Coach Mullen walks with Gavin Dickey (left) and Cornelius Ingram. Both QBs made a strong impact today
Offensive tackle Jason Watkins (6'6 300) ripped through MacKenzie Pierre in the drill. I'm very impressed with Watkins thus far. He has put on some much needed strength and is demonstrating the wonderful aggressiveness. I'm pretty sure I got the correct numbers of these guys. It's hard to see through the girth and they move around quickly due to the excitement. You've never seen a ring move like this, unless Willie Williams had his hands on it.
Defensive back Dawayne Grace beat Andre Caldwell in the Ring. It was his saving grace if you will, as he did not have a very good practice session. He consistently lined up a little too far on the opposite hip of the receiver, which certainly didn't help him in coverage. I know of twice that he was corrected by coaches. He was eventually told to get out of there by Coach Heater, who brought in Reggie Lewis.
Channing Crowder pulled up along the Florida baseball stadium in his beautiful, two day old H2. As you might expect, it is decked out. A University of Florida motorcycle policeman jokingly called down to him that he needed to move the vehicle. Crowder looked up and smiled saying "Hello". After they exchanged pleasantries, Crowder was told that he could leave it there today.
As the players broke out with their position coaches I opted to follow Dickey and Ingram. Obviously, both have timing problems. That is especially true of Ingram, who received a lot of instruction from Coach Mullen. There was no question that it was day one for him. But, I maintain that his athleticism will find him a role in this offense. Ingram (6'4 1/2 216) has a fantastic frame for a quarterback and/or receiver.
In one drill, the quarterbacks stepped over five dummies and threw the ball on the run. Ingram demonstrated the quickness and athleticism to get over those dummies quickly, before firing a shot at a trainer who was on the receiving end of the ball some 15 yards away. Ingram looked the most comfortable and had the most velocity on that particular passing drill.
The Hawthorne High School graduate clearly demonstrated that he's a guy who throws well on the roll or the run. He had no choice but to do so at Hawthorne, as the Hornets offensive line just wasn't good at all. Ingram looked good hitting standing targets today. As expected, his timing was terribly off hitting receivers on the move during these drills. There were times it looked as though he wasn't following through on his passes. Once or twice he double clutched the ball. These are things that usually crop up when a quarterback is indecisive about where or when to release the ball. I'm sure that Ingram will get this corrected as he gets a few more reps.
Dickey got a lot of snaps, but slightly less than Portis.
Dickey didn't struggle as much with the timing. He has been throwing the baseball to specific locations from left field, so he had a bit of an edge. He strong armed a couple of balls, but again, considering the time missed, that is to be expected.
Dickey also looked pretty good running the pitch. In fact, he received the praise of Coach Mullen during one of those plays. Chris Leak, Josh Portis, and Ingram did some good and bad things that Coach Mullen called them out on. But, make no mistake; all of the quarterbacks need a lot of work with these drills. I wasn't overly impressed with any of the quarterbacks today pitching the football period, and this was before it began to rain.
The receivers worked with Coach Gonzalez on their routes. They didn't look too bad, except on the curl. Coach Gonzalez worked with them on their move and technique. The only receiver who earned his praise was Dallas Baker. I thought that Mike McIntosh looked pretty good on the drill too.
It was a sloppy day for the offense working on the running game, opposite field. There were problems with the quarterback/center exchange. There were a couple of fumbles, as well as, dropped balls by receivers. Busted plays are to be expected on the first day, as the offensive staff continues to add plays. They won't be tolerated on day two though.
I thought that Tavares Washington did a nice job of blocking in the running game drills. And he did. Shortly thereafter, Coach Mattison told defensive end Jeremy Mincey (Washington's victim) "Mincey, he's killing you. He's killing you!" as he was quickly replaced.
Jeremy Mincey played a little linebacker in a three down lineman defense.
This learning curve will continue until all of the players understand that taking plays off will get you a spot with the fans in the bleachers.
The most impressive play of the running drill was linebacker Brandon Siler busting through the center/guard gap and dropping running back Markus Manson.
On a sad note, defensive lineman Lutrell Alford had to helped off of the field due to a knee injury sustained during the drills. On the play, the entire offensive line walled off the defensive line running right. Alford apparently got caught up and bent backwards.