By Kent Youngblood
Here are some post-practice items I couldn’t fit into my daily story. 1. Coach Tim Brewster said receiver Hayo Carpenter is really ”starting to pick it up.” Carpenter, the highly-touted JC transfer, is three practices into his Gophers career. ”He’s done a nice job,” Brewster said. ”He’s understanding the offense. What you see with him immediately is his speed. He can really run.” Special teams coordinator John Butler said Carpenter might be looked at as a return man. 2. Brewster is very much looking forward to watching the team hold its first official practice in TCF Bank Stadium. That will happen Saturday morning, when the team goes to two-a-day practices. the team i s scheduled to hold a Game Day Preview in the Stadium Saturday Aug. 22, which will be open to season ticket holders. Not wanting to give any secrets away Brewster said that the Gophers will go with a limited package on that day. 3. I was intrigued when talking with Adam Weber for last Sunday’s story about how coordinator Jedd Fisch has decided to have the quarterbacks call protections rather than the center. Here are his thoughts on that: ”Some of the best offenses around do that,” he said. ”Like the (New England) Patriots and the (Indianapolis) Colts, the (New Orleans) Saints. They all have the quarterback direct the protections. We’ve coached Adam to the point where he has a great command of the offense an an understanding of the protections. One guy has his head down, the other has his head up. Why not have the guy with the head up make the decision.” Now, this isn’t exactly rocket science. It has a lot to do with knowing how many defenders are in the box, where the hot reads might be. But both Fisch and Brewster agree that if a quarterback is rote on those things as well as the offense it can only help with execution. ”The most critical thing for a quarterback in protection is to know where he can be hurt,” Brewster said. ”And only he knows that. So, him knowing the protections so well he can call ‘em, it gives him an advantage.” 4. Butler said there is a spirited competition between incoming freshman Dan Orseske and Blake Haudan for the punting job. That probably won’t be decided until right before the opener. That’s about it. Have a good night.