Practice Observations

Here are some of my practice observations from today. I saw some good things out there in the Swamp.

QB-Chris Leak:
In one stretch of the Team period Leak was 6 for 8 completing passes to five different receivers. None of the completions were bubble screens but UF worked extensively on their quick game package today .Leak did not have his sharpest day of his young career but he through the ball quickly and decisively. His best throws were the deep corner routes. He also showed the ability to hit the receiver in the under routes by finding his open shoulder pad away from the defender.

LT- Tavares Washington:
I thought he looked more comfortable than he has in Florida's offense. He really handled all the defensive ends in pass rush and showed good punch in the running game. He looks to be in good shape and his footwork was solid. If Jon Colon stays healthy this could be a very strong position in the fall.

WR-Dallas Baker:
We have seen Baker have big scrimmages before and this was not a big scrimmage day for him but he showed some improvement. In the pre-scrimmage drills he showed more use of his hands than in the past. He has also improved his route running. Physically and athletically he is ready for a big year but mentally he needs to continue to improve.

RB-DeShawn Wynn:
Wynn got the most first team reps today as the backs will rotate groups during the spring and scrimmages. Wynn showed nice hands out of the backfield in passing situations and did a nice job picking up the blitz in protection. He has some good runs as yards on the ground were tough to come by.

TE-Markell Thompson:
Thompson ran with the first team and showed good hands. He has struggled at times this week receiving the ball but today may have been his best day. Thompson is a little heavy legged but could develop into a reliable underneath target. He is as big as any tight end that has ever put on the Gator uniform. He has shown the ability to work hard and he is ahead of where most junior college guys have been at this point.

LB-Channing Crowder:
He is the definite leader of the defense and the team. He is playing a lot in the middle and directing traffic and motivating his teammates. He was more vocal than he in the fall and was in on just about every tackle. He was very physical today in the scrimmage phase.

CB - Demetrice Webb:
He has a nose for the football and was around it all day today. His coverage skills were solid and he made a lot of big plays. Dee has a chance to be the most physical corner Florida has had in over a decade. He caused and recovered a fumble and looks very quick to the ball.

DE - Jeremy Mincey:
He is the new #57 and looks to be a factor at the end spot. He showed a good mix of speed and power of the edge. He did nice job versus the run and I think can become a player right away for Florida.

DT- Brandon Daniel:
Daniel caught my attention during individual drills with his explosiveness off the ball. He is still developing physically, but for just finishing high school he looks to move into the rotation already. Keep an eye on Daniel he may end up being the steal of this past year's signing class.

Overall Quick Thoughts:
The team was not a sharp as the coaches would like for the first time in the Swamp. Some factors that led to this is the shuffling on the offensive line, the lack of depth at linebacker and the young quarterbacks behind Leak learning their way through the system. When you practice for 45 minutes before a scrimmage it can take some of the starch out of you.

As for playmakers the defense had more today. Crowder, Webb, Hill, Deshawn Carter and Jermaine McCollum all made big plays for the defense today. Offensively, Baker, Fason and Leak had big time plays in the scrimmage, but the lack of touchdowns by the offense leans the arrow to the defense as the winner of the scrimmage. Florida worked a lot of formations on offense and their best downfield pass was the corner route. UF worked a lot on it's quick game "which is the three step "today. Florida's offense had a "West Coast" feel to it today. Defensively there were some busted assignments and some missed tackles but Charlie Strong's unit caused a bunch of turnovers and put some big hits on the offense.

You may not know:
Strong's defense worked a lot on the 3-3-5 with the linebackers coming up on the line of scrimmage with their hand on the ground. Travis Harris and Taurean Charles did a nice job moving in this position. The fifth defensive back is Terrence Holmes. New Coordinator Larry Fedora worked on a variety of formations including a trips one back set. Bubba Caldwell worked in the slot today with Jemalle Cornelius and Baker on the outside. Reggie Vickers got a lot of work today as well. Randy Hand worked at second team left tackle while Anthony Guerrero worked at first team right tackle alot. The end of the scrimmage Hand was back at right tackle.

Scrimmage Edge: Defense

Jury still out:
Justin Midgett needs to get more comfortable with the pass rush coming around him. He is solid in pass drills then during team work struggles a bit. Chad Jackson has big time potential and made some nice catches. He needs to push Cornelius for the starting job. Taurean Charles and Howard Linguard have big time ability and athleticism but need to settle in with the defense and become players. Steven Rissler is being give a golden opportunity to work with the ones while Degory sits out he must make the most of it. Carter made a nice interception and he needs to get more physical. Nick Brooks at safety is work in progress through week one. Once he gets comfortable we may see some of the ability that he has.

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