Vanderbilt continued its preparations for Northwestern on Tuesday when the Commodores went through an almost three-hour practice session.
The practice was long and hard but the team enjoyed some music while they worked. Afterwards there was both good and bad news on the injury front for Vandy.
The Commodores wore shorts and helmets and worked on offense, defense and special teams. Late in the practice the players got a surprise when the Spirit of Gold, Vanderbilt’s marching band, filed into the John Rich Practice Facility alongside the field where the Commodores were practicing. The band then played the team’s fight song, “Dynamite” and several other songs for about 20 minutes while the team ran through plays. After the short concert Vanderbilt head coach Robbie Caldwell took the time to personally thank many of the band members.
Following the practice, Caldwell reflected on his team with just three more days before Vandy’s opening game with Northwestern.
“We obviously set out to get better offensively and continue to improve defensively. We feel like we’ve accomplished that but of course Saturday night will tell but we are playing against a great team.”
There was a welcome sight for Vanderbilt fans during practice. Running backs Zac Stacy, Wesley Tate and Warren Norman were all in practice uniform and running.
“He’s amazing isn’t he? Just a step closer,” said Caldwell of Norman. “We had all of them out there today so that’s encouraging but whether we let him (Norman) go or not that’s another story.”
Norman, the preseason all-SEC kick returner, underwent arthroscopic surgery just last Wednesday.
The news wasn’t as good for another Commodore star, cornerback Jamie Graham. Graham, who has a groin injury, had been working hard and the outlook had seemed good but Tuesday Caldwell had doubts about Graham being able to play in the opener.
“He’s still got some problems…I wouldn’t rule him out but honestly it doesn’t look real good,” Caldwell said.
Vandy will continue its preparations for Northwestern on Wednesday. The Commodores and Wildcats collide at 6:30 p.m. CST on Saturday.