Quick Hits: Mountaineers Return from Spring Break - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quick Hits: Mountaineers Return from Spring Break

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With Spring Break in the rearview, the WVU football team was back out on Mountaineer Field Tuesday getting started on the final three weeks of drills before the Gold-Blue Game on April 21.

-       Practice began, as it always does, with special teams drills. The first kickoff return unit consisted of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey as returners and on one of his opportunities, Bailey took the ball to the house.

-       WVU center Joe Madsen is currently sporting a Mohawk haircut and claims that it gives him some sort of power or guidance or some other foolish thing. Today, when I was watching the line drills, he came over to me and said "Mohawk Magic." Apparently that's his battle cry this year. But is anyone else joining him in this movement? Yes, he says, Andrew Buie is going with a similar look. That's noteworthy, right?

-       Speaking of Madsen and the o-line, he was the only center to take reps in one-on-one drills with the defensive line. Time after time, he lined up against the likes of J.B. Lageman, Shaq Rowell and Imarjaye Albury and for the most part he got the better of the defenders. Lageman performed well enough in the drill to receive praise from d-line coach Erik Slaughter, while Rowell needed some encouragement.

It's good to see Josh Jenkins in full pads and participating in all the drills and though he was getting an earful from Bill Bedenbaugh many of the times he took on Jorge Wright in one-on-ones, he did come away with a pancake block at one point that garnered some excitement from his teammates.

-       Defensively, Imarjaye Albury was the focus of Slaughter's attention from much of a drill designed to get the lineman blocking up field before pulling the opponent and working past him. It may have been the first time any of the players had performed the drill because no one seemed to really please Slaughter, but Albury seemed to be at the center of the teaching.

Slaughter told him time and time again to imagine that his car was out of gas and he had to push it to the blue of the end zone before he could stop. When Albury finally succeeded in this, he was winded, prompting Slaughter to remind him that this was why he should have gotten it right on the first try.

-       Daron Roberts coached the cornerbacks through a press-bail technique in which they would line up across from a receiver as though poised to press him off the line before bailing into coverage. This way, the receiver may have a false sense of security and believe a fade route would work before finding that the defender is with him step for step.

Only it seemed like no one could get it right. Finally graduate assistant Andrew McGee, who played corner at Oklahoma State, stepped in to show what it was supposed to look like. One by one, starting with Cecil Power and working its way through the drill, each player seemed to grasp the idea and perform it adequately.

-       Camp is as good a time as any to get any fighting out of a players' system and for Darwin Cook and Dante Campbell, that's precisely what Tuesday brought. During a drill in which two defensive backs try to get off blocks of two receivers and get to the ball carrier, Cook and Campbell ended up on the ground. Only they didn't get back up immediately.

As they rolled around in a scuffle, Dana Holgorsen called out for them to stop wasting time. First Obie the Orange and now Campbell. No one is safe from Cook's wrath.

-       With that drill still in mind, co-defensive coordinator Joe DeForest took a bit of a leg whip and was visibly limping for much of the practice. No red jersey, though, he's fighting through.


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