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Shrine Game Day 2 Notebook: Memphis QB emulates Brett Favre

Editor's note: Click through the tabs above to see each day's wrap up from the week at the East-West Shrine Game.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jonathan Hayes, the head coach of the East team at the East-West Shrine Game and his QBs coach, Zack Grossi, both picked the same word to describe Memphis QB Riley Ferguson at practice on Tuesday: gunslinger. Ferguson himself considers one of the NFL's greats who also fit that description -- former Green Bay Packers star Brett Favre -- as the quarterback he wants to emulate.

He even wore the No. 4 jersey at Memphis in Favre's honor.

"When I was really young I was watching Green Bay play one day and asked my dad who No. 4 was. Ever since then, I just loved watching him play. The way he threw the ball, I just grew up trying to play like that," Ferguson said. "I always grew up watching him. Once I got a little older, I enjoyed watching him play even more. He was a gunslinger, and I feel like I'm the same way. I feel like I can make every throw on the field, so I think I can relate to Brett Favre."

He might get a chance to relate with Favre in person Friday, when the 11-time Pro Bowl selectee is expected to be on hand for an induction into the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame. Favre played in the 1991 East-West Shrine Game.

A panel of NFL draft experts rated Ferguson as the No. 9 quarterback in college football this season. Ferguson threw 38 touchdown passes with nine interceptions for the Tigers this season, for 4,257 yards, to lead a 10-3 team that reached the AAC title game and the Liberty Bowl.

"Riley likes to sling it. He's got that gunslinger attitude, and he understands the game," Hayes said. "He has a huddle presence. He's guy I want to see how uncomfortable we can make him this week, and see how he responds."

Added Grossi: "Love him. Gunslinger. We've just got to rein him in a little bit because he wants every ball to be a rocket, and his arm is so strong. He's still learning to use touch and take something off the ball in certain situations, on certain throws. He's studying, he asks really good questions and he's fun to be around. If he makes the same jump (Wednesday) that he did from Monday to Tuesday, he'll have himself set up for a really good week."

A 280-pound ... receiver?

Mississippi State TE Jordan Thomas has been working extensively at wide receiver for the West squad, bringing imposing size (6-foot-5, 280 pounds) to the perimeter. But it's inside where he'd prefer to be from a scouting standpoint.

"I want to show scouts I can block. That's what this week is about; everybody knows I can catch and run," he said. "My money reps are in the blocking. We're a guy short at receiver, though, so if they throw me out there, I'm going to show them that, too. I'm always open."

Syracuse O-lineman hurt

Syracuse OT Jamar McGloster was injured late in the East practice and was carted off the field and into a fire rescue vehicle that is on standby at practices. East coach Jonathan Hayes said he had not yet received a report on McGloster's status.

Top performers

Ohio State LB Chris Worley was impressive throughout the East practice on Tuesday, particularly during pass-rush drills. He blew past Vanderbilt RB Ralph Webb on one, and Fordham RB Chase Edmonds on another. ... East WR Justin Watson has drawn his share of notice from coaches so far this week, and made perhaps his most impressive catch yet on a deep ball from QB J.T. Barrett that split DBs Dee Delaney of Miami and Jamar Summers of UConn. Watson, of Penn, has given East defensive backs problems with his size (6-3, 225). ... East squad S Jordan Martin of Syracuse made an acrobatic one-handed grab during individual drills. ... Arizona CB Dane Cruikshank of the West team made a nice pass breakup on a throw to the sideline Tuesday, and Oklahoma WR Jeff Badet had a strong practice for the West, as well. Despite his size (178 pounds), Badet has shown ability to separate from cornerbacks with a quick release at the line of scrimmage.


"None of the (quarterbacks) are used to taking snaps under center. We got better today. Yesterday we had three (fumbles) on the ground, today we only had one. By the end of the week, hopefully they'll be fine." -- East head coach Jonathan Hayes

Who's talking to whom

A look at some of the on-field player interviews conducted by NFL clubs following Shrine Game practices Tuesday:

Atlanta Falcons: Memphis QB Riley Ferguson.

Baltimore Ravens:Oklahoma WR Jeff Badet.

Buffalo Bills: Oklahoma State S Tre Flowers.

Denver Broncos: Mississippi State TE Jordan Thomas.

Jacksonville Jaguars: USF RB D'Ernest Johnson.

New Orleans Saints: Wagner OT Greg Senat, San Diego State TE David Wells.

New York Giants: Virginia Tech CB Brandon Facyson.

New York Jets: Sam Houston State QB Jeremiah Briscoe.

Los Angeles Chargers: N.C. State DE Kentavius Street, Troy RB Jordan Chunn.

Minnesota Vikings: FSU LB Matthew Thomas, Nebraska CB Joshua Kalu.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mississippi State TE Jordan Thomas.

Washington Redskins: N.C. State DE Kentavius Street.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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