The title refers to the blog post, made after lunch The Saturday morning practice definitely was early. Like if this were the old Saturday morning cartoon days, FIU would've been on the field before the first In The News.
(Digression: Between Schoolhouse Rock, In the News and ABC's Time for Timer, the segments that ran between classic Saturday morning cartoon days of the 1970s acted as if viewers actually had young, fertile minds that could handle two minutes of relevant information between half-hours animated fun of wildly variant quality cut by commercials for toys and breakfast food)
This morning was special teams work time with the scrimmage tonight. Jack Griffin's kickoffs landed perfectly, either in the end zone or pushing the returner to the sideline inside the 10. Griffin's kickoff length got some help from new rules pushing the kickoffs up to the 35 from the 30 to cut down on the dueling kamikazes collisions that are kickoff returns.
Several returned kickoffs -- last year's non-T.Y. Hilton regulars, Wayne Times and Richard Leonard; Kedrick Rhodes; Sam Miller; and freshman Nick England. Without Hilton, who plays his first preseason game for Indianapolis Sunday, FIU needs someone to burst forth as a guy who can create field position on returns if not quick touchdowns.
Whatever you thought of Dolphins coach Tony Sparano, he nailed it when he'd talk about "hidden yardage" -- the other guy's penalty that gives you an extra 10 yards to prolong a drive where you don't score, but you suck time and swing the field; your own penalty that wipes out a great punt or a great return; this block, that missed tackle, etc. Saturday, Mario Cristobal said FIU's equation is 80 yards of hidden yardage=7 points. There's a lot of hidden yardage in special teams.
Freshman Johnnie Durante, a two-way player who made First Team All-Dade last year at defensive back, has been working with the wide receivers this week.
I'll be blogging again very late tonight or early tomorrow after the scrimmage (and, possibly, after late dinner with the wife).