Spring Practice #11 - April 7, 2011

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The Tigers were out in full pads today on the grass fields at the Murphy Athletic Complex. The squad continues to run through various situations and Coach Larry Porter is looking forward to Saturday's scrimmage to see just how far the team has come since their last full scrimmage a week ago. Following Saturday afternoon's scrimmage, the team will have practice on Tuesday and Thursday before officially closing out the spring with the Blue-Gray Game on April 16th at the Liberty Bowl.

Following practice, Coach Porter talked about how he was pleased with the offensive execution, but that he was disappointed in the defense today.

"I was a little disappointed in our defense today," Porter said. "They didn't tackle as well as they had been tackling. Offensively, there was more execution than we have had in the previous practices, so that was good. We still have work to do. We are looking forward to finding out where we are come Saturday as far as how we have improved over the course of this week. The scrimmage this weekend is critical."

When asked about the quarterbacks, Porter explained that he feels Andy Summerlin and Will Gilchrist are both showing marked improvement through the course of the spring.

"Over the past two practices, in terms of the decision making and the managing of the offense, I am encouraged by what I am seeing from Andy in his growth," explained Porter. "Will is starting to make some good decisions as well. All in all, I can say that they are improved at this point. Particularly today, the quarterbacks got us in and out of some plays that could have been bad. That's what they are there for."

Coach Porter also spoke about how much redshirt freshman Al Bond has come along during the spring at center. Bond has taken a majority of snaps with the offensive line and there was one factor that Porter hinted at that would certainly make Bond better - going up against defensive lineman Dontari Poe every day.

"Al Bond gets to practice against Poe every day, and while it has caused the offense to struggle, in the long run, we will be better because of it. He won't line up against a 6-4, 340-pound man every game. Al has grown considerably from where he started."

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