Live Blog Waking Up Early, Dodge Days From Denton Part VIII

DeLoach's Diary 
4:15 p.m.

We are planning on a sit down with new (old) defensive coordinator Gary DeLoach later this week but when you hear the boistrious defensive coordinator on the prowl it provides for a lot of fun. Here were some of his entries from today.

“Go get him, go up and get him, he can’t beat you in a million years.” -talking to freshman cornerback DaWaylon Cook

“I don’t care about anyone else, go score and make that a touchdown” - words of encouragement to safety Kartey Agbottah after his interception during 7-on-7 drills.

“When you work out in the summer you will be a better player, when you don’t, you will make mistakes.”-  to anyone who was listening.

Pacman comes to Denton
3:26 p.m.
Well not really Dallas Cowboys cornerback/punt returner Adam Jones himself, but Chase Baine was doing his best impression at this morning’s practice. The freshman wide receiver came up about five balls short of Jones’ impressive punt-catching extravaganza in Oxnard last week. Still, catching a punt in one hand is pretty good.  

Relay to Denton?
3:04 p.m.

So what is the connection between Olympic hero Jason Lezak and North Texas you say? Well it turns out that Lezak and current North Texas swimming and diving head coach Joe Dykstra used to compete in swim meets together in their teenage years in Southern California when they were younger. The two also squared off a few times, not head-head, in college when Dykstra was at Washington and Lezak at UCSB.

“I’m use to losing to him,” said Dykstra. What’s the football relation here?  None,  we ran into to Joe on our way out to practice.

Post Practice Quotes
1:06 p.m.

CB Antoine Bush

(On being back out with the team)
“It felt great like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was nice to be back in the mix with my teammates."

(On team’s play)
“I thought we did a good job. We picked up where we left off from last year and added some new things. We’re all excited about what we can do this year on defense.

WR Casey Fitzgerald
(On his leadership in ’08)
“I know it’s my responsibility. I had a good season last year so the guys are going to look and see how I work, how I study film and how I act off the field. I’ve got to set a good example for the young guys to follow in my footsteps.”

Morning Recap
12:13 p.m.
A slow start to practice picked up by day’s end. QB Giovanni Vizza had two nice plays in 7-on-7 drills. His first one went over the top to Brock Sticker, who just seems to always be open. The second one threaded the needle to Fitzgerald in double coverage.

-Freshman running back Jeremi Mathis had some nice burst through the line this morning. Perhaps Mathis was motivated by what he heard on the sidelines. New (old) defensive coordinator Gary DeLoach was bellowing “We’re coming, were coming!” They did and Mathis read it perfectly for a big gainer.

-Kylie Hill started the 11-on-11 drills of right for the defense as he was blitzing and timed his jump perfectly to bat down Vizza’s pass.

-Coach DeLoach had some thoughts on DeWaylon Cook when covering a receiver-"Go ahead and press him. He couldn't beat you in a million years." 

Lot's more to come including some quotes, what could pass as a camp diary by Gary DeLoach, and a suprising Olympic connection between last night's relay hero Jason Lezak and North Texas.

POD (Play of the day)
12:01 p.m.
Wide receiver Casey Fitzgerald hands down. In 11-on-11 drills Fitzgerald was streaking across the middle, split a double team and Giovanni Vizza hit him in stride. Fitzgerald had a small bobble of the ball as two more defenders closed, but he cradled it in and he was gone the rest of the way. Then again that’s just another day at the office for an All-American.

“It was a good read by Gio (Vizza). He made a perfect throw so I had to catch it for him” said Fitzgerald.  

Move of the day
11:55 a.m.
Freshman d-lineman Tevinn Cantly gets the thumbs up today. Working with the o-lineman on pass rush drills, Cantly went right around the guard defending him (or trying to) untouched and into the tackling dummy. Drew lots of praise from his linemates while the o-line drew more heat from the lefthander (Coach Leftwich).

Mano E Mano
11:23 a.m.
One on one drills just got finished and there were some impressive battles out there. Antoine Bush made one heck of a play (as coaches screamed “He’s Back”!) when he went up against Sam Roberson. After Roberson made about a 10-yard stop, Bush reacted fast enough to make a play on the ball from behind with his left hand. Robbie Gordon was also impressive when he battled with Evan Walker on a reception/interception, which was eventually won by Gordon when he ripped the ball away from Walker. Freshman wide receiver Greg Brown made the catch of the drill when Riley Dodge threw a ball a couple yards behind him, in which Brown whirled around and made a diving snag. 

Making It Look Easy
It’s sometimes easy to take for granted just how good Casey Fitzgerald really is. The All-American senior wide receiver just finished running drills with the rest of the receivers and Fitz was putting on a show with some great cuts, speed and catching ability. As good as he was last season don’t be surprised if numbers are even better in 2008. You get a sense that everyone knows he’s the best football player on the field because everyone just watches his routes in awe. Not to be overlooked was Alex Lott, who made a solid catch along the sideline, dragging his feet before falling out of bounds and making another shoe-string catch on a deep post pattern.

Swarming to the ball
10:24 a.m.

The pursuit to the ball has been the best we’ve seen all camp....But we are talking about these. And big ones. Its seems the welcome summer rains have turned the Darrell Dickey practice fields into what I’m calling Swamp Dickey.

Bush is back
10:09 a.m.
Good news for the Mean Green secondary as junior cornerback Antoine Bush has returned for his first workout of the year. Bush missed all of last week due to the passing of his father but was welcomed back by everyone this morning. D-Coordinator, Gary DeLoach, had some praise for his corner when lining up- "You're where you need to be. I'm not worried about you."

Spreading them out
9:43 a.m.
No more split fields for the players to work with now that they are over at the Athletic Center. At Fouts the offense and defense had to split the 100-yard field in half, not anymore. Two full-sized practice fields to work with. Heck there’s even enough side room for the lineman to work out on their own. The good old days of Fouts, where did they go..

What 2 watch 4
9:27 a.m. 
First morning practice of the fall camp about to get underway. No issues with the weather to worry. Back with more.
A whole Lott of football?
-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?
-What is there about the name Phillips, football, and the DFW metroplex?
-Sit downs with offensive and defensive coordinators Todd Ford and Gary DeLoach
-An Olympic flashback
-A two-deep

Week 2 of 2-a-days
8:05 a.m. 

Yawn....the practice schedule is different this week as we go from under the lights to the early morning sun, turf to grass, coke to decaf.  A lot to watch for this week on the blog and during practice and more features coming your way throughout the week.

Dodge Days Part VII
Dodge Days Part VI
Dodge Days Part V
Dodge Days Part IV
Dodge Days Part III
Dodge Days Part II
Dodge Days Part I



North Texas Mean Green