Practice Report No. 18

IMG_1045.jpgMonday marked the fifth and final session of two-a-days for the Wisconsin football team. The team was in full pads for 24 periods inside Camp Randall Stadium Monday night.

The team goes again Tuesday afternoon at 2:35 p.m.

Practice protocols
Despite spending Monday morning's session in full pads, the team was back out in full pads again at night, marking the first time the team went full pads twice in the same day. Ordinarily this is viewed as a punishment, but head coach Bret Bielema told the media afterward that this wasn't him reprimanding the team.

"It's just how we do things," Bielema said. "My first year we used to do that if a guy didn't practice the right way when we were going to go half-pack, but I just gave our guys kudos because I don't have to train them in that mentality anymore. They know they're going to come out and work.

"They had a really nice practice. I thought the tempo, they were very crisp in what they were doing, good things offensively and defensively."

Tomorrow the team will practice, but the No. 1 and 2 units will scrimmage for about 20-25 plays at the end. Addressing the team after practice, Bielema reiterated the importance of tomorrow's session.

"I shared with them that there is no more important day than tomorrow," he said. "There is nothing more important on our radar, no game, no anything, than tomorrow's practice, and I think they buy in to that."

Offensive line shuffle
Along the front line for the No. 1 offense, there was a changing of the guards on Monday. The team was consistent at the tackles with Gabe Carimi on the left and Josh Oglesby on the right, but things were a little different in between. John Moffitt moved over from left guard to center, which dropped Peter Konz to the second unit. Travis Frederick came in to fill Moffitt's old spot, while Ryan Groy was lined up at right guard.

Bielema said that the changes were just due to injury and to get Moffitt more snaps at center.

"We really wanted to get Ryan moved over to right guard, and as we went through fall camp, I didn't think that John got enough reps at the No. 2 center," Bielema said. "[John] was concentrating so much at guard, these last three days before full-go UNLV prep, we wanted to put John in there and obviously that puts Pete down on the second team."

Kevin Zeitler had been going with the No. 1 unit for most of camp before suffering an ankle sprain last week. Bill Nagy was Zeitler's backup at right guard, but he suffered a concussion and is still waiting for the all-clear before he can return to practice.

Nagy is expected back possibly by Wednesday, while Zeitler is still three to four days away, according to Bielema.

Defensive end spot up for grabs
With J.J. Watt firmly entrenched at one defensive end, an interesting battle down the stretch of fall camp will be between fourth-year junior Louis Nzegwu and true sophomore David Gilbert for the other spot.

Nzegwu has played in 21 games in his career with 16 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Conversely, Gilbert has been in 12 games with six tackles with no TFLs or sacks, but he has blocked a punt and recovered two fumbles.

Bielema said the Nzegwu's experience gives him an edge, but don't count out Gilbert.

"David played a lot last year and he increased his muscle mass," Bielema explained. "David is a very intense player. That's the part that has jumped out to me during fall camp. Last year he was just a 17-year old kid running around out here, but now he's a young man that has played a lot. He's blocked a punt; he's made big plays and really wants to be that starter, so it's great competition."

Regardless of who actually starts the games, Bielema expects to see both of them on the field a lot, as well as another defensive end, Pat Muldoon.

"Patrick doesn't go in the evenings because of the double-knee surgeries that he had, but he's a guy that really in this last scrimmage was impressive," Bielema noted.
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