Prayers For The Bush Family
Senior cornerback and all-conference candidate Antoine Bush is not with the team as he mourns the loss of his father, Reginald Bush, who passed away on Saturday. The entire coaching staff, athletic department, and Mean Green family are keeping the Bush family in their prayers and wish for the fans to do the same.
Post Practice Quotes
On the First Day
“I was really pleased with the tempo that we had out there today. With the young guys being out there a little bit early today they really got in some great work and for it being the first day I really liked the tempo that we established out there."
Linebacker Toby Nwigwe
On improving from last year to this year
"I just want to be the best in the conference and the best in the nation, that's what's I'm focusing on, just being the best."
Wide Receiver Desmond Brigham
"I just want to come out and compete. I know that I have the talent to help the team out whether that's at wide receiver or another position, I just want to help the team out in anyway."
Wide Receiver Forrest Rucker
Being At North Texas
"I'm getting along with everyone pretty well (the wide receivers) and I'm really feel at home here at North Texas. This is the place that I'm suppose to be at".
Moving On Out
Senior lineman Chad Rose, who has seen a tour of duty at every position on the offensive line, was running with the first-team offensive line at right tackle during some offensive drills. Rose, who started his career at center, moved out to guard, and now is at tackle heading into his senior season.
Play of the Day
First impressions are what everyone wants to make and freshman Willie Taylor turned in a beauty. Working with the QB’s on fade routes in the end zone, Taylor stretched to the line, brought the ball down, dragged his left foot, and went down in a heap but held the ball. Roughed up a little skin along the way but made the play.
Jamel Jackson on a deep route had an over-the shoulder grab while falling out of bounds. One of the upstarts from spring ball has continued to show soft hands here in the first practice.
Transfer Jeremy Knott just had an opportunity to showcase his kickoff skills and he responded with three consecutive boots at or inside the five yard line. If Knott shows this type of consistency it could go a long way in providing the Mean Green defense with great field position.
More Practice Pics
We added some more photos to the Mean Green Practice Blog photo album. There's even a George Dunham sighting! I don't think the new offensive linemen caused an earthquake like the one he felt out in California.
On the defensive side of the ball, the upperclassmen are showing their leadership in linebacker and secondary drills. Defensive coach Chuck Petersen used junior defensive back Kartey Agbottah as an example for others to watch. Senior defensive back Germaine Dawson also showed some quicks. Linebackers including senior Colt Mahan and juniors Steve Warren and Tobe Nwigwe showed good hands and footwork in their drills.
Hall of Famer On The Field
Future North Texas Athletic Hall of Fame members might be working out as we speak, but we also had a Mitch Maher sighting. The current all-time leader in career passing yards at North Texas (for now) stopped by for a visit during the first work out of the day.
Flying Dummy Alert
Under the watchful eye of Coach Dodge, the cadre of QB’s worked on a drill that involved quick decisions and precision. After taking the initial snap, Coach Dodge would hurl a tackling dummy their way while at the same time as calling out a spot he wanted to ball to land. Giovanni Vizza rifled one smack dab into the middle of the target while slide-stepping away from what in real life we assume would be a 300-pound lineman.
Those were the words screamed by junior linebacker Tobe Nwigwe during the defensive stripping drills. The Mean Green was a minus 11 in the turnover department last season so naturally one of the first steps towards a better defense is a role reversal in the turnover area. Also the secondary was doing tip drills and the defensive line was working on batting balls down.
All Hands On Deck
The full squad has arrived on the scene, its 11-on-11 drills for the offensive and Gary DeLoach 101 for the defense. Didn’t take long for the first set of up-and-downs either. Back with more in a bit.
A Thousand Words
For those of you looking for photos of today's festivities, check out the Mean Green Practice Blog photo albums.
Darien Playing Nice
Freshman defensive back Darien Williams is quickly learning the do’s and don’ts of training camp. Earlier in practice he cut into the passing lane and picked off a pass from Riley Dodge, which in a game he probably would have taken to the house. Moments later he had the chance to obliterate Willie Taylor on a post pattern but wisely backed off.
Where It All Starts
Quarterbacks Riley Dodge and Nathan Tune are practicing rollout drills with running backs and receivers. They are also throwing deep routes towards the sidelines. They look sharp with the short throws and have nice touch on the long ones. Dodge’s arm especially looks good. He’s firing bullets all over the field. Wide receiver Forrest Rucker had a great catch along the sidelines. The 6’6” freshman went up high to pull in the ball landing on his back in bounds. Freshman Desmond Brigham had some nice grabs deep over the middle.
The Big Boys Arrive
I think a parade just rolled into the Fouts Field parking park lot. All of the veterans just arrived and the train of vehicles stretched for what seemed like a mile. The vets are getting their equipment on and will hit the field with the newcomers in around 25 minutes. Ahhh, the joys of being a returner.
It Won’t Last
We started on the defensive side of the ball and noticed that Chuck Peterson was actually making more noise than new (old) defensive coordinator Gary DeLoach. Peterson was working with the DB’s on footwork and timing. Jeremy Phillips is a tall drink of water, every bit of six foot three.
Mean Green In The News
Check out the CW-33 newscast tonight for a story on how the Mean Green football team handles these record-breaking temperatures. The station sent up a crew to speak with coach Dodge and a couple of players about how the team is coping with the heat.
Warm-Up’s Are Done
It’s just the newcomers until 8 p.m. but the drills are underway. Back with some updates in a bit.
Is The Air Conditioning On?
The unofficial temperature reading on the 50-yard line of Fouts checks in at 108 degrees. Now if you factor in how hot the tiny rubber tire like pellets (think NASCAR tires at Indy two weeks ago) keeping the field soft it’s probably a little warmer.
Not a record breaker though
An Extra Helping
The Mean Green’s went into the off-season last year looking for some size, and I would have to say mission accomplished. Two of the new additions, Nate Jenkins and Gabe Hollivay arrived in Denton with a few extra pounds to add to the North Texas offensive line. Officially Jenkins checked in at 171.8 and Hollivay at 163.3.....That’s kilos by the way, their official weight’s were 378 for Jenkins and 360 for Hollivay. Here’s going on record as putting them as the largest offensive lineman in North Texas history.
And here’s betting they lose a lot of those pounds before the end of tonight’s practice. The way the bowls work these days, its unlikely that we would ever see these two at Lawry's, but it sure would be fun to see.
Etiquette Guide To Blogging
Less than 30 minutes until the first installment of Dodge Day’s begin, but since blogging is still a fairly new concept in the new media world, we have devised a blogging “etiquette” guide for refreshing your screen during the two-a-day season.
Casual Mean Green Fan- Once in the morning, again in the afternoon, and maybe before bed
Season Ticket Holder- Every 2-3 hours, and a couple of times at work. Trust me, everyone else in your office is doing it to.
Recent Graduates- Every 60 minutes. Or remember to turn down the sound on your computer at your new job (so your boss doesn’t hear the eagle screech from the website) so you can check in every 45 minutes.
Family Of The Players- 15-30 minutes, you never know, your son might deliver the hit of the day early into practice. And you will also know when to expect them back in their dorm rooms so you can check in on them.
Green Grenade II- Every 30 seconds or until your mouse breaks.
What 2 Look 4
Still about an hour and change away from the first offical practice starting, but we have put together a list of items to be on the lookout for on the blog while keeping you up to date on the daily battles going on during fall camp at all of the positions...
-A freshman gives new meaning to the number one and its significance to a whole community.
-Where is Era, Texas?
-How did the last player to return a kickoff for a TD at North Texas help a current player end up in Denton?
-Someone actually had a better record than Riley Dodge’s Southlake Carroll team over the last three years.
-The Olympics are right around the corner and we are going to catch up with a Mean Green legend who captured a medal at the ’72 games.
-Why do the players privately prefer to work out at Fouts Field as opposed to the practice fields?
-What is there about the name Phillips, football, and the DFW metroplex?
-We stumbled upon Terry Bradshaw’s new golfing buddy over the summer and he wears green.
-Brad Kassell, Cody Spencer, Johnny Quinn, Brandon Jackson, and Patrick Cobbs are all enjoying their careers at the next level and we will catch up with them during the fall camp and see how life in the NFL has been going for those former North Texas greats.
-A live stream of Todd Dodge’s press conference during Media Day on August 6.