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PRESEASON PRACTICE UPDATE: Live Tackle

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: August 10, 2012
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Aug. 10, 2012

PRESEASON PRACTICE UPDATE #5:

NORFOLK, Va. - Friday's practice was the first in full pads for the Football Monarchs and their first taste of tackle football since the spring.

With 20 reps of live tackling, head coach Bobby Wilder was especially pleased once again with the defense.

"I thought they tackled well Right from the first series, our two captains on defense really took control," he noted. "Craig Wilkins had two of the first three plays, both negative yardage plays, and Chris Burnette had a tackle for a loss."

"It was good to see the veteran guys step up and particularly see our defense be as of aggressive as they were this morning. "

MEDIA DAY PUSHED BACK TO MONDAY:
With the potential for bad weather on Friday afternoon, the Football Monarchs decided to push its annual Media Day back to Monday morning. Join the ODU Football Broadcast Team including Voice of the Monarchs Ted Alexander and Color Analyst Andy Mashaw live from the Lexus Tailgate Terrace at 11 am. on Monday at ODUSports.com/AllAccess.

DEFENSIVE MAKES THE OFFENSE BETTER, OFFENSE MAKES THE DEFENSE BETTER:
"There's a marked improvement in our secondary. I've seen that right from the first practice of camp." I can see where our improvement in the backfield is helping our receivers and vice versa, our receivers are also helping the defensive backs," said Wilder.

"The defense looks completely different," said wide receiver Nick Meyers, who opened Friday's practice with a 40-yard reception with the team in wrap. "The linebackers are running out to the flats instantly and there is no hesitation. The db's, they are a lot more physical."

"It's all going to make us better in the long run. Last year we'd come out to practice and it wasn't how it was going to be like in the games. This year it's more of a game like feeling and it's going to make us better."

"That's really a veteran group for us," Wilder said of the wide receiver corps. "We've got eight guys who have played a significant amount of time."

The Monarchs have eight players who have seen a significant amount of time including Mayers, fellow senior Chris Lovitt and Marquel Thomas, along with redshirt sophomores Larry Pinkard and Antonio Vaughan, as well as Blair Roberts and Jakwail Bailey who saw time as true freshmen.

On the other side of the ball, Wilder feels the depth is growing in the secondary with some key Monarchs returning from injuries and the contribution of the freshmen.

ODU welcomes back T.J. Cowart who was lost in week two at Georgia State. Cowart had compiled six tackles against the Panthers before he was sidelined for a wrist injury. In 2010, the Virginia Beach product out of Ocean Lakes High School was fourth on the Monarch defense with 58 tackles, including a team-leading 40 solo stops, along with 11 pass break-ups.

Also looking to be a contributing factor will be sophomore Reggie Owens, who appeared against Villanova before concussion symptoms sidelined him for the rest of his rookie campaign. Owens, who like Cowart played at Ocean Lakes High School in Virginia Beach.

KNOW YOUR COLORS:
In case you didn't get the style guide handed out at the spring game, make sure you've got your ODU gear appropriately lined up with the following:
Sept. 1 - vs. Duquesne - Wear WHITE
Sept 15 - vs. Campbell - Wear SILVER
Sept. 22 - vs. New Hampshire - Wear BLUE
Oct. 13 - vs. Villanova - Wear BLUE
Oct. 27 - vs. Delaware - Wear SILVER
Nov. 10 - vs. William & Mary - Wear BLACK

ON THE RADIO:
Tune in to hear head coach Bobby Wilder recap the first week of preseason practice on the Nick Cattles Show on ESPN Radio 94.1 FM at 6 p.m. Friday.

FRIEND US, LIKE US, FOLLOW US:
Don't forget to follow the Football Monarchs on twitter @ODUFootball and use the hashtag #ODUFB.

Also like the Football Monarchs' Fan Page on facebook at Facebook.com/MonarchFootball.

UP NEXT:
The Football Monarchs have their first two-a-day on Saturday.

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