published Monday, August 15th, 2011

UTC Mocs offense steps up

Chattanooga's Joel Bradford performs drills during a practice in full pads at Scrappy Moore Field.
Chattanooga's Joel Bradford performs drills during a practice in full pads at Scrappy Moore Field.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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UTC receiver Joel Bradford gave the Mocs offense a lift at practice on Sunday after sitting out two days.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offense got to spend a lot of Sunday's practice celebrating, something it hasn't had much opportunity to do this preseason.

UTC's defense, meanwhile, got to hear an earful from Mocs coach Russ Huesman and defensive coordinator Adam Fuller.

"The offense had a good day today," Huesman said. "The defense was very, very, very -- I don't know how many verys I need to put in there -- poor. There's a lot of verys in there, though.

"Sloppy, lazy, not moving around and bouncing around; they were tired and it showed."

Throughout the preseason, including last Friday's scrimmage, the defense has consistently outplayed the offense. But that wasn't the case Sunday. While the offense was clicking, the defense was often a step slow and out of sync.

"The defense didn't respond the way we should," said Chris Lewis-Harris, who has moved to cornerback from safety.

Having All-American wide receiver Joel Bradford back in full swing certainly helped the offense shine. Bradford returned to practice Saturday after missing two days with concussion-like symptoms.

"I guess with me back we have a lot more receivers that can make plays and put a lot of people in different positions," Bradford said.

Scouts stopping by

Five NFL scouts have visited UTC's practices in the past week. They're primarily checking out quarterback B.J. Coleman, safety Jordan Tippit and Lewis-Harris, but also getting a look at some of the Mocs' younger players that might have pro potential.

Two of last season's seniors, cornerback Buster Skrine and offensive lineman Chris Harr, got their first taste of the NFL this weekend when they played in preseason games.

"Every time [the scouts] come in they talk about Buster and Harr and what their thoughts were [on them]," Huesman said. "It does help us. I think it helps our credibility that those kids can play at that level."

Robinson sidelined

Quarterback and emerging wide receiver Terrell Robinson sat out Sunday's practice with a turf toe injury to his right foot. The redshirt freshman from South Pittsburg is competing for the No. 2 quarterback spot and caught five passes in the scrimmage.

His status is day to day and Huesman said he needs to get back soon because "he's playing, he's on the field for us this year."

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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