Yesterday the Florida offense managed to get around a subpar performance from their quarterbacks. 24 hours later, the men in blue jerseys seemed to be drained of their enthusiasm. There were still a few big plays, but the defense had much more enthusiasm on this day.
(Due to technical difficulties, this report was unable to be posted last night. Better late than never!)
Tim Tebow started practice today looking completely reformed after yesterday’s mediocre performance. He still had some questionable reads, but overall it was a good day. One of the most impressive things to me is what Tebow is doing for John Brantley. While Brantley was running the second team, Tebow was present in every meeting with Coach Mullen after the play, and also told Brantley of things he could do to improve. The most impressive throw was on a wheel route to Cade Holliday, which he fit perfectly over Wondy Pierre-Louis’ head, but was dropped by Holliday. Overall it was a much better day for Tim Tebow.
Bryan Waggener was absent for the first part of practice, but was seen during the last session of 11-on-11.
John Brantley continues to impress. During the ladder drills, he started his group off by finding Aaron Hernandez on a 20 yard route in the end zone. He made another great pass on a fade to Deonte Thompson in the back left corner of the end zone. He did show some indecisiveness in the pocket and still forced throws at times, especially on a play where Major Wright pummeled Deonte Thompson. It is nothing more than any freshman would on his first few days with some of the best college football athletes.
Kestahn Moore returned to practice today and his impact was noticed. Moore has caught plenty of eyes during the spring and that hasn’t stopped this fall. He looks an extra step or two quicker than last year, and his juke moves also look much quicker than last year. When the offensive front seven went up against the defensive front seven, Moore made a good read, cut back and took it to the house. After John Brantley dropped the snap on the second snap, Moore took the third play’s handoff, jumped over a fallen defensive lineman and scored once again.
Brandon James mostly made his appearance during quicker running plays that got him outside the tackles as quickly as possible. He also embarrassed Brandon Spikes one-on-one.
After seeing Chevon Walker yesterday, he didn’t impress as much today. Just my guess, but I feel like this consistency is what may be keeping him off the field.
Chris Rainey is still electric. He went up against John Jones and Brandon Hicks one-on-one and they both couldn’t tackle him, much less lay a finger. He was yelled at a few times by Coach Drayton to tuck the ball in to his body after carrying it too loose. The most memorable moment for fans that involved Rainey was when he ran into a train known as Major Wright, which sent the entire defensive unit onto the field to jump on Major Wright in celebration. Don’t worry about Chris Rainey though, just watch the chip on his shoulder tomorrow.
Percy Harvin was Percy Harvin. After reading story after story about him and writing about his performance yesterday, it just becomes difficult to come up with creative ways to put it. The man is unreal.
Bubba Caldwell was on the field and practicing today, but it didn’t seem like it to me. I didn’t see him get too many touches on the offensive side of the ball.
Louis Murphy looked great to me tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, the offseason hype is legit. Brantley threw the ball behind him and low on a slant pattern, he stopped his momentum, turned, dove and managed to keep the ball off the grass. He showed great playmaking ability and his speed is the real deal.
Jarred Fayson again split time at wide receiver and running back. The carries he got at running back were not overly impressive though. To show you the versatility Coach Meyer has in him, he lined up in the slot on one play, was motioned in to the running back position, and ran an out pattern from that position, catching the ball for ten yards. Good luck to all defensive coordinators who will be trying to defend that.
Deonte Thompson has good times, but also times where he looked like a freshman. While working on the offense against scout team defenders, Thompson dropped a bubble screen and also a pass down field. But during a play from the 25 yard line against the second team defense, he went up to catch a beautifully thrown lob from John Brantley, going over Jacques Rickerson to do so.
Tate Casey looked fairly good during blocking drills, but dropped the only pass I saw thrown his way. Credit also goes to a solid John Jones in coverage.
Aaron Hernandez run some good routes, but only caught one pass that I saw on a 20 yard pass from John Brantley that he made diving into the end zone. Coach Addazio also praised him during the offensive line drills.
Cornelius Ingram made a few good catches I saw, but got lost in traffic in the end zone during the red zone offense drills. He also misunderstood a play and ran a go route from the slot, and Tebow threw it at his feet while he continued to run into the end zone.
Jason Watkins looked like one of the best offensive linemen to me, and you’ll see some of his comments on his role on the offensive line in a story coming soon. I saw a lot of Carlton Medder at the guard position and he looked good. He showed good power and was able to open up a lot of holes for running backs. Maurkice Pouncey showed good leverage as well, even slamming former Lakeland teammate John Brown to the ground on one play.
The center position had some serious issues today, but not necessarily with blocking. Drew Miller had some snapping issues, but looked to have them stopped by the end of practice. Jim Barrie came in to relieve
Miller near the end of practice, but after three errant snaps, Coach Meyer took Barrie out and sent him to go run for a while.
Carl Johnson also had a pretty bad day at tackle. He consistently was blown by today, even once when Torrey Davis ran by him to hit Chevon Walker hard in the backfield. Coach Addazio threatened to run him hard after practice if he didn’t stop making “dumb mental mistakes”. Mo Hurt was another one that did not look to have a good day.But some linemen were good. Phil Trautwein continues to have a solid start to fall practices, and I’m interested to see how the transition to guard goes for Carlton Medder, should that be his new position.
Jim Tartt was having another good day, but disappeared near the end of practice. After practice, our own Mark McLeod talked to Tartt’s dad, who said Jim was hurt and potentially could have suffered a concussion.