Stockstill unhappy with morning practice

Team holds kicking scrimmage

August 17, 2009 · Athletic Communications
The Toughness Segment: Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Stockstill is breaking the Blue Raiders' three-week camp into three segments and Monday started the second segment dubbed "Toughness". "The second segment is the toughness part as the pads are on and we are in two-a-day practices. The second week is also a time when kids get tired so you really see who your tough guys are and how they bounce back. Their physical and mental toughness will be tested this week."

Stockstill on the Monday Morning Practice: "I don't think it was very good overall. We have to understand the difference between soreness and injury. If you are injured then you don't need to practice but if you have a few bumps and bruises that is no excuse not to practice hard and today we had two or three guys to fall in that category.

"We also had some concentration issues with drops, jumping offsides, and just the lack of mental toughness. There were some individuals that stood out and I do believe we got better in some areas but my biggest disappoint is with a handful of guys who did not come to compete today."

Stockstill on the Kicking Scrimmage: "We went through every phase of the kicking game this morning and I thought it went pretty well. We looked at a lot of guys and now we have some film so we can get things narrowed down in terms of personnel. I thought we kicked the ball well and I liked the fact guys showed up and competed."

Note: PK Alan Gendreau made 5 of 6 field goals, including a 48 and 50 yarder on back-to-back kicks. His only miss came from 52 yards.

Stockstill on Tavarres Jefferson: "He is coming along real well and I am excited about his play. He is tough both physically and mentally, and is a great effort player. I think he has a chance to help us once he learns everything."

Jimmy Ray Stephens on the offensive line: "We move people around a lot in practice so that they can learn more than one position. You always have to have a Plan B with the offensive line because you never know what might happen. It's ideal to have 10 guys you can count on and right now we have about 7 or 8 but I think we can be at 10 by the time our season begins. They know they have to keep working hard because no one has locked down a starting job or backup job but I like our progress the first week or practice."

Stephens on Chris Hawkins' move to center: "I hope (Chris) Hawkins is there for the season. He is snapping the ball well, using his hands well, and just becoming a better player. I would never feel bad about putting him at center if anything happened to Mark (Thompson)."

Stephens on Jake Padrick's move to tackle: "We are trying to find some guys to play tackle so we put Jake (Padrick) out there. He is a physical guy and since we moved him he has really done a good job. Basically, we just have two tackles right now and we have to find depth and Jake is a guy we feel can step into that role."

Stephens on Alex Stuart running with the first unit on his first day back from an injury: "He is a good player who can bend his knees, play low, and is physical. I had no problem moving him back with the first unit."

NEXT PRACTICE: The Blue Raiders will practice on Tuesday at 4:10 PM and the workout is closed to the public.

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