For most of Fall Camp and yesterday, on the first day of practice during school, the defense has had the upper hand over the offense in most cases.
On Wednesday, the offense evened the field a bit.
During the tempo period, the offense not only moved the ball, but scored on a touch pass from Chad Voytik to Blake Mack.
It was much hotter today, even with the nice breeze.
In injury news, Javier Carbonell was out today, though he was walking around okay and joking, so it didn't seem serious. Brandon Berg was still in non-contact and could be seen with a large brace on his ankle, though it didn't seem to be impairing his movement. Jake Swalley walked off late with ice on his ankle, though he seemingly had no limp, so it didn't seem that serious. Money Hunter was at practice early, but wasn't later, and it may have been a class issue.
Lanard Bonner (#70) and Tyrell Reed (#65) were both dressed today, however, they may be redshirt candidates due to a couple of reasons, (A) They're just learning the offense, and (B) They both need time with Matt Shadeed.
The good news is that in drills they could do (they weren't padded out as they can't be until this weekend at the earliest) they looked athletic and strong. Reed is massive. His listed height and weight is wrong, I'd say he's 6'6/360 right now.
Scout teams were started today, so a brief rundown of guys who were NOT on scout teams:
QB: Voytik, Hansen, Pearson
RB: Wand, Weh Weh, White, Rollins-Davis, Moragne
TE: Mack, Johnson, Hill, Brockman
WR: Echols-Luper, Sanders, Murray, Booker, Stowers, Paschal, Bayless, McInnis, D. Brown*, and Marshall*
*These two were not in the green scout jerseys, however, they did run with the scout offense.
OL: Clark, Jackson, Mondie, Moreton, Bacchus, Elliott, Novak, Berg, Ford, Maxwell (This list is fluid)
DL: Riggs, Odom, Emory, Liner, Mondie, Rosser*, Swalley, Thomas*, Harris, Rolland-Jones, Ransom, Caston, Roberson, Chandler, Robison. (Carbonell could well be on this list) *-same as with the WRs, though these two got reps with the defense as well as being on scout.
LB: Lain, Woodson-Luster, Heath, Wilson, Gallagher, Turnage*, Chambers
DB: Byner, Taylor, Wagner, Smith, Humes, Martin, Hunter, Swanson, Ellis, M. Johnson, Edmonds, C. Brown, Clifton, Sentimore
Again, this list is in flux and I will try to update it as much as possible if there are changes.
On with the report:
- Offensively, the uptick in success can be directly tied to the uptick in OL play. Amazing what having all five starters back out there will do.
- However, it's not just the first unit. The second unit looked better as well.
- That was not to say the DL did nothing, they again looked good, as the rotation is becoming more firm.
- Early on and late in the day the WRs and TEs looked very good. Some big catches by Murray, Mack, McInnis, and Echols-Luper.
- The DBs also had their moments as Chris Humes and Jeremy Smith at CB both had nice plays. Blaise was solid and so was Wagner.
- The team worked on their onside kick assignments and formation today, Sawyer Williams hit a couple that were beautiful, a couple, not so much. One hit at 8-yards and went about 10 feet in the air...perfect.
- On the PAT look today, the team broke out the swinging gate look.
- Justice Hansen got reps with the ones today during the Blitz period.
- Hansen had a couple nice balls, hitting receivers in stride.
- Voytik again looked good after struggling with his release early.
- The team also worked punt return today, with Blaise and CEL trading returns.
- One thing that was noticeable today, was that the coaches are being much harder on technique and execution mistakes that might have been taught on in the past. It seems that raising accountability is part of the raising the bar that Coach Anderson is preaching.
- All of the RBs had nice runs today, Armond Weh Weh and Logan Moragne give us two 200+ backs with nice burst.
- Some scout team news, a few of the scout OL looked good today. Fontenot and Harvey had nice plays. Harvey also had a nice one on one pass rush period. He uses his size well.
Unfortunately, with the way the practices set up, there is not nearly as much as during a fall camp (a point actually brought up by Xavier during a break, that he loves season practice, because it's so much easier than fall camp).
One other small thing I noticed today, Coach Anderson was much more involved with the offense today and yesterday than he has been the past two years. My best guess is that the continuity gained by having no change in defensive staff, has allowed him to work with the offensive staff more often.
Also, again, the biggest hit of the day was not on a player with the ball. Tajhea Chambers and Nehemiah Wagner got their signals crossed and plowed into each other at full speed. No one was hurt, but it definitely got the attention of all on the field, as the hit was heard all over.
The team continues practice tomorrow and Friday at 4:30 before going early on Saturday morning. Coach Anderson said he would try to have them off the field by 10 AM.