August 15, 2007

Utes begin fine tuning

Fall camp is starting to wind down a bit, and as such the Utes are starting to make minor adjustments to lineups and packages in preparation for the season opener at Oregon State. Utah spent a good portion of practice today beginning work on what they expect to see out of the Beavers.

Fine Tuning

Even with preparations beginning, there is a lot of teaching and a lot of individual work that needs to be done between now and August 30th. The secondary is still a ways from game shape, but they are learning and gelling quickly. A real boost to the young defensive backs has been the return of Steve Tate to active practice. Tate looks fluid and shows very little effect of his sports hernia. His experience and leadership out there during live drills should speed up the learning process.

The shuffling of personnel among the offensive line appears to have stopped, and developing continuity among the unit is now the top priority. As it stands, the starting unit will be (from left tackle to right) Zane Beadles, Corey Seiuli, Kyle Gunther, Robert Conley, and Dustin Hensel. Line coach Charlie Dickey appears to be comfortable with the first unit and pleased with how the young players are coming along to provide depth. Zeke Tuinei-Wily continues to be singled out for his hard work and aptitude for the position.

The team spent some time today working on punt drills today, especially on punt block. Asked if Utah will be going after punts more, Whittingham simply replied, "Yes."

Injury News

In injury news, Robert Conley sat out today with a slight concussion. Coach Whittingham expects Conley to be cleared to practice as early as tomorrow. In related news, Conley's top backup Zane Taylor should be cleared to practice as early as Friday. Caleb Schlauderaff has been practicing with the first team offense at right guard in the absence of Conley and Taylor.

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