Offensive Summary - Day 1

The weather was great and the Gators hit the field running in their pursuit of defending their national championship. Day one saw lots of injured Gators not working out with their teammates, but we also got to see a glimpse of some new Gators out there. Here are my thoughts on what went on during day one.

At quarterback, the good thing is they didn't throw any interceptions during 7-on-7 or team drills. The bad news is they had a lot of balls deflected by the defense and almost intercepted. Tim Tebow looked about as sharp as ever...he doesn't usually look sharp at practice. He made two beautiful deep throws to Frankie Hammond and Deonte Thompson that certainly got the attention of everyone in attendance on the day

I thought John Brantley really threw safe on the day. He didn't have many that could have been picked by the defense, then again he didn't really hit the deep ball well. One thing I noticed from him is picking up the outside blitzer. Three times during drills he threw to the receiver vacated by a blitzing corner from the outside. A perfect read by the quarterback, Tebow also did the same a couple of times.

Frankie Hammond had a great day at receiver and would have been my offensive player of the day had he not dropped a ball late in practice. He was catching everything before that and also showing his speed and agility on the field catching short routes and making people miss and catching long routes and using his speed to get open doing so.

My offensive player of the day was Deonte Thompson and you could see from a couple of highlights on the day why that is. He showed big time burst to blow by his man and caught everything thrown his way. He had two tremendous long catches on the day and really played well.

I thought Carl Moore and David Nelson also played well. They are intent on using Nelson in the slot vacated by Percy Harvin although Thompson, Hammond, and a couple of others also saw time in that spot on the day. Carl Moore looks fluid now and running at full speed and of course he has picked things up since late in his junior year last year.

Justin Williams looks like he is faster. He didn't get many shots with the ball but made a couple of nice grab and runs during the practice. I was very glad to see him move back to receiver and figured for two years now that this would be his year to shine. I think it will happen.

Paul Wilson and T.J. Lawrence didn't get much of a look today but look like they know what they are doing. Omarius Hines as we mentioned on the message boards during practice, was at practice but never did work out on the day. He has injury to his thighs but said before practice that he would be working out. It never happened. Meyer sad after practice that Riley Cooper will play baseball all spring and miss football practice..an arrangement they made during his recruitment.

At running back, there really wasn't much to report on the day. All three of Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps, and Emmanuel Moody got time with the first unit. I did notice Moody stumble a couple of times in the open field, so that is something to pay attention to when the hitting starts.

T.J. Pridemore and Steve Wilks were out there but I honestly did not notice either of them on the field during the 7-on-7 or team drills. They may have been out there, but I don't think so.

The offensive line saw some movement during the day. Namely due to injuries. Carl Johnson practiced a lot on the day, but was spelled at times by David Young along the first line at left tackle. James Wilson is a beast at left guard and I can see him solidifying that spot really quickly as the spring gets going. Maurkice Pouncey is of course back at center and was out there looking good. Mo Hurt started in place of the injured Mike Pouncey on the front line and he will be the sixth lineman when all of them are healthy. Marcus Gilbert assumed his more natural position at right tackle and looked good, as much as we could tell without pads and hitting.

The second line had a pretty set group. The second team left tackle was Jonotthan Harrison all day. At left guard David Young was the mainstay but was occasionally rested by Corey Hobbs at the spot. Sam Robey was the second team center, Byran Jones at right guard, and Nick Alajajian was the second team right tackle for almost the entire practice.

The first line is really strong, there is no doubt about that. They should be the best in the SEC this year. Mo Hurt is somewhat experienced on the second team, but what you really notice when watching the second unit is their size and body make up are all examples of just what you want them to look like.

Byran Jones may still be the one that needs to get in a little better shape, but for the most part it is a cookie cutter line of 6-4 to 6-5 and 300-pounders along the front...and all of them can move. These guys are going to continue to be headaches for the defensive line this spring.

As mentioned on the message boards during practice Matt Patchan was on crutches and injured in a scooter accident. Urban Meyer expects him back within the week, but we shall see. Mike Pouncey was out also.

We will have more on practice and the defense later today.


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