Aug. 16, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Defense ruled the morning while the offense picked up the pace in the afternoon as the Tulane University football team worked through its first two-a-day practice in day six of preseason camp Wednesday at the Westfeldt Facility.
The Green Wave donned full pads and went through 24 periods in both sessions. The defense earned the lion's share of praise early on, but the offense was able to take advantage at times. In the 4 p.m. session, however, the offense reined supreme with several big plays.
"We have got to be able to play consistently from start to finish, and today, we weren't very consistent" Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo said. "We're pushing them hard, and they're pushing themselves.
"We have to be able to play for 60 minutes, and it's my job to get us ready to do that. We're going to find out who the right people are going to be and put them in the right places on the field. I'll make sure we have the best guys on the field come Sept. 9."
The team will have a chance to sleep in a little on Thursday as the scheduled 7:30 a.m. practice was pushed to the afternoon. The team will lift in mid-morning, hold meetings after lunch and take the field in full pads beginning at 4 p.m.
The Green Wave had to battle the heat in the morning and early in the afternoon sessions, but a cloud cover and cool breeze took over late in the afternoon as the team wrapped up the day with two-minute drills and conditioning runs.
In their second day in full pads, the sound of shoulder pads popping and players grunting filled the air as teammates and coaches pulled each other along. In the morning, the defense stood out as with several tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including a combined four sacks the triumvirate of Taylor Bertin, Reggie Scott and Julian Shives-Sams.
Senior cornerback Jeremy Foreman had a few pass break-ups as well, but the highlight of the morning session came when redshirt-freshman safety Cory Sonnier forced a fumble around the 46 yard line that junior defensive tackle Frank Morton picked up before rumbling all the way for a touchdown.
The defense picked up where it left off from the morning early in the afternoon practice as junior defensive back David Skehan forced and recovered a fumble, junior safety Joe Goosby broke up a pass and rookie defensive back Chinonso Echebelem nearly picked off a pass after jumping a route.
From there, however, the offense took over as senior quarterback Lester Ricard hooked up with senior wide receiver Preston Brown for a 70-yard scoring strike to start the third-and-five drills. Ricard also connected with senior wideout Damarcus Davis for a touchdown, and sophomore Scott Elliot was sharp with the second-team offense as he found fellow sophomore Brian King for a couple of nice gains.
Following Thursday's afternoon practice, the Green Wave will hold another 4 p.m. session on Friday, Aug. 18, before having another two-a-day on Saturday. The second half of Saturday's two-a-day practice is scheduled as the team's first scrimmage of the preseason. The scrimmage is open to the public and admission is free.