SIX BITS: Stripes, Black, Sanders, Pats, Eagles

By Adam Silverstein
August 12, 2010

1 » During a post-practice media availability Thursday, defensive line coach Dan McCarney said that Florida Gators freshmen wide receiver Robert Clark (first) and linebackers Michael Taylor and Neiron Ball were the first three youngsters to have their black helmet stripes removed. This is a tradition each fall.

2 » Ever since he decided to stay for his senior season, safety Ahmad Black has been talking about becoming a better leader for his teammates. Black expanded on that sentiment during Florida Media Day on Tuesday, explaining how things have changed during his college career. “As a freshman, I thought it was going to be handed to me and it wasn’t,” he said. “I just had to learn to go hard and show that I really belong here. […] I am trying to step up. I have to. I am one of the few seniors that we have on defense and one of the guys that has been there for a while. It is my job to help these young guys and help them do what they are supposed to do.” Black also talked about asking now-New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes for advice. “Me and Spikes would be sitting down playing a video game, and I would ask him, ‘What do I have to do to get the guys to respect me? What do I have to do to get the guys to listen to me? Just him having a conversation with me helped me out.”

3 » Also of note post-practice was senior defensive tackle Terron Sanders’ admission that he was contacted either by an agent or a runner for an agent at the tail end of last season via multiple text messages to his cell phone. Sanders explained that he and the team “nipped that in the bud,” according to multiple reporters.

Three more BITS including Madden NFL 11 rankings and updates on Gators on the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles…after the break!

4 » With Madden NFL 11 debuting this week, many Florida fans were anxious to find out how the new Gators rookies ranked overall. From best-to-worst, here are the figures: Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden (79), Pittsburgh Steelers center/guard Maurkice Pouncey (76), Spikes (72), Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (70), Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez (68), Chicago Bears safety Major Wright (67), Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper (63), New England linebacker Jermaine Cunningham (53).

5 » The Patriots will begin the 2010-11 season Thursday night, hosting a preseason game against the New Orleans Saints. Spikes, who has been practicing as a first-team inside linebacker since the fourth day of training camp, will likely be starting the game. Cunningham and Hernandez will also get plenty of work as both have impressed head coach Bill Belichick throughout training camp.

6 » Eagles beat writers seem all but convinced that Cooper has locked down the team’s No. 4 receiver job. Coaches appear to agree. “He’s had an excellent camp so far. He’s a big, strong, physical man. He’s got really natural hands,” offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. “He’s right in the middle of that big learning curve. He’s had some great days. Now his challenge is two things – technique and assignment, and playing at that high level consistently. All the fellows are thinking a little too much right now.”

The Philadelphia Daily News also reported this comical exchange between Cooper and former Florida TE Cornelius Ingram. “I tell [Cooper] all the time – every time we eat, I’m like ‘Dude, you’re eating more than me. After a while you’re going to be over here with the tight ends,” Ingram said. “Take that 14 off, get you an 80. You’re going to be over here with us in the three-point stance.” Cooper had a reply. “That boy, he can chow. He’ll be over there with the tackles and guards; he’s only about 10 pounds away.”

3 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Very good to see Black realizing that he has to be a leader on the defense. Other guys like need to step and be a leader as well.

  2. npgator says:

    Adam- I was looking at the Orlando Sentinel pictures of media day at Gainesville and they had Lynden Trail listed as a wide reciever? Isn’t he a defensive end?

  3. Yes, Trail is a defensive end. His former teammate Quinton Dunbar is a wide receiver.

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