Practice #13 - April 12, 2011

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The Tigers are in the home stretch and in their final week of spring practice. This final week will be about tightening up the loose ends and giving the players a strong foundation heading into the summer. The squad practiced today on the turf field.

Coach Larry Porter continues to stress that he would like quarterbacks Andy Summerlin and Will Gilchrist to be further along than they are right now in executing the offense.

"I think they are growing, but they are not where we need them to be at all," said Porter. "There is a sense of urgency on their behalf to come out and try to do as much as they can to advance themselves. We are working to put them in position to grow.

"It's not just our quarterbacks, though," added Porter. "We need to get the timing and rhythm down with the receivers and our offensive line needs to be a solid unit in order for it to all come together. So, it's not just them, it's the inconsistencies that we are having throughout our offense that we need to improve on, which is affecting our quarterbacks."

Coach Porter also talked a bit about the format of Saturday's Blue-Gray Game, which will see the ones versus the ones and the twos versus the twos.

"We are still working to improve, but I think just being able to identify the improvement that they see within our football team will be something that our fans will enjoy Saturday. At the end of the day, we are a better football team right now than we were at any point last season."

Defensively, Coach Porter spoke highly of Dontari Poe and the defensive line as a whole.

"Not just Poe, but I think our defensive front as a whole has been solid as of late, which is probably what is causing our offense so many issues and problems, and that is a good problem to have. Most of those guys are back and we expect them to be the foundation of what we do defensively. It is all about playing together. If you look at some of the big offensive plays we gave up on Saturday, those were due to misalignments. If we don't play together, it doesn't matter who is playing well, we all suffer. And we have been playing together, especially the last two weeks, but when we have breakdowns, the offense has found a way to take advantage of it."

The Tigers will practice on Thursday before closing out the spring with the Blue-Gray Game on Saturday, April 16, at l p.m. The game will begin at approximately 1 p.m., but many of the festivities start around 11. There will be a live band, season ticket sales, inflatables for the children, a BBQ contest, autographs with the Tigers at about 11 a.m., and a pep rally at about 11:30 a.m. before the squad makes the Tiger Walk from Tiger Lane to the locker room. Parking and all events are free and open to the public. Lots open at 9 a.m., and are on a first-come, first-served basis. For a full listing of events, please CLICK HERE.

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