With training camp over, and the once fuzzy depth chart coming into focus, the team can now completely focus on the September 2nd showdown with in-state rival, Louisville. There wasn’t any groundbreaking news after today’s practice, but there were a ton of tidbits from Coach Joker Phillips, OC Randy Sanders, and the players.
-Like Drew posted earlier, the biggest news of the day is RB CoShik Williams (foot sprain) returning to practice. Williams said he is close to 100% and will definitely be ready for the Louisville game.
–Phillips emphasized that Williams is still the starting running back despite his injuries. He also added that Williams is “pound for pound” strongest guy on the team.
-Phillips thinks the depth at the running back position pushed Williams to come back quicker than he might have otherwise. Only two plays on the infamous 98-yard drive during last week’s scrimmage were passes, and Phillips contributes that to the overall talent at tailback.
-According to Phillips, QB Maxwell Smith looks more comfortable after being named the starter. “He’s able to lead better, he’s a little more vocal, because know he’s knows that [the position] is his.”
-Phillips said that the offense is looking to involve the tight ends more this year than in year’s past. There’s more depth than there’s ever been at the position and the Cats are looking to take advantage of that.
-OC Randy Sanders is concerned about the offensive line depth. He thinks the starting five is great, but says that the second team struggles at times. Definitely something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
-WR Darryl Collins l says his personal goal for the season is to become the number one receiver. He wants to push veteran WR Larod King for playing time and wants to have better numbers than him as well.
–Collins thinks the offensive tempo has sped up since Smith was named starter. He says Smith’s rhythm and timing with the receivers is starting to pick up and continuity should be there by the Louisville game.
-Collins had a tough time punt returning today because it was so sunny. He stressed that he has to get better at fielding because he knows they’ll be day games and fielding can’t be an issue.