt during seven-on-sevens while sophomore linebacker Matthew Bailey registered the defenseive play of the morning after batting a pass midair and corralling it in the endzone for an interception.
"Today, I thought the linebackers played well," Johnson said. "(Trent) Mackey was good today. Matthew Bailey is doing a good job. (Corey) Redwine is looking good, (Austen) Jacks is playing well and (Julius) Warmsley played well on defense. On offense, these backs are amazing, all of them - (Danté) Butler, (Rob) Kelley, (Orleans) Darkwa, (Joshua) Rounds. They're really playing well."
Wednesday afternoon's practice in Metairie will be closed to the public and the media. From there, the Green Wave return to action on Thursday, Aug. 16, when they hold a single practice starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Westfeldt Facility. Tulane will hold a single session once again on Friday before capping week two of preseason drills with a scrimmage on Saturday.
The Green Wave formally kick off the 2012 season on Saturday, Sept. 1, when Tulane plays host to Rutgers at 7 p.m. in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Season and individual-game ticket sales are currently for sale through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office. The Ticket Office is located on the first floor of the James W. Wilson, Jr., Center on Ben Weiner Drive, and tickets can be purchased in person, over the phone at 504-861-WAVE (9283) or via the Internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.
CHAT WITH COACH JOHNSON: First-year Tulane head football coach Curtis Johnson invites Green Wave fans to participate in a 30-minute question and answer session on Twitter on Friday at 1 p.m. Fans can send their questions or comments to Coach Johnson via his Twitter handle: @TUCoachCJ.