CavCamp Blog: Let’s Get Physical

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Receivers coach John Garrett

Today’s practice was the wettest, longest, loudest and most physical one of training camp so far. With the players in full pads for the first time, there was more hitting and hollering than before – and that was just the coaching staff.

Al Groh and his assistants aren’t shy about offering criticism or praise, as they showed throughout the nearly three-hour practice. They would yell in a player’s face one minute, then give him a high five the next. Their enthusiasm and energy livened up a damp afternoon.

Some examples…

  • Special teams coordinator Mark D’Onofrio was a wild man during a kickoff coverage drill, exhorting players to force a fumble. “C’mon, go for the ball! Get the friggin’ ball!” When freshman Chris Cook slammed into a blocker and knocked him backward, D’Onofrio ran over and slapped his hand. “Way to be physical! Way to be physical!”
  • During the same drill, Groh hollered at Nate Lyles , “What did I show you that tape for today? Do something special on special teams. Do something to help us win.”
  • Strength coach Evan Marcus shouted at linemen as they battled in one-on-one drills. “Lift the car! Lift the car! Put him on the ground!”
  • Anthony Poindexter during an offensive drill: “Tempo, tempo, tempo tempo! Let’s play some damn football! Come on, son!”
  • Defensive line coach Lavern Belin, to freshman Jeffrey Fitzgerald : “Keep fighting. Don’t stop. I don’t give a crap. Don’t stop.”
  • Offensive coordinator Ron Prince chewed out the entire line after one play. Moments later, he smiled and slapped Mikell Simpson on the shoulder pad after Simpson picked up safety Ben Parziale on a blitz.

    And I shouldn’t leave out receivers coach John Garrett, who is worth the price of admission to an open practice. (Oh, they’re free? Never mind.) He’s

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