WKU football blog, Day 2

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Speed reads

For the second straight day, Western Kentucky coaches stressed speed and high tempo at fall practice. And though it’s only been two days  at such a high pace, things appear to be clicking.

“We got all our plays in again, I actually thought we were behind at one point but we were going so fast that I didn’t even realize it,” WKU coach David Elson said. “We were still a little sloppy and had a few problems with the center-quarterback exchange and I thought toward the end we started to get tired and lost concentration and communication a bit.”

Elson said that the coaching staff went another step further with the installation of plays. With the added information sometimes comes a bit of overload – something the team will try to improve.

“We put more in today, but we’ve got to start to build and get better at concentrating toward the end of practice and finish the day off,” he said.

Getting his feet back

I spoke with senior defensive end Dan Cline on Tuesday, and it appears the foot injury that forced him to miss a good portion of spring practice – as well as the Red and White game – is completely healed.

That has to be encouraging for the Hilltopper coaching staff, who will be counting on the 6-foot-6 Cline as a returning starter at left defensive end.

“Foot’s going great, it feels good,” Cline said. “I spent countless hours in the summer rehabbing it and so far everything feels good and I’m just ready to get back out there.

“There’s really no pain there.”

Other than the healed foot, there’s one more thing different about Cline this season — his mohawk. Cline received the custom cut from teammate – and apparently amateur barber – Marell Booker, and said it’s something he’s been meaning to get to for a long time.

“I’m going to be graduating here in four months, and when that’s done, I can’t just go to job interviews with any haircut I want,” he said. “So I’ve always wanted a mohawk, my parents wouldn’t let me get one as a kid.

“And I figured I’ve only got four or five months until I enter the real world, so I might as well do it now.”

Increased competition

Elson and his staff offered a unique bit of competition Tuesday amongst not only the team’s eight total quarterbacks, but also the entire offensive and defensive units.

In an effort to run one-on-one passing drills with more efficiency, Elson paired four quarterbacks with the wide receivers (who ran routes against the defensive backs) and the other four with the running backs (who ran against the linebackers). The stipulation was that whichever side (offensive or defensive) had the most success (completions or incompletions) got to avoid punishment at the end of practice.

Sophomore K.J. Black, senior David Wolke, freshman Anthony Sheppard and freshman Marcus Vasquez threw with the wideouts, while junior Brandon Smith, sophomore Tyler Bruce, freshman Kawaun Jakes and freshman Dexter Haynes worked with the backs.

In the end, the offense finished with 30 completions to the defense’s 26 pass breakups – meaning the entire defense (coaches included) hit the ground for added pushups during post-practice stretching.

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