Movers and Shakers:
Todd McCullough sat out today with a knee he twisted (not serious) in the morning ... In his place was Brian Crum at the strong side linebacker position ... Marcus Thomas was held out again so Clint McMillan was in his place as a first team defensive tackle ... I noticed Jason Watkins and Mike Brown both relegated to the scout team offensive line ... Branden Daniel was with the scout team on the defensive line.
With all the injuries, there was a whole lot of mixing and matching going on with the different units on the team.
Plays of the Practice:
Pass-skel: Jon Demps made a play on a pass thrown to Bubba Caldwell, harassing Caldwell enough to make him give up the ball … Nyan Boateng hauled in a deep seam route from Josh Portis, toasting Tony Joiner … Terrance Holmes intercepted a pass to Chad Jackson that was tipped in the air by Reggie Lewis.
Reggie Lewis picked off a Portis pass a few plays later that was intended for David Nelson on a deep left post pass … Leak hit Tate Casey on a 10-yard pass right up the gut that would have gone a while … Leak hit David Nelson on a deep corner over Vernell Brown, which is a major height mismatch … Avery Atkins was the first sub for Dee Webb today. It it had been Tremaine McCollum all week when Webb went out … I will say I didn't notice McCollum out there today ... Reggie Lewis and Reggie Nelson continue to be the dime and nickel players ... With Randy Hand out today, Tavares Washington slid over to left tackle, ending Phil Trautwein's stay there as Hand's backup. The shift of Washington allowed Drew Miller on the first team at left guard.
Curtis Carr gets tackled hard.
11 on 11: Chris Leak went deep for Bubba Caldwell but Terrance Holmes forced Caldwell off of his route and the ball was overthrown ... Brian Crum knocked down a pass in the flat from Portis.
Player of the Practice:
Reggie Lewis made an interception and forced another one in pass-skel. Great play from the nickel back can alleviate some depth issues at linebacker if you ask me.
Solid as a Rock:
Chris Leak continues his good throwing. Avery Atkins seems to be playing well. The safeties always play strong and hardly get mentioned. I think they are going to hurt people this year, but waiting on the big plays to come just yet.
Freshman of Influence:
Atkins must be impressing the coaches since he is Webb's first backup already on a position that is playing well as a whole.
What I liked:
The first team offense vs. the second defense looks pretty good. Still too many short passes but we have the athletes to make something happen there. The second offense is improving somewhat, but the first defense is still too much for them … I loved seeing Reggie Lewis step up today ... Reggie Nelson will push him beyond belief this year.
What I Didn't Like:
Branden Daniel behind Lutrell Alford? Mike Brown and Jason Watkins behind Simon Codrington? I don't like those at all … I kind of wished Phil Trautwein would have been able to hold on to the left tackle spot just while Hand was out but it looks like they think Washington is better there.