The latter stages of Wednesday's afternoon's special teams practice was devoted to Ryan Plackemeier taking aim at the rafters of the indoor practice facility, which are 110 feet from floor to rafter. After a few misses, Plack hit the same beam three consecutive times. Olindo Mare could not get the ball up that high.
Needless to say, the practice was held indoors because a storm blasted through Kirkland and was dumping rain. Interestingly, when I spoke with Plack earlier in the day, he discussed the changing weather dynamics at the new place compared to Kirkland. He said it is much windier down on the lake, which is worse for confidence but better in the long run because no place is as windy as the VMAC -- unless they happen to be in Miami during a tropical storm. Anyway, Bruce DeHaven said he also prefers for them to practice in the wind because it prepares them for the worst of conditions.
I asked him about Tyler Schmitt and he said he didn't really know. He said he coaches who is on the field and doesn't ask the trainers anything. But he did say that he was very impressed with Schmitt when he played, and came away from the Minnesota game thinking, "OK, we've found our snapper."
DeHaven really likes Justin Forsett as a returner. He runs hard, doesn't go down on the first hit, is sometimes difficult for opponents to see and is very tough. He said Nate Burleson is definitely out as a returner if he is going to be No. 1 receiver.
Mare and Brandon Coutu are now likely to rotate kickoffs and field goals attempts rather than letting one do one and one do the other. He said he'd like to see how both players react in game situations, where you'd have to make a field goal and then kick off.