Even though the intensity level was noticeably higher Tuesday morning when UNLV practiced in full pads for the first time, Rebels coach Mike Sanford wasn’t pleased.
“There were some good things today, but overall, I thought it was below average,” Sanford said. “We need to be much better than that.
“Our concentration level needs to be better. I think when you have pads on, the tempo is fast, there’s more pressure on you, and guys didn’t respond like we need them to respond on both sides of the ball.”
Sanford said he couldn’t pinpoint specific reasons he didn’t receive the results he wanted, but added that he made his disappointment evident to the players after practice.
“Very much so,” he said.
• WRIGHT TIME — The Cleveland Browns aren’t wasting any time seeing if former UNLV cornerback Eric Wright is up to starting as a rookie.
The second-round draft pick will start the Browns’ first exhibition game Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I expected it, and I appreciate it,” Wright told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “They just want to see if I can withstand the pressure. The easiest way to score points is to kill the corner.”
• NEW ROLE — Just last year, Shane Steichen was locked in a battle with Rocky Hinds for UNLV’s quarterback job.
Now Steichen, who is 12 credit hours from a journalism and media studies degree, is a volunteer coach working with the receivers.
“I’m more familiar with the quarterbacks, so it’s good to get away from that position and learn something new and help out,” Steichen said. “There’s a lot of stuff that I didn’t know about wide receiver play, like blocking schemes.”
• SUMMER BREAK — Junior Thor Pili, listed as a starter at defensive end, has been practicing with a cast after breaking his right hand this summer.
Sanford said Pili, who is not allowed to participate in contact drills, should be cleared by the Aug. 30 opener at Utah State.UNLV Football