Practice Report No. 1

The Badgers opened spring practice on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. on the practice field in the McClain Center. UW practiced for 24 periods in helmets and shorts.

Practice No. 1 Photo Gallery

"I liked the energy, I liked the enthusiasm," head coach Bret Bielema said. "A couple things really jumped out at me the defense was really talking and communicating. That's been a big emphasis. Then offensively we threw some deep balls which was encouraging."

Watch Day 1 highlights as well as post-practice interviews with Travis Frederick, Jay Valai, Aaron Henry and head coach Bret Bielema

New Kids on the Block
On the defensive side of the ball, Wisconsin debuted two new coaches, Chris Ash and Greg Jackson. Ash is coaching the defensive backs while Jackson is in charge of the nickel backs and assists defensive coordinator Dave Doeren with linebackers. "I thought they did a great job jumping in and coaching their guys with intensity," Doeren said. "Our guys were running around and playing fast so they definitely took to them."

Still Got It
Last spring a lot of the talk coming out of the practices was about quarterback Jon Budmayr's ability to throw the deep pass. He hurt his arm a bit and was forced to sit out most of fall camp last year but if day one of spring practice is any indication, Budmayr hasn't lost any arm strength. During skelly (7-on-7) he completed about a 45-yard pass to Kyle Jefferson behind the defense. Later in practice, during 11-on-11, Budmayr hooked up with walk-on wide receiver Jared Abbrederis on what would have been a 60-yard TD pass.

"Jon can throw the deep ball, there's no doubt about that," Bielema said. "He likes to throw it and he's good at it. That's great word for our defense, on the flip side."

Practice_6.jpgPlay of the Day
Speaking of deep passes, on the last play of practice, during 11-on-11, quarterback Scott Tolzien hooked up with Isaac Anderson on about a 45-yard pass. It seems offensive coordinator Paul Chryst likes to dial up a long pass play on the final play of practice during the spring, dating back to last year.

Seen & Heard
Among the notables at practice today were former UW wide receiver Jonathan Orr, former defensive back Chris Maragos and the governor of Wisconsin Jim Doyle, who stopped by briefly ... it's only the first practice but the first four defensive linemen in drills were J.J. Watt and Louis Nzegwu at end and Patrick Butrym and Jordan Kohout at tackle (the second four were Tyler Dippel and David Gilbert at end, Ethan Hemer and Eriks Briedis at tackle) ... talking to Coach Bielema after practice, cornerback Antonio Fenelus stood out during practice, jumping an out route during "skelly" for an interception that would have been a pick six