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Practice #4, Aug. 8, 2011

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The Tigers had a little break in the heat today by way of the weather, and by being on the grass field instead of the turf. There is more construction going on around the Murphy Athletic Complex as fields two and three are being leveled and having sprinklers installed. That project is supposed to wrap around the first of October.

The squad was in just shells for the final day as they will put on full pads for Tuesday's workout. Despite just being in shells, Coach Porter has noted quite a bit of contact already. He again sees more that he likes on the defensive side of the ball.

"I think defensively we continue to get better, but offensively we are still experiencing growing pains," said Porter after day four's practice session. "We have to put ourselves in position to clean some things up so we can start operating more efficiently as an offense."

"As far as quarterback play, today was an average day," added Porter. "We are doing some things and have guys showing some flashes, but we just have to put it together."

Porter did commend the special teams unit after practice, noting that he felt like punter Tom Hornsey and kicker Paulo Henriques were doing things well and that this group would "be an advantage for us." Porter is trying several guys out in the return game, and feels as though there are certainly capable and talented players vying for those roles.

Some of the players mentioned as returners were Bakari Hollier, Keiwone Malone, Bobby McCain, Reggie Travis, Trey Johnson, Billy Foster, Kevin Wright and some of the young backs such as Artaves Gibson, Joe Price and Carl Harris.

When asked why he felt this team would be better than last year, Porter had this to say:

"Right now, in terms of chemistry, continuity and execution, defensively we are better. We aren't giving up a bunch of big plays. I believe as a whole, we are better. You can literally see it out there. Offensively, I still think we are better at the offensive line; we are talented at receiver and we are talented at running back; and our quarterbacks are better as well. Again, it's about putting it together in a new system. We are having too many self-inflicted wounds. The receiving corps needs to step up. We are talented, but I haven't seen what I want to see in them yet. "

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