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August 3, 2013

Saturday Practice Insider

The Bulldogs took the field for their second fall practice on Saturday. The 'Dogs were again practicing in only helmets, but like day one the energy level never waivered, and Coach Tim DeRuyter took note of this.

"Again I liked our energy our attitude and our effort," DeRuyter said. "We've been getting good leadership, our guys on both sides of the ball again are making plays you know Davante [Adams] is looking sharp, but he's dropping too many balls, and we've had that with too many guys, we've got to get more consistent there."

The team understands that it will take some time to "knock off the dust" so to speak. Senior tight end Marcel Jensen, like DeRuyter, was pleased with the team's effort but understands the need to get better everyday.

"It was sloppy," Jensen said. "I mean we're going hard but you know, its day two, we have to get some things polished up, me included. I had a couple easy drops but I mean we'll get there. I have confidence we'll be ready by the time the 29th rolls around."

Tight End Impact

Jensen's tight end position will have a huge impact on the success of the Bulldogs offense. Jensen has been lost in the mix due to all the hype generated by the 'Dogs talented receiving corps, but offensive coordinator Dave Schramm has given him high praise early in camp.

"Marcel's been good," Schramm said. "He has to knock the rust off like everybody else and be consistent, but nobody works harder than him. Since we got here he's been our most improved player because of his work ethic so he's doing a great job."

The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Jensen is a big target for Derek Carr to throw the ball to and hopes to create mismatches with smaller players in the secondary.

"I've really been working on making myself big in the receiving game," Jensen said. "I'm trying to use my frame to go up and high point the ball. Derek's doing a good job of putting it high, I just need to come down with it. It's still kind of new to me, I've been doing it for three years, but last year was the first time I got any real good experience."

Jensen is a rare breed of tight end that can excel in the passing game as well as being a devastating blocker in the running game.

"I take a lot of pride in my blocking because there's two dimensions to the position," Jensen said. "Typically you see a guy who's either a good receiver or a good blocker and I just want to be a guy that can do both because, I mean they're pretty rare."

Depth on Defense

DeRuyter mentioned he was pleased with the energy and competition levels of the defense on day two during team drills.

"Defensively I like how we chased the ball much better than yesterday, we forced a couple takeaways which was good," he said.

The defense continues to be visibly intense and has been getting great production from somewhat unexpected places.

"Jamal Ellis is really showing up, he should have had a pick today again, but he's bursting," DeRuyter said. "Curtis Riley again is showing up, he doesn't really know what he's doing yet but he's playing fast. Jeff Camilli is getting his hands on balls when he's getting his opportunities with the 2's."

Kicking Game

DeRuyter was gushing about Colin McGuire and the kicking game, which he seemed to think was the highlight of practice.

"I really liked how we kicked the ball today, probably the most encouraged I've been about our kicking game since I've been here," he said. "We hit all our kicks and it looks like it's supposed to look like. That ball really comes off Colin's foot well and I think he can be a real weapon for us."

While he was excited about the potential that McGuire has been showing, DeRuyter is not making any guarantees, but hoping that the freshman kicker can stand up to the test of performing under pressure.

"We haven't established how reliable the kicking game will be yet," DeRuyter said. "We have to get him in pads and put him in some pressure situations, but like I said I feel much better about our kicking game right now than at any point last year."

The 'Dogs will take the field Sunday for their first day in pads as they continue to "knock the rust off," and polish their play as they prepare for the start of the season.

Dog Bones

  • 'Dogs took the field and broke in their new white helmets today.
  • Offense did not look as crisp today, but they still showed great effort.
  • Marteze Waller looked a little shaky today, dropping a couple balls that were thrown to him. Quezada looks a little more fluid in the passing game and seems to have better hands. We'll see if this continues, because that could be a huge deciding factor in who wins that job.
  • The running backs were also switched up on the depth chart today in order to give everybody reps with the first team. Malique Michenheimer took most of the first team reps today.
  • Derek Carr and Devante Adams continue to have great chemistry and look like they're having a lot of fun out there together.
  • Marcel Jensen is going to be huge this year in both the blocking and receiving game.
  • The quarterbacks are working tirelessly on ball control and footwork.
  • Wide receiver Taylor Stewart and running back Dontel James were impressive in individual drills.
  • The linebackers were working a lot on dropping into pass coverage and pickups on combo routes.
  • Karl Mickelsen was moving extremely well at linebacker today.
  • Patrick Su'a wasn't taking as many reps as expected, they could just be taking it slow coming off of his injury.
  • 2013 signees Treshon Broughton, Nate Devan, and Kolby Drew are no longer with the program, while Tray Hall remains a question mark.
  • 2013 signee Da'Mari was watching practice today and is awaiting results from his physical before he can take the field.

    Steven Morehart is a new staff writer for FSBulldogs.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @StevenMorehart.


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