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April 12, 2012BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The UAB football team was back on the practice field Wednesday night, working out in pads for two hours in its ninth session of spring drills.
The Blazers have six practices remaining, including their second scrimmage this coming Saturday and their spring game on the following Saturday, April 21.
Assistant head coach Jimmy Williams, who coaches the UAB defensive line, said after Wednesday's practice that he is continuing to see steady and progressive improvement as the spring moves along.
"What you want to look for is small wins, day by day," Williams said, "guys taking coaching, guys learning technique and fundamentals, the basics of winning, the building blocks of doing what we want to do. I think the players are doing a good job with that, grasping what we want to do and how we want to do it in terms of the vision and the focus of the program."
Williams' defensive line was an area singled out by UAB first-year head coach Garrick McGee after the Blazers' first scrimmage last weekend. McGee was pleasantly surprised with the pass rush UAB's D-line generated, and Williams noticed good things from the unit, as well.
"It's obvious that we have some talent in the defensive line," Williams said. "When you have guys who can put pressure on the quarterback, you can have a good impact. I'm encouraged with the quality of athletes we have and, initially, what they've shown they have the capability to do, but we have a lot of work ahead of us."
UAB's young offensive line is getting a chance to go up against that defensive line each day at practice. O-line coach John Peterson said Wednesday his group is taking every one of its opportunities this spring to continue learning.
"The guys are working hard every day to be physical, to understand the concepts that are being thrown at them," Peterson said. "We're starting to see a little more from the defense as far as blitzing goes, so that's an added element of excitement to what we're trying to do."
The weather for Wednesday's practice was the coolest of any of the team's spring practices so far with temperatures dipping into the low-50s by the end of the session.
UAB will return to the practice field Friday at 5 p.m. for its 10th workout, and Saturday's scrimmage is set for 10 a.m. The work all builds toward the Blazers' spring game, scheduled for Noon on Saturday, April 21 at West Campus Field.