Fall Football Training Camp - Day Three
Aug. 10, 2001
TUCSON -- The Arizona football team wrapped up preliminary training campsessions with a spirited solo practice on Friday afternoon, and preparedfor the first day of full contact in full pads Saturday morning.
'We will be in full pads tomorrow, and the game changes when you put onthe full pads. We have to be ready because good teams learn how to practiceno matter what you wear. Our lines block full speed all of the time, and werun and throw full speed all of the time,' head coach John Mackovic said.
Most afternoon or evening practices since camp opened with freshman drillsAug. 3 have been heavy on passing situations, and Friday's was no different.
Junior quarterback Jason Johnson, from Puyallup, Wash., operatedexclusively with the first unit and had some success in seven-on-seven andfull-line drills, completing 5-of-9 passes for 63 yards and an out-and-upscoring strike to Brandon Marshall. But backups Cliff Watkins and JohnRattay also saw considerable action fighting for the No. 2 role.
Watkins, a sophomore from Breckenridge, Texas, completed 4-of-6 throws for55 yards and also had a touchdown throw in a short-field 'scoring zone'period. Rattay, a redshirt freshman from Phoenix, completed 3-of-4 passesfor 48 yards, but also suffered interceptions by cornerback Anthony Banksand linebacker Matt Molina.
UA's defense was not without its moments, including some solid rushingdefense and awareness of several reverse plays run by the offense. Truefreshman Carlos Williams, who signed as a tight end, has been making a bidto play defensive end and worked with the second unit in the absence of UAstarter Eli Wnek, who's out for at least a month with a stress fracture inhis right foot.
'Coach Mac Duff is doing a great job of putting it all together on defenseand getting everything in place,' Mackovic said. 'He covers all of thebases, and I have a great deal of confidence in him. If something is notright, he will get on it right away, identify the problem and get it fixed.He brings a certain kind of intensity to that side of the ball.'
Johnson, combined with passing drills Thursday night, has completed11-of-18 throws for 231 yards and two scores in the last two practices.Watkins (9-of-13, 127) and Rattay (8-of-10, 97 yards, 2 interceptions) alsohave been making bids.
Sophomore defensive back Danny Perry suffered apparent ligament damage inhis right knee Thursday night and appears to be out for several months. Helettered as a true freshman in 2000 on special teams.
Mackovic ordered a prohibition of 'jawing' after Thursday's practice,saying, 'There's a difference between enthusiasm and (talking). We want tobe a team with pride, composure and enthusiasm. We'll play with class, playhard and demand intensity and excitement. But it's not a game of personalsatisfaction -- it's a great team game.'
The Cats practice in pads at 8:55 a.m. Saturday at the camp's Rincon Vistafacility and also will hold an evening session there at 7:55 p.m., likelyin half pads and shorts.