Aug. 8, 2009
By Chris Deal - UNM Assistant Media Relations Director
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico football team took the field for over five hours Saturday afternoon as the Lobos held their third practice of the fall. UNM continued split squad practices in 90-degree weather with shoulder pads and helmets. Each squad worked out for over two hours in the heat as the intensity of practice was elevated with the addition of shoulder pads. Today's report is a collection of practice field observations.
The competition between the defense and offense started to show. During the first session a few quick friendly encounters occurred between the front lines. Both sides showed their emotions and were quick to celebrate. Although the defense made a few plays, I thought the offense looked good and completed a lot of passes. Freshman Demond Dennis continued to shine with his quickness and ability to move.
Senior Donovan Porterie led the offense during the first session along with B.R. Holbrook. Porterie showed vocal leadership and was throwing the football well today. Porterie was seen giving praise to the wide receivers and positive compliments to the offensive linemen.
Lobo head coach Mike Locksley continued to roam the field, jumping from group to group providing instructions. Locksley who has been vocal during the first three practices has stressed the basics early on.
Defensive line coach Rubin Carter described his front line as silent assassins. Carter, who was not impressed with the offensive chatter, preached to his guys about executing and making plays. Seniors Kendall Briscoe and DeAndre Davis made some plays in the first session to build on the intensity level. Newcomers Jacori Greer, Reggie Ellis, Peter Gardner and Ahraya Crespin have been spotlighted at times during the first three days.
"We are running a different style of defense and it's creating a lot of competition up front on the defensive line," said Davis. "We have four guys up front now and we are trying to get more pressure while still being able to make plays. This is a much faster defense and everyone is using speed to make a difference. In the first couple of days we are trying to build our foundation and the coaches have done a lot of teaching."
Constant chatter throughout practice was heard from the staff. Coaches were telling guys to "stay on their feet" and "drink water". Head Trainer David Binder and his staff were constantly running and taking care of the guys. Towels filled with water were used for the linemen and guys on the sidelines to keep cool.
QB coach Tee Martin unleashed his arm today at practice. Martin launched five or six deep balls and showed he can still throw. It was the first time during practice that Martin has showed his arm.
During the second session, safety Frankie Solomon, who practiced with the first session, returned to cheer on the defense and tried his best coaching impersonation. Solomon tucked in his shirt and wore a hat while roaming the sidelines yelling orders.
UNM will be off on Sunday but will return to practice Monday at 2:30 p.m. MT. The Lobos will have their final split squad practice Monday before putting on pads Tuesday. Continue to check GoLobos.com for more updates on Lobo Football and UNM athletics.