http://grfx.cstv.com/schools/niu/graphics/spacer.gif" /> NIUHUSKIES.COM - The Northern Illinois Official Athletic Site - BLOG ">

Results tagged “spring practice” from NIU Huskies

SATURDAY SPRING PRACTICE REVIEW

|
Spring11 - JLynch throws (small).jpgNorthern Illinois completed its first week of 2012 spring practices with a two-hour workout in full pads Saturday at Huskie Stadium.  After practicing Wednesday and Thursday in shorts and helmets only, NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren enjoyed seeing the Huskies in full contact mode.

"It was fun to see guys hitting today," Doeren said.  "The ball was on the ground a little too much but that's going to happen when guys get hit for the first time in a while."

After moving through the national progression of practice from individual position drills to specific run and pass game work, to 7-on-7, Saturday's session ended with several periods of full team scrimmaging. While cornerback Rashaan Melvin started 11-on-11 by intercepting Jordan Lynch on the first play, Lynch and the offense came back when the team moved from stationary plays to actually moving the chains. Facing the first team defense on the first drive, Lynch drove the offense down the field and hit Tommylee Lewis on third and goal from inside the 10-yard line for a touchdown.  

Earlier in the practice, NIU middle linebacker Devon Butler made his first interception of spring during seven-on-seven drills.

Although hesitant to grade the day before reviewing the tape, several players did catch Doeren's eye.

"There was good energy today but I have to watch the film to say exactly how good of a day it was," Doeren said.  "Luke Eakes had a nice day. Tim Semisch made some plays and the tight ends looked good.  I saw our two defensive ends, Alan Baxter and Sean Progar, doing some good things.   I'm anxious to watch the tape."

The Huskies return to the practice field next week with workouts Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoon at Huskie Stadium.


NIU SPRING FOOTBALL: DAY SIX UPDATE

|
Northern Illinois' sixth spring practice of 2011 on Saturday, April 2 at Huskie Stadium saw continued improvement by the Huskie offense with fewer stops overall and fewer big plays by the defense, although the defense continued to perform well in the final "Move the Ball" periods of practice.

For the second practice this year, NIU had referees on the field and with the team having been in pads for the fourth straight day, the intensity was once again upped a notch.

"It was fun to see guys finish plays," said NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren.  "I wanted to see the runners have to run through contact, the defense to make stops, and the receivers make guys miss.  I'm anxious to see the film."

The Northern Illinois offense, under the direction of quarterbacks Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch, seemed to get the best of the defense early in the situational down and distance drills.  The offensive line and tight ends opened lanes, and running backs Jamal Womble, Jas Hopkins, Akeem Daniels and Leighton Settle took full advantage.

"It is getting slower for the offense," Doeren said.  "The tempo has slowed down.  I think their attention to situation is a lot more developed.  Chandler is confident right now and they understand our goals on first down, on second down, in the red zone. Jas had a good day. I was excited to see the running backs do some things after the catch. It's fun watching all these guys compete."

With several veteran defensive linemen on the sidelines due to injuries Saturday (nearly all should return prior to the end of spring), a host of young defensive linemen, including recently converted former offensive linemen Tyler Pitt, Matt Battaglia and Kyle Jenkins (who moved back to defense, his original position at NIU), got extensive reps.  That experience will only make the Huskies stronger, said Doeren.

"It's huge anytime you can build depth," Doeren said. "That allows you to rotate a lot of guys when some of those players come back.  In the long run, it is going to help our team."

Doeren said one of his favorite plays of the day was a Rashaan Melvin blocked PAT following an offensive score.  

"I loved to see that blocked extra point by Melvin," he said.  "I was fired up about that."  

The end of practice featured a field goal kicking competition between kickers Mat Sims and Ryan Fillingim with the losing kicker's "team" forced to do up-downs.  In the end Fillingim - kicking for the reserves - made the last kick after a lengthy session back-and-forth, despite the best efforts of the starters to distract him.    

Practice Notes:  The sun shone brightly throughout Saturday's session but a strong wind kept NIU's end zone lift and operator grounded for the first time this spring... Huskie mascot Diesel and his owner, Tom Bonnevier, were on the sidelines... Diesel took several practice laps in the end zone as he went through his own version of "spring drills"... Former Huskies Jake Coffman, D.J. Pirkle and Cory Hanson watched a good portion of practice from the sidelines.

SPRING BALL UPDATE

|
Coach Dave Doeren 7.jpgThe Northern Illinois University football team began its second week of spring practice Tuesday morning at Huskie Stadium. The Huskies were put through their paces by first-year head coach Dave Doeren and his coaching staff under clear skies and crisp temperatures. Tuesday also marked the second day in full pads as the Huskies worked on everything from individual work to the two-minute drill and closing out practice with special teams play.

While there is a new coaching staff to adjust to and new terminology to learn, one thing that has carried over from the previous coaching staff has been competition. With a whole new staff, comes a whole new group of coaches to impress. Doeren has been pleased with the energy and enthusiasm the team has played with so far through his first spring ball. The challenge for the Huskies now is to maintain that energy and continue to pick up the new concepts in the remaining 11 practices culminating in the Spring Game April 23.

SPRING FOOTBALL PREVIEW

|
ESPN.com's Andrea Adelson previewed 10 non-AQ programs, including Northern Illinois. She talks about some of the issues facing the Huskies during upcoming spring practice and some things for fans to look for with a new coaching staff in place.
 
Frazier Corner Promotions Follow The Huskies Fan Guide Recruits Shop