Category Archives: Duke Football

“Meet the Devils” Photo Gallery

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The Blue Devil Nation strives to bring the best coverage available for Duke Football and Basketball.  Here is another photo gallery which features the festivities of the Meet the Blue Devils Day (be sure to click Meet the Blue Devils to view the gallery) where fans gathered for autographs from players and coaches.  Among the pictures are Coach Cutcliffe's SEC Western Division Champions ring and a more personal look at the new staff.

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BDN’s Football Scrimmage Gallery

[private]Here is a photo gallery from yesterday's football scrimmage - (View Gallery by going to this LINK and hitting slideshow, just below the picture). Check back for pictures from the "Meet the Blue Devils" event.  We will also have Coach Cutcliffe's comments after the game with a general recap of the days action.  BDN is the place for football coverage, so be sure to check back for almost daily reports leading into the season.

True freshman Jay Hollingsworth celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Thaddeus Lewis in the picture to your left.

The pictures in this gallery are set at low resolution.  All pictures on this site are property of BDN and cannot be reprinted without prior permission.[/private]

Duke Football Practice Report #5 – Defensive Front learning to play four quarters

[private]One of the keys to Duke Football success this season, will be the play of Vince Oghobasse (6-6, 300, Jr - DT).  He has slimmed down and has appeared much quicker in the drills this season and more importantly has shown better endurance.  Cutcliffe stated, "Vince has had his moments of greatness.  I would like to see more consistency there, Coach Hobby would say that, but it's been a lot more good from him than bad."

Cutcliffe has liked what he has seen from Brandon Harper and mentioned that his play in practice, namely the scrimmages has drawn notice.  Harper (6-3, 310, Jr - DL) missed almost of of the spring coming back from an injury.  How hard has Harper worked?  At this moment he is ahead of Okpokuwuruk on the depth chart. 

"Wes Ogelsby knows how to give you a day's work." said Cutcliffe.  Ogelsby (6-6, 245 So - DE) had 22 solo tackles last season.  Ayanga Okpokowuruk (6-4, 255, Jr - DE) has been moved back to a more natural position after playing as an undersized nose last season.  Look for his stats to take a big leap from last seasons 7 solo tackles and 16 assists.  You have already heard about and from Cliff Respress in an interview you will find below. 

Coach Cutcliffe hopes to rotate five to seven players.  "We've got some guys that are capable ...we have to show we can play four quarters.  That's obviously been the past history with these kids," said Cutcliffe.  He continued by saying that the defensive front has to learn how to practice to be successful for four quarters.  The staff has put emphasis on teaching them how to go from start to finish in order to gain better practice habits.

Tomorrows scrimmage starts around 10:15 in Wallace Wade and is open to the public.  Of course, Meet the Blue Devils Day will be held after the scrimmage.  Prizes will be given away and you will have the opportunity to meet the new staff and the 2008 players.  The meet and signing period will be held on the track and not Wilson Recreation Center which was reported earlier.[/private]

Quick Hitter #2 – Cliff Respress talks defensive front and practice

[private]Senior Cliff Respress (6-3, 280, DL) has had a good camp.  In fact, Coach Cutcliffe said that he had moved up to first team status by earning it.  Here are his comments after yesterdays practice -

On the competition in practice - Coach Hobby tells us all the time, I want to see you make plays.  That's what he's real big on.  So, everyday we come out and get loose and get after it.  The younger guys are stepping up and coming through ... Hatch (Charlie Hatcher) is stepping up and playing real good.  It's a pretty deep group.

On off season conditioning and the benefits - Most definitely!  We are flying around, getting tot he ball and moving a little but faster.  I watched some of last years film and we looked a little slower than we do right now in practices.  Flying to the ball, get off on snaps ... I feel we are moving a lot faster.  That 25 second clock when they spot the ball -- that's plenty of time to get back  for the snap.

On learning new skills or schemes- I wouldn't say we're learning new skills ... we're still attacking.  The main part is attack.  Being in shape and being stronger definitely helps when you are using those (skills).

On getting reps versus the offensive line and his impressions -  Their off season work and weight lifting has done a lot for them, moving their feet on pass protection.

On James Madison- We are focusing more and more on James Madison.  We break camp on Tuesday and after that it will be all James Madison.[/private]

Quick Hitter #1 – Tielor Robinson talks move to TE

[private]Tielor Robinson (#2) has been through a lot of changes and this season brings about another one.  He has moved to TE and will be counted on in many ways in the new offensive system.  Tielor is a six year senior and wants to leave his mark by helping the 2008 Duke Football team to some wins. The Blue Devil Nation was able to speak with Robinson after practice.

How are you coping with the position change from running back to tight end?

At first the on the line stuff was pretty hard because there is more steps.  The more you do it, the more you understand why and the process behind it and that's pretty important -- to understand the concepts of the play.

How does this enable you to take advantage of your versatility?

I think I'm pretty strong, so it helps to take advantage of that being a former full back.  That's what made the transition easier, because I was so strong.  I'm short ... I like to say I'm six foot, but I'm closer to the other side of five eleven.  But it's easy to get under people, which is necessary going against big defensive ends.  Everything else is the same.  When you catch the ball you need to know how to run routes.

Even blocking, you know what it feels like having played as a back.  I know what they want to see.  They want me to knock a guy on his back to make it easy for a back to come behind me.  When I catch the ball, I turn right back into a running back.

Obviously, there has been some backfield injuries.  Has there been any talk of moving you back?

Not to me.  I've thought about it a little bit, but I think that this team needs me more at tight end where we also have injuries.

Which position do you prefer?

It really doesn't matter to me.  If they decided to move me at center, I'd do it because they know what's best for the team.  I'm just there to do what is best for the team.

There have been some time in the past where I wanted to be involved a little more.  Being a tight end you're involved in every play.  It's good, you like to be in the game.  When the games over you want to feel like you had a big part whether we win or lose.

The Blue Devil Nation will continue to be your destination for Duke Football Practice Reports leading into the season.  We have decided to offer our analysis to all Duke fans instead of limiting it to our premium subscription section.  Our goal is to cast a bright light on the program.  We encourage all fans to turn out for the season opener on August 31st vs James Madison.  And don't forget Meet the Blue Devils Day which includes a scrimmage this Saturday in Wallace Wade at 10:30!  Further details can be found at GoDuke.com, the official site of the Duke Blue Devils.[/private]