I really cannot stress how unbearably hot it is out there at practice. I cannot imagine having shoulder pads and a helmet on to make the heat even worse. They are taking a great deal of water breaks to cool the guys down. The team is really responding to the staff and my money says they are very well prepared for the season. Here are some observations from day three of practice.
Some stuff I get from practice is second hand from people I trust. The fact is I can’t be there for every snap on three fields and see everything that is going on. If I don’t agree with an assessment I won’t relay that to you guys. I did pick up a great deal of tidbits and saw a lot of really good stuff with my own eyes today.
Quarterbacks are still mostly sharp…
The quarterbacks continue to be hot except for Chris Leak’s first play of scrimmage with the one offense against the second defense. I am not sure who the linebackers were that converged on a pass thrown into coverage, but they deflected into the diving arms of linebacker turned safety A.J. Jones.
Tim Tebow is really still throwing the ball very well and much more accurately than last spring. I like the makeup of both quarterbacks.
Running backs are a good group…
Mon Williams has a nice run in the video f practice that we aired last night. He is number 27. Go watch and see how he slides through traffic like Ciatrick Fason.
Kestahn Moore is still the hardest runner on the team as witnessed by everyone watching the running drills today.
As reported, DeShawn Wynn was out with an illness.
Brandon James back at running back today made Brandon Siler look a little silly in the 1 on 1 tackling drill.
Wide Receivers will be the best in the country…
Dallas Baker and Bubba Caldwell seem like they are on another planet. They are so confident in everything they do, they make it all look easy.
I probably spoke to soon on Jemalle Cornelius moving to corner, he showed up well today. I know he can do it all, I just hope he gets a chance to show it and produces.
I still say Kenneth Tookes will be one of the main contributors this year and I would start him with Caldwell, Baker and Cornelius Ingram at the receiver positions.
Percy Harvin, Baker, Caldwell, and Jemalle Cornelius all made great catches and runs in 7 on 7 drills on the far field today.
I think Ingram may have unseated Tate Casey already at tight end. We will have to watch for further developments.
Offensive Line Had Impressive Moments…
I mentioned it and then showed you guys the video about Ronnie Wilson, Drew Miller, and Carlton Medder having really good days on the offensive line in protection and blocking drills.
Medder was quite impressive today and had the best day I can remember since he has been here. He was under control and used his feet and arms to totally paralyze the defensive ends he faced on every rush that I saw.
I never saw Drew Miller get beat until he faced Jarvis Moss. Miller is a man child out there on the line and if he gets his mitts on you, it is over.
Ronnie Wilson manhandled most and had a couple of really good wars with Marcus Thomas and Joe Cohen. Wilson will fight and he has his work cut out for him with those two.
When Carl Johnson stays low, he can do anything he wants. The moment he raises enough for a defender to get under him, he gets toppled by the smarter and experienced players as was shown in the video. I watched him completely man handle a huge Lawrence Marsh on one play, but Marsh is not as savvy as the seniors Johnson is facing.
Steve Rissler won his match ups that I saw.
I am hearing the offensive line coaches are very happy with the progress of their young pupils.
Defensive Line Starters Will Dominate…
Marcus Thomas can control the line of scrimmage if he wants to on every play. He is so physically powerful, like a sum wrestler, he looks for that one wrong twinge by the guy across from him and that guy winds up on his butt.
Joe Cohen has really adapted well to the inside now and will be a stalwart in the middle of the defensive line. He has added a spin move and uses his bullish strength to move people as he needs to.
Jarvis Moss wins every battle he wants to. His potential is off the charts.
It was not a great day for Derrick Harvey. Medder stuffed him twice and Drew Miller never let him move an inch when he was lined up against the right tackle. I didn’t see him beat Trautwein on the other side either.
Clint McMillan will be able to match up well against slower linemen when he gets a chance.
They will hold Ray McDonald out of a lot of action this off-season and take care of his legs. McDonald did not participate in contact today.
Javier Estopinan, Darryl Gresham, Jermaine Cunningham, and Corey Hobbs worked hard but never got much going today in combat situations.
Steven Harris did well in the line battles but was carted off the field with a dislocated finger or something of that nature.
Young Linebackers May be Making a Move…
My eyes in the crowd told me that Brandon Spikes and Jon Demps were exceptional in the 1 on 1 tackling drill.
Dustin Doe continues to be disruptive in 7 on 7 passing drills.
Walk-on Darryon Robinson also continues to make plays. He led the linebackers in the spring with the most interceptions and pass break ups. His knock is his speed, but he seems to be in the middle of everything all the time. He was currently playing second will linebacker behind Earl Everett.
My eyes in the crowd also said that red-shirt freshman linebacker Ryan Stamper had a great day today. He was asked to get back in there a couple of times after performing well. Stamper has really put some weight on and built up his lower body.
The coaches have to like a Doe, Spikes, Robinson, and Stamper stepping up and making plays as linebackers.
Corners opening eyes…
Jacques Rickerson is definitely playing the best of the freshmen cornerbacks. He seems the best at changing direction and he is a big time competitor.
Markihe Anderson played really well today. He got matched up with Ingram one time and really dominated him.
Newcomer Ryan Smith had a great day for his first time out there. He is as tall as any corner except Nelson and Wondy, but he is thinner than both of those. I saw Heater really loving what he was doing a couple of times. The whole back seven on defense could be shifted somehow if two corners really step up.
Safeties Made Plays…
Dorian Munroe had an interception on the far field and took it back quite a ways.
I believe AJ Jones had two interceptions playing at safety. I think he needs to play there and develop some strength before moving up to the linebacker spot.
Player of the Day
Marcus Thomas is a ninety mile an hour bulldozer. It is just fun watching him over power people whenever he wants to.