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Quick Hits: Mountaineers Get Outdoors in NYC

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NEW YORK -

West Virginia held its first football practice outside of a hotel ballroom on Thursday, finally making the trip to Fordham University after being stuck indoors the day before. Player interviews preceded a brief session open to media, which mostly consisted of special teams and individual work. One wide receiver failed to show up in the time media was allotted.

-       Just hours after he joined Geno Smith at the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell, Stedman Bailey was absent from the portion of practice that was open to the media. No reason was given by the sports information staff to explain why the redshirt junior receiver was not at the practice, but a team source did say that Bailey was not missing as part of any disciplinary action.

Bailey will be playing his final game in a Mountaineer uniform on Saturday.

-       Right guard Jeff Braun will be moving to the center position for the bowl game in place of Joe Madsen and while it's a change in the lineup, he says there's no concern on his part about viewing the new job as a burden.
"I started last week, probably in the middle of the week, I got switched over," said Braun. "I played it in high school, I've been playing it my whole career kind of silently through practices. I got live reps all the way up halfway through the season this year and then they kind of turned down my reps, but back to live reps last week."

-       Junior linebacker Doug Rigg is from around these parts. A New Jersey native, he is not one of the 75 percent of WVU players who Dana Holgorsen said had not previously visited New York City.

Rigg, readying for his senior season as soon as the Pinstripe Bowl is finished, says he believes the pieces have been put in place for a strong future on the West Virginia defense after a rough first year in a new system with new coaches.

"I think we have high expectations for next year, but hopefully we can put it into effect this game coming up to see how it will propel us into next year," said Rigg.

-       Shaq Petteway has been a jack of all trades since arriving in Morgantown. Currently playing the Will linebacker role after a stint at both Sam and Star linebacker, he has a real understanding of exactly what it is defensive coordinator Keith Patterson is looking for on that side of the ball.

Petteway says after gaining the weight needed to play middle linebacker, he has a hard time believing that the staff would move him back to Star with Terence Garvin graduating and leaving the position vacant. Plus, he has been working directly with Patterson this past season, and that relationship could prove beneficial.

"Having Coach Patterson, I already know his mentality, so the other guys are basically getting ahold of his mentality, but the linebacker corps, we already knew what he was about, we knew how he game planned and stuff. We're just trying to teach the other positions about what Patterson likes and what he doesn't like," Petteway said.

-       Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi played his college ball at Fordham University, where the Mountaineers practiced on Thursday. There is a special display in the team's locker room for Lombardi as the facilities surrounding Jack Coffey Field pay homage to the coach.

J.D. Woods, a senior wide receiver eyeing a professional career following the bowl game, says the Lombardi name alone makes his ears perk up.

"I know Vince Lombardi is the NFL trophy, that's what I want to get," Woods said. "This is his old stomping grounds and this is a blessing to be here."

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