Defense Rules The Day Again In Day 12 Of Football Preseason Practice

TULANEGREENWAVE.COM Freshman defensive back Chinonso Echebelem delivers a big hit during a recent Tulane practice. (Photo By Dave Browning)
Freshman defensive back Chinonso Echebelem delivers a big hit during a recent Tulane practice. (Photo By Dave Browning)

Aug. 22, 2006

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The Tulane football team's defensive coaching staff has a tradition it started this year - make a big play and you get to bypass the water cows spread around the practice field as you just earned a bottle of iced-down sports drink.

On Tuesday morning at the Westfeldt Facility, the Green Wave "D" made enough plays to make the onlookers ponder buying stock in sports drink companies as the Green Wave wrapped up day 12 of preseason camp with a 22-period session Tuesday morning.

"This is the third straight practice that we've gone full pads in, and the players are fighting through it," head coach Chris Scelfo said. "We had some mental breakdowns on both sides of the ball today, and we've got to be better then that. But overall, I thought it was a really good practice."

The team opened with special teams practice, and then went into positional and skeleton drills. From there, the Green Wave held full-team drills where they worked on third-and-two scenarios before closing out the day with one-on-one nutcracker drills.

Senior cornerback Jeremy Foreman made several nice plays on Tuesday as the native of Lutcher, La., blocked a field goal before swatting a pass away and broking up another with a big hit during 7-on-7 drills. Junior cornerback Carlis Jackson and rookie defensive end Troy Wilson both posted interceptions during skeletons, and freshman linebacker Chinonso Echebelem nearly had another as he perfectly timed a jump but could not hold on.

During the third-and-two situationals, the defense turned away the Tulane offense on six of 12 tries, including four times in six plays by the first team "d." Redshirt-freshman linebacker James McMurchy had the hit of the day when drilled a ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage which popped the ball loose, and junior defensive back O'Lindsey Brown pounced on it for a turnover.

Preseason All-Conference USA defensive lineman Antonio Harris had a tackle for loss and the secondary caused several check-downs which led to minimal gains.

The offense did have its moments, however, as junior running back Matt Forté showed some moves and some power to account for three of the Green Wave's conversions, and sophomore quarterback Scott Elliot hooked up with junior tight end Gabe Ratcliff over the middle for a nice gain.

In the nutcracker drills, running backs and wide receivers went one-on-one with defensive backs while tight ends and offensive linemen battled for supremacy against defensive linemen and linebackers. The final portion of practice drew the most cheers from coaches and teammates alike as the hard-hitting was good-natured as each side of the ball took turns establishing its dominance.

Season and single-game tickets for the 2006 season 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 and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets can be purchased in person, via the telephone at (504) 861-WAVE or via the internet at www.TulaneGreenWave.com.

In addition, single-game tickets are also available via Ticket Master at www.TicketMaster.com and at all Ticket Master outlets.