FOOTBALL: 8/10 Fall Practice In-Depth Report

<b>Get the most complete coverage of fall practice anywhere - Gator Country's writers are the only ones there from beginning to end and that's a fact!</b> The Gators had another early morning workout due to the higher chance of bad weather later in the afternoon. The sun was out but it was a little breezier today. The team seemed in good spirits and I heard the only injury from the day before was Tim Higgins a walk-on WR.

The crowd was about double yesterday as some 35 to 40 people were out there at times. Everyone else was out there and participating. Tavares Washington, who did a lot of standing around yesterday due to his injury, did a little more today, but was still limited.

Group B
They rotated the groups today and brought the B Group out first, For those that read yesterday's report, the B Group is a mostly the 2nd team and smattering of 3rd and 4th team players. Depth Chart for Group B only,

  • QB - Gavin Dickey, Justin Midgett
  • TB - Skyler Thornton, Markus Manson
  • FB - Ttyler Guttler, Eric Rutledge
  • TEs - Tate Casey(up from yesterday), David Kenner, Brian Crum
  • 1st OL - Anthony Guererro, Ronald Dowdy, Billy griffin, Mo Mitchell, Carlton Medder
  • 2nd OL - Jason Watkins, James Stone, Jonathan Marvin, Jim Tartt, Todd Bunce
  • 1st DL - Tree Morant, Kenny Parker, Michael Hill, Jarvis Moss
  • 2nd DL - Steven Harris, Eric Holcombe, Dwayne Norris, McKenzie Pierre
  • 1st LBs - Brandon Siler, Javier Estopinan, Todd McCullough
  • 2nd LBs - Alvin Butler, James Smith, Alik Scott
  • 1st DBs - DeShawn Carter, Zepherine Augustine, Jarvis Herring, Vernell Brown
  • 2nd DBs - Jermaine Thomas, Matt Neddeff, Kyle Jackson. Jermaine McCullom

In the early going they practiced a new front (I don't want to go into detail here due to team philosophy) and had Jarvis Moss at middle linebacker. That was easy to spot from the get-go. They didn't run a lot o it but it was a new wrinkle.

About Jarvis, one thing that is definitely noticeable is that he looks healthy, Yes, way too thin. But he doesn't limo and he can really get after it better than he ever seemed to be able to do last year. Moss is going to be a pass rush specialist, so don't be surprised on 3rd and long if he comes in the game early on.

1 on 1

The quarterbacks in Group B looked pretty sharp today. All 3, Gavin Dickey, Justin Midgett, and Cornelius Ingram really had nice touch on the long ball early on in practice.

Kenneth Tookes looked like he was running better than I have seen him run. He looks a little more smooth and decisive in his routes, he is a big target that would be nice to throw to.

Vernell Brown had one of those helter skelter practices today. He seemed to be fighting hard with the receivers and staying well with them in man coverage. He also really got burned by Dallas Baker and Chad Jackson on separate plays in 1 on 1. Later in pass-skel Coach Zook lauded the back-up corner for a couple of plays he made.

Bernard Middleton is a walk-on wide receiver that seems to be getting the ball a lot. He has good height(6-1 maybe) and is fluid and fast. He is a little thin, but isn't afraid to go over the middle. He caught several passes in the 1 on 1 and in pass-skel drills.

Reggie Lewis had an exceptional practice. He is becoming a solid go to guy that isn't afraid o stretching out in traffic for the ball. Of course, this is without pads and hitting going on.

I mentioned Tremaine McCullom a few times on tape breaking up various passes in the 1 on 1 drills.

Pass-skel

Of note was the fact that Tate Casey lined up as the starting tight end in the B-Group today. He was playing ahead of David Kenner. Tate really has wheels, he had a pass that was a tad over thrown and was flying down the seam, when he laid out to catch the ball he slid for about 8 -10 feet on dry turf, so he was humping it.

Brian Crum constantly was open and was hit in the hands with the ball only to drop it. This is almost to be expected with Brian in the early going. He is a new position and he hasn't been asked to catch the ball since December of 2002. Its easy to see the athleticism as he gets mismatches on the fields with slower linebackers oe smaller safeties. He just needs to work on his pass catching and knowing his routes and assignments.

Gavin threw a pass early on in pass-skel in double coverage to Chad between Vernell and Kyle Jackson. Vernell just missed the interception. Kyle came back later and picked off a deep post pass to Middleton, when he stepped in front of the wide receiver. That was the nicest jump on the ball I have seen in the two days from a defensive back.

Chad Jackson wasn't quite as good as yesterday, but Gavin Dickey certainly seems to be able to find him out there. He had a really nice 18 yard comeback that Gavin hit him right when he turned around. The coverage was there, but Chad created the separation by running a great route.

Skyler Thornton thickened up over the off-season. He looks like he may have lost a little bit of that weight and looks tremendously fast out there. I believe Skyler is going to help this offense somewhere along the line this year.

Jermaine Thomas caught an ear full from Coah Zook when he was in man coverage. H doesn't want him looking back at the quarterback, as they say, you can't cover botth the quarterback and the receiver.

Brandon Siler is showing up big. Of course he doesn't have all the mental parts of the defense down yet, but the guy can run like a deer. He showed superb speed when he ran down and knocked away a pass in the flat.

Team

As I mentioned yesterday the full team stuff is on the opposite field so visibility is really limited. You can't see any of the line play from that far and the running game is very hard to watch. This leads itself to very few observations.

Dallas hauled in a great pass on the first pass play in team drills. It was a 20+ yard corner pass and it really looks like it will be one of the staples of this offense. Yesterday we harped on the middle of the fiel passes, but all summer I have been saying that the inside receivers have been catching a lot of deep corner routes. Dallas of course, is an outside receiver, but he was the benefactor on this particular pass.

I was just about to speak into my recorder that there was only one fumble that caused the team to do up-downs, as the words came out of my mouth, Skyler dropped the ball and the whistle blew. All the offense was hitting the ground and back up again and repeating that 5 times. It was a much better day of it today than yesterday.

One thing noticeable is Markus Manson, has unreal cutback speed. The jets he fires off when he makes the decision to run a certain direction are second to none.

That completes the breakdown of the Group B players practice time. In between sessions they again worked on special teams and the punt coverage team. This time includes the A-Group that had just previously been stretching and preparing to take part in practice. One thing noticeable is the limited number of offensive players on the defensive coverage unit. I know this has been a bone of contention for some. I think it has a little to do with the influx of new defensive players in the last recruiting clas that can really help on special teams.

We will have Group A and some more special teams up in a little while.


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