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August 8, 2013
Wednesday brought the Bulldogs first day of two-a-day practices. The morning session the 'Dogs reported in full pads and continued their physical play. In the afternoon session the team practiced in half pads, but Coach Tim DeRuyter made it clear that the intensity did not drop in the slightest.
"My indication is that our guys did a great job with the first day of two-a-days," DeRuyter said. "We might've got too excited at times in the afternoon practice. We were thumpin' each other pretty good. Coach [Joey] Boese got our guys in great shape, some of the younger guys that weren't here this summer have to get a little more work in because they haven't got as many reps, but the other guys are in great shape."
Derek Carr did not participate in afternoon practice Wednesday due to NCAA acclimation rules. He had not yet completed enough practice's to compete in two-a-days. The 'Dogs still had a great practice, and Carr's absence shined new light on the backup quarterback battle.
"I thought we got a lot done today," DeRuyter said. "We had a physical practice this morning, came back took the pants pads off this afternoon, just went upper pads, worked our third down stuff and I thought there was good things on both sides. Brian Burrell is making great strides as the back-up QB. He's still learning, but he's probably got a slight lead on the rest of them, but nothings been set yet."'
DeRuyter is confident that the 'Dogs are right on schedule after the first seven practices. He admits they have along way to go but is happy with the progression thus far.
"I'm happy with what we've done so far," DeRuyter said. "I'm glad we've got three more weeks to practice before we play Rutgers, but I've been really pleased with the type of shape our guys showed up in, and we've had really productive practices and I like where we're at."
Heartbeat of the Defense
Although he has not been participating in team drills after suffering a laceration on his head, L.J. Jones continues to be a leader of the Bulldogs defense and their playmaking secondary.
"It's very important for the secondary to be leaders of our defense," Jones said. "The back four is the heartbeat of our defense. As long as we got our mojo going on the rest of the defense really rallies around us, and as long as we're on the same page anything is possible. We're looking to go 1-0 each week."
Jones recapped practice and was pleased with the effort, and echoed DeRuyter's perceived lack of drop off from the morning practice to the afternoon.
"Morning practice a lot of people came out with a chip on their shoulder, play got a little chippy out here," Jones said. "The heat has everybody a little riled up. This afternoon we matched the intensity. We got a lot of things done from the defense and offense perspective. We worked on a lot of plays and schemes, just trying to get dialed in for the start of the season."
With Sean Alston out for the year Jones is looking towards some of the younger guys to add depth to the 'Dogs at the corner position.
"Right now the guys impressing at the other corner spot are Shannon Edwards, Jamal Ellis, and Curtis Riley," Jones said. "Those guys are out here battling everyday. I mean we got a lot of guys that can play but those three are standing out right now."
Steven Morehart is a new staff writer for FSBulldogs.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @StevenMorehart.
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