Quick Hits: WVU Gets to Work in Week Two of Spring - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Quick Hits: WVU Gets to Work in Week Two of Spring


Tuesday's practice again featured full pads for the Mountaineers and some gusting winds at Mountaineer Field. Plus, the head coach got in on some of the action. Here are some notes from the action:

-       The stretch period of practice typically doesn't hold much of note as players prepare their bodies for drills and coaches go through the daily banter, but that wasn't the case on Tuesday. The quarterbacks don't stretch with the rest of the team, they work out their arms instead and this time, Dana Holgorsen was helping with the drill.

Equipped with forearm shields, the head coach battled with his QBs as they ran through a gauntlet of pop-up dummies operated by Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson. After weaving in and out of traffic and keeping their eyes downfield, the quarterbacks were told which target to aim for on a net and then released the ball.

I'm sure the drill helped the passers, but it sure looked like Holgorsen and Dawson were enjoying for other reasons.

-       That video at the top of your page is the wide receivers taking on the defensive backs and it's the second-straight practice that we've gotten to see such a drill take place. Holgorsen wasn't around it quite as much as he was last Friday, when he ripped the receivers apart for much of the period, but don't worry, Lonnie Galloway handled the loud lessons on this day.

The wide receivers coach continually got on redshirt freshman Will Johnson for a variety of reasons, telling him to repeat his rep on at least three separate occasions. Galloway even got a defensive back to run at him just to show Johnson and the other receivers what exactly he was looking for.

Daikiel Shorts and Jordan Thompson were the only receivers who seemed willing to run all the way to the end zone after each catch, even if they were wrapped up shy of it initially. Galloway could be heard praising Shorts loudly after one of his blocks late in the drill.

-       Speaking of Thompson, he was one of three punt returners to line up as the Mountaineers ran through their special teams du jour. Tuesday had the punt return unit going through the motions, first separated into three groups and ultimately coming together as a team.

Along with Thompson were Andrew Buie and Vernon Davis and as they tried fielding punts in 900 mile per hour winds (That estimate according to Galloway), they misjudged a number of the balls that were getting hung up mid-flight.

"I guarantee if you can catch it out here, you'll catch it anywhere," Galloway said at one point, but the number of times that the returners were dropping to give five pushups was indicative of just how many balls were hitting the turf.

-       The offensive line went up against the defensive line and linebackers in a drill that included a quarterback and running back. The ball carrier would take the handoff and burst through a designated hole and the defenders would do their best to stop him.

Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson was as vocal as he's been this spring in getting on the defenders for their poor tackling and lack of physical play. At one point, he sarcastically announced that his players had taken the running back's flag.

But, alas, the Mountaineers are hoping to field a tackle football team this year, and not a flag football bunch.

-       Not that it's any indication of what will be on the field by the end of camp, much less this fall, but when the offensive line did work in the above drill, it was with Pat Eger at center, Adam Pankey at left guard and Quinton Spain at left tackle. The drills were separated into three linemen at a time, with Tyler Orlosky taking the other reps at center and Curtis Feigt at right tackle. The right guard duties were typically split between Tony Matteo, Russell Haughton-James and Mark Glowinski.

-       We always love a good brawl in practice. When only 30 minutes are open to the media, we hang on any action we can get, and sometimes a little scuffle is the best that flashes before us. On Tuesday, it wasn't a brawl, but in the last few seconds before we reporters were herded from the premises, we got a chuckle out of an altercation between Wendell Smallwood and Korey Harris.

Smallwood had just run through a drill when, for whatever reason, he threw the football off of Harris' helmet from point blank range. Rather than immediately retaliate, Harris ran to the football, picked it up and turned. Once he located Smallwood, who was a good 15-20 yards away by this time, he cocked back his arm and slung the ball at the running back, hitting him right square on his helmet.

If Paul Millard, Ford Childress, Chavas Rawlins and Logan Moore don't work out, Harris may deserve a look at quarterback with that accuracy.

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