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Final Open Practice Tomorrow
Cavalier fans have their final opportunity to watch preseason practice tomorrow. Practice that day is scheduled to start at 8:35 AM on the fields located behind the McCue Center.

A Break from the August Heat
Charlottesville has been blessed with unseasonably pleasant temperatures throughout August so far. Since training camp opened 11 days ago, the high temperature has reached into the 90s only twice. Most noticeable, perhaps, is that the high temp hasn’t been higher than 85 degrees on five different days, including most of this week. In addition, the humidity levels have been unusually low so far this month.

Head coach Al Groh stresses a “no excuses” philosophy for his team and practicing in the normal steamy August conditions might not be a bad thing for his team in certain circumstances.

“(Practices in the heat and humidity) probably help as much mentally as they do anything else,” Groh said. “It puts us through conditions that clearly we know the games are going to be conducted in. From a mental conditioning standpoint, it has as much application as it does from a physical standpoint.”

As the team moves deeper into the training camp schedule, Groh notes the benefit of the cooler temperatures on the team.

“The other side of it is that this time frame under any circumstances is quite a grind on the players physically. At the end of the second straight week of practice, we probably are able to get a little better performance from the players at this stage of practice than if they were worn down by the weather as well as the grind.”

Learning from His Father
Wide receiver Jared Green isn’t the only member of last year’s recruiting class with a father who had considerable success in the NFL.

Green’s classmate, cornerback Chase Minnifield is the son of former Cleveland Brown cornerback Frank Minnifield. The elder Minnifield played in four Pro Bowls and intercepted 20 passes in his career with the Browns from 1984-92.

Groh was the Browns’ linebackers coach in 1992 under head coach Bill Belichick and sees much of the father in the son.

“This clearly is an example of the old saying about the apple not falling too far from the tree,” said Groh, “because (Chase has) the same focus and the same competitiveness that his dad did.

“(Chase has) a real good field presence and a real sense of what’s going on around him.”

Talented Tailbacks Lead the Way for O-Line, Quarterbacks
The Cavaliers return their top-two rushers from a year agoCedric Peerman and Mikell Simpson. Peerman ran for 585 yards before injuring his foot in the sixth game and missing the rest of the season. Simpson picked up the slack, bolting for 570 yards and eight touchdowns in the second half of the season.

Their ability to maintain last season’s production early in the season is key as the team develops a new quarterback and three first-time starters on the line.

“(One) thing that really helps the quarterback at the start up point of his career is a real good running game,” Groh said. “We’ve got two real good runners and the way for us to build on our strength and take advantage of our proven personnel is to be able to establish the run early in the season.

“We’ve got the two runners to do it, so if we can open up some holes for them it will make it a lot easier for the management of the game for the quarterbacks.”

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