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Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Good morning, ACC fans. I'm in Tallahassee, and getting ready to head out to FSU practice, but first I wanted to catch you up on a few Monday practice reports from around the league:
The Terps started practice on Monday, and coach Ralph Friedgen is a shell of his former self after losing more than 100 pounds. Here are a few tidbits from Monday's practice, as reported by the sports information office:
"I looked at the young quarterbacks and they did pretty good for the first day," Friedgen said. "We put a lot of stuff in and they had the extra meeting today. I thought Chris was very sharp. I though Jamarr showed some signs of improving. I was impressed with the quickness of [Caleb] Porzel, He is a quick little kid. We have to get him and D.J. Adams in on Saturday [for the scrimmage]. I want to see what they can do."
Wake Forest's third preseason football practice of the season marked the first time the squad practiced with shoulder pads. The first two practices were in jerseys, shorts and helmets. Adding the shoulder pads made for a crisper practice, according to head coach Jim Grobe.
And from the players' perspective, the lack of sprints following practice was a big relief.
"Tomorrow's the last day of [Summer II] exams and we've got guys still doing papers and still studying for exams," said Grobe. "We had a pretty good practice tonight. We're a pretty worn out group anyways. I figured if I ran them tonight, I might make them too tired to study and I didn't want to do that."
Adding shoulder pads made Monday night's practice more interesting for both the coaches and the players.
"It was more fun tonight," said Grobe. "The first couple of days in shorts are good to install stuff but everything's mushy when you're trying to run plays and it doesn't look crisp. Tonight, with the shoulder pads on, we had some good crisp work against each other."
One of the highlights was an offense vs. defense pass-rush session.
"Some of the young guys found out what it's like to rush against Chris DeGeare and some of the big offensive linemen," laughed Grobe. "That was fun."
DeGeare, Wake Forest's 6-foot-4, 335-pound senior offensive tackle, is one of the top linemen on the squad.
"I think we had better team periods, just crisper getting off blocks and that kind of stuff," said Grobe. "I think the kids had fun tonight. It's always good when you have a good work night and have fun doing it.
"We're still really sloppy. We've got real good energy, guys bouncing around and I'm sure that's going to end here pretty soon. They're going to get tired. But right now we have good enthusiasm. We had some collisions tonight but guys are taking care of each other pretty good. I think the energy is exciting. We're dropping too many balls and missing blocks and missing assignments on defense and things like that. It's not because of a lack of trying so that's encouraging. I like the chemistry of this football team. These guys respect each other. We've had three really good practices right now."
Duke battled through a blistering heat wave on Monday morning, working out at the Brooks Practice Facility for over two hours.
"It's always a challenge this time of year," coach David Cutcliffe said following the session. "It's been a mild summer, and our guys have worked very hard.
I think we're in extremely good condition. As tough as it sounds, we need some of this right now. If we hit September games, and we're going to get this 100-degree heat, then to be able to play four quarters we need a little bit of this right now. What you have to be careful of is to not deplete your team to where it affects tomorrow. We've got to push them up to a point and then obviously not to the point where they can't recover, and our medical staff does a great job of watching those kids."
As preseason camp marches on, the coaching staff will continue to evaluate the freshmen on the roster to determine which will earn immediate playing time.
"I've already started that process; I did a long evaluation yesterday," Cutcliffe noted. "I just sat by myself in the staff room, looking at the depth at every position, and looking at the players, then looking at our practice tape just to get an idea. The hard part is we're installing, and we're putting an enormous amount of offense and defense on them and sometimes a confused player will look like a non-motivated player. So we're jumping back and forth between getting our young people evaluated, and then getting our system in place."