August 16, 2010

Badgers sloppy during morning practice

MADISON - When Monday's morning practice finished and coach Bret Bielema addressed the team, it was evident the fifth year head man was upset about the sloppiness of the practice he just watched.

And he had plenty of ammunition to back it up.

Whether it was fumbled snaps, pre-snap penalties or simply bad decisions or incorrect play execution, Monday's morning session looked exactly like it sounds. Sloppy…at least from the offensive point of view.

On one occasion, junior right tackle Josh Oglesby was whistled for a false start and was immediately replaced by back up Ricky Wagner. Though that's standard protocol for any lineman who commits that violation, it was interesting to see Oglesby stay in with the No. 2's for the remainder of practice.

And it clearly didn't sit well with the big man as he engaged in an altercation with linebacker Kevin Claxton following the conclusion of a run play shortly after the fact.

In regards to that tilt, it seemed as though Oglesby knocked Claxton to the ground near the conclusion of the play. Claxton, a transitioning linebacker, didn't take to well to the shove and went after the junior tackle. Before teammates could step in and separate the two, there was a good amount of shoving to be had.

-Redshirt freshman quarterback Jon Budmayr threw at least two interceptions during team drills, one of which was his fault and the other a result of a receiver gaffe. But still in all, it was a somewhat sloppy start for the Badgers as they opened week two of fall camp.

White has a burst:

By now, it's been well documented how freshman tailback James White has a burst that is rather unparalleled by any other Badger back. On Monday, it became evident why the Florida native has been the talk of camp so far.

He is very quick in traffic and has great field vision. There were numerous plays that looked to be headed towards minimal gain only for him to sidestep or juke a defender and turn what looked like nothing into positive yardage.

At top speed, White may not be the fastest guy on the team, but his quickness and initial acceleration burst is one of the best on the roster. When he hits a hole, he doesn't hesitate or dance around. He hits it straightforward. But when the holes are missing, or aren't opened yet, he has the ability to make people miss.

He could potentially be the change of pace back the Badgers have missed since Lance Smith was dismissed from the team a number of years ago.

Defense plays well:

-During skele drills-where it's the offensive skill players against the defensive back seven-the defense proved what it's capable of when playing consistent and smart. The offense, one expected to be one of the better units in the Big Ten, struggled to consistently pick up first downs during the drill.

Tolzien, who targeted Lance Kendricks and Nick Toon almost exclusively, was unable to get into a rhythm and pick apart the secondary.

Budmayr struggled as well as he made a bad throw when he was trying to find Isaac Anderson on a deep route. Instead, it wound up in the hands of Shelton Johnson, who corralled two interceptions Monday morning.

Budmayr also wound up on the wrong end of an interception hauled in by Conor O'Neill. During that play, it looked as though Budmayr expected Anderson to run a deep post. Instead the senior ran a deep corner and O'Neill caught the misdirected pass.

-During team drills, J.J. Watt, David Gilbert and Louis Nzegwu all make standout plays in the backfield on numerous counts. It seemed that Watt was harassing Tolzien on a regular basis while Gilbert and Nzegwu earned their stripes during running plays.

-Chris Borland was an animal in blitz packages. It seemed every time defensive coordinator Dave Doeren sent the sophomore linebacker on the blitz he wound up in the backfield and all over the quarterback.

Overall, it was a very impressive display from the defense that stayed strong throughout the majority of practice. In red zone drills, the offense failed to score, too.

Feisty freshman:

Defensive tackle Beau Allen was involved in an altercation with Travis Frederick midway through practice. It was difficult to see what initiated the scruff, but it turned into a heavyweight bout with both pushing and shoving at each other for a decent amount of time.

When two guys of their size lock up in a shoving duel, it takes quite a few teammates to dispel the tilt.

The Badgers return to the field later tonight for their second practice of the day.

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