CALLS AT THE LINE: Andre Ellington's 60-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage was the result of a call at the line by Kyle Parker. Before the play, he was presented with a run or pass combination.
Napier has no problem with periodically giving his quarterback a few options to choose from at the line.
"He's a veteran now. Even late in the year last year, we were capable of giving him some combos that he could use to get us in a good play," Napier said. "Given how multiple defenses are these days, I think it's really effective to give your quarterback some options at the line of scrimmage.
"He's the type of student of the game that's very capable of doing that. He did a great job there. It produced a touchdown."
He said there are four or five packages per game that give Parker the option of making the play call at the line.
"It helps in other phases of the game. When he has to study the defense, from that standpoint, when he has to know when to check those four or five packages within each game plan, that helps him with all the other plays," Napier said. "You have to be a student of the defense if you're going to be a really good quarterback. KP has become that over time.
That's become his standard when coaching quarterbacks. It starts in the spring and continues through the fall.
RUNNING WITH AUTHORITY: Witnessing the evolution of Jamie Harper has been a real treat for Napier. The junior broke the 100-yard mark for the first-time in his career on Saturday. One of his first runs included a truck of a would-be North Texas tackler.
"Coach [Andre] Powell's done a great job. Coach Powell's coached great backs. I thought he did a great job with C.J. [Spiller] last year, but I do think that Jamie has figured out what his identity is going to have to be, given he's a 230-pound back," Napier said.
It started to show late last season, particularly in the Music City Bowl.
"Spring practice was another step in the right direction," Napier said. "In the preseason, he really started to show up."
YOUNG GUNS OUT WIDE: Napier admitted there was a share of mistakes made by the wide receivers.
"I'd be lying to you if I didn't think there were some things that we could get better at," he said. "I don't know that we were real exact in some of our routes, in terms of our depth—those kind of things. Those are things that our players know that are expected."
By name, Napier mentioned Jaron Brown, Bryce McNeal and DeAndre Hopkins as wide receivers that are "capable."
"Overall, good and bad, I probably expected a little more, in terms of the whole group offensively, not just the receivers," Napier said. "Hopefully, we can get a little bit better each week as we go and the execution level can increase."
He was pleased with the effort in the downfield blocking.
"They created a lot of those big runs," Napier said. "We talk a lot about it to our players—second level effort. Not necessarily that first tier, that front, but when that thing pops to that second level, if we've got guys getting after it and attacking their guy and cover people up, that's going to produce explosives, which is a 12-yard run. That was evident Saturday."
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