Today as fans we could not ask for a better day of weather to watch the team practice, but we could've asked for better play at the beginning from the team. At first the play was sloppy and lethargic. During the first drill between quarterbacks and wide receivers there was a lot of dropped balls, missed routes, etc… However this soon ended quickly as new Offensive Coordinator Lee Hays told the offense to gather around, which proceeding in a lot of yelling and challenging his players to pick the play up. It got better in the second drill as the four quarterbacks all threw to different receivers that were running routes on the field. Shelton really shined in this drill as he was quick to the ball, caught everything and then was quick to release up the field as well. Ziegler was equally impressive catching two amazing catches over the shoulder.
When watching the two quarterbacks run the drills it is clear they have strengths and weaknesses. Bell is very accurate and very calm in the heat of a play, but doesn't have great arm strength and is not the type that will kill you with a long pass. Szymanski however does a great arm and throws a tight spiral with a quick release. Although in simulating plays today he struggled some, over throwing receivers or under throwing by trying to put too much on the ball. He also hurries himself in the pocket somewhat and doesn't have the poise that bell does, but those skills come with time and experience.
On the defensive side of the ball, much of the day was spent in coverage drills and learning how to defend multiple receivers at a time. A player to watch is Paul Tolbert, this kid is a strong build, but also possesses quick feet which will allow him to excel in coverage. The defensive line work on pushing threw into the backfield. Julian Hill did well in this drill with a good push off, and Lequantum Mcdonald was quick off the line and seems to be embracing the idea of playing defensive tackle.
In the final section of practice was 7 on 7 play, which saw the offense play with more energy and fire. The receivers were able to get open, particularly Makaii Baker and Trey Payne who are both equally fast and could be great in quick slants or swing passes. Shawn Bell was very composed in hitting almost every pass to tight ends or quick 10 yard outs to a receiver. The defense did well in some spots and struggled in others. The play of C.J. Wilson and Maurice Linquist didn't go unnoticed as Wilson jumped two routes for near interceptions and Linquist caused two other break ups on his own as well. Overall the beginning of the practice left a lot to be desired, but started to pick up and eventually ended in a faced paced, energetic 7 on 7 session.
-Ryan Leaf was in attendance today following Coach Morris around getting some notes and ideas for his new job.
-G.J. Kinne was there at practice watching quarterback drills and interacting with his father frequently.
- Quieto Teasley did not participate today and was in street clothes.
Spring Practice #2 Recap
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