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Wednesday practice report

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(Beck Diefenbach – bdiefenbach@daily-chronicle.com)
Northern Illinois linebacker Alex Kube chases down a runner at spring football practice.

Leave it to Jerry Kill to have a sense of humor about a practice he had to move to an even earlier start.

Before most of you were even at work or in class today, Kill was cracking jokes after this morning's 6 a.m. practice, which was moved to today after inclement weather postponed Tuesday morning's 7:20 a.m. practice.

"We're going to schedule our games next year at six or 5:30 in the morning because our punters and kickers kicked the ball better during the morning [today] than they've kicked it all year," Kill said. "I'm going to see if we can work that out with the MAC, see if we can't play at 5:30 in the morning. They (ESPN) might need some early-morning programming before 'Mike and Mike.'"

Zing.

Northern Illinois skipped its usual 6 a.m. meetings and went straight to practice this morning, with the usual format of the past few weeks of situational scrimmages. Only a handful of players had to leave early to make it to their 8 a.m. classes.

"It was a little rough, obviously," linebacker Alex Kube said. "It was hard to be enthusiastic about the [earlier] practice but the coaches came out enthusiastic and you know you're not doing it yourself. You have your teammates out here with you so it makes it a lot easier."

Safety Jody Van Laanen did not practice because he has a meniscus injury that Kill said has to get cleaned out. Van Laanen should be ready for workouts by mid-June at the latest.

Come back later this morning for a video interview with wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck.

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