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August 8, 2012Football practice is a cacophony of sounds. Here are few samples.
"Great to be back out here!" --- Mike Bajakian
Seconds into practice Offensive Coordinator Mike Bajakian yelled out his elation regarding the arrival of football. Coach Bajakian is a very intense instructor who generally focuses hard on the details, but this outburst vocalized what many were surely feeling.
"I've got 65 new guys, 28 freshmen. They don't know what the hell they are doing. Lead them!" --- Butch Jones
This is a very young team. Everyone knew the Bearcats lost a lot of leadership and production with the graduation of Zach Collaros, JK Schaffer, Derek Wolfe, John Hughes, Isaiah Pead, Wesley Richardson, and Alex Hoffman.
With those numbers Coach Jones summarized the concern nicely. It will take significant steps forward from some young, unproven talents for the Bearcats to win the Big East again.
"Rattled already Norvell! Rattled already!" --- Butch Jones
Coach Jones likes to challenge his best players and this often takes is the form. Last year Max Morrison and Tomaz Hilton got the same kind of attention. They were buried on the depth chart, but Coach Jones wanted to push them.
It is good that he doesn't bail on his younger players. Everyone in the program is held accountable and you could be a walk-on or fourth on the depth chart. Still you are expected to give everything every moment of practice.
"That sucks Malcolm!That's an interception! That sucks." --- Reuben Johnson
RJ was always the loudest, most energetic player on the defense. Ssdly, his career has been prematurely curtailed thanks to a "medical disqualification." Now he works as a student coach.
Tough to see Johnson watching from the sideline or behind the play. Still his energy demands attention. Most of the defensive backs have deep respect for RJ because they saw him start in 2010.
The ball was completely catchable, in case you were wondering. Murray was all alone with the ball spiraling towards his eyes.
"Chin the ball Chris! Chin the ball." --- Butch Jones
Coach Jones preaches the details. He wants everyone carrying the ball to hold the point up to his chin. Coach Jones feels this is the most secure pose.
Great day for Chris Moore. The wide receiver out of Tampa, Florida essentially missed his freshman year with an injury. When he returned he was too far behind on install.
There were some flashes of brilliance with the scout team last fall. Moore is working with the second team right now and has more big play ability than Kenbrell Thompkins. Maybe he will slip onto the first squad in time.