1. The punters looked much improved over last year. Durant Brooks kicked several nasty spirals that had the punt returners backing up all the way to the 5 yard line. If we can get some consistency at the kicker position, I think the special teams will be much improved this season. Coach Kelly is really working hard on turning that unit around.
2. By the way, speaking of Coach Kelly, I had a chance to speak with his father yesterday as he was taking in some of the action. Coach Kelly played at Auburn with Coach Nix and has a lot of connections in the Southeast when it comes to recruiting. He is an excellent recruiter as well as a coach according to his father.
3. Working out on the stationary bikes today were AT Barnes (who was there yesterday as well) and somewhat surprisingly Jamaal Evans. It didn't seem like he was limping or in any pain, so I don't think it's anything major. Working out on the bikes wasn't very relaxing for either as the strength coaches were really working them while the rest of the team ran through drills.
4. After position drills and special teams were completed, the linemen went over to the track on the other side of the wall to work out while the skill position players stayed back and ran some 7-on-7.
5. I was told on more than one occassion not to write down anything about the formations, schemes, or personnel groupings (not like I was going to do that anyway) so I can't mention anything like that. But, I can say that the offense looks like it has the potential to be very exciting to watch this season!
7. FB Mike Cox is going to have his number called a little more often this year in my opinion. He was catching passes out of the backfield and making defenders miss (I can't blame them...who wants to tackle that guy?) Mike is just another weapon in our arsenal and one I hope we use a little more often this year. Very good hands.
8. Pat Clark shined on the 2nd team defense today, breaking up several passes and almost making a pick. If he keeps playing like this, he's going to be hard to keep off the field.
9. Avery Roberson tipped a long pass from Taylor (Tater) Bennett and hauled it in for the INT. Hopefully, this is a sign of better things to come for Avery.
10. I don't know if this has been mentioned on here or not, but Travis Chambers played with a broken foot for the majority of the season last year and didn't even know it. His father as well as the coaches thought something was wrong with him, but doctors never found anything during the season. Only toward the end of the year was the break diagnosed (it was actually broken in 2 places). Travis tried to come back too soon and his foot didn't respond well during Spring practice so he sat out a lot during the Summer (which he really didn't want to do). He is finally back on the field battling for PT, but it's going to be a while before he is back in shape.
11. During 7-on-7 drills, Calvin beat Kenny on a jump ball in the back of the endzone (yes folks, we threw a jump ball to Calvin - weird, huh?). Even when the DB knows it's coming, there's almost nothing he can do about it. That's what's so great about him. That play had the crowd (and other players) buzzing for quite a while. Kenny got some revenge later during 11-on-11 when he jumped a quick pass to CJ and took it to the house for a TD.
12. Tater's favorite receiver during practice today was easily Greg Smith. Greg really gets good separation and has some good moves after the catch. Tate looked his way 5 times during practice.
13. Correy Earls is a burner, plain and simple. There is no way he doesn't see the field this year. He's just too fast! He lined up with the first team on more than one occassion. I think he could really stretch the defense with his speed. Not to mention he has the ability to make some acrobatic catches of his own.
14. Bebe is really BIG! He's almost a Calvin-clone (he'll need to hit the weights a little bit more to catch him, but he's well on his way). He practiced with the second team on several occassions as did Frierson, Smith and TEs Wayne Riles and Colin Peek.
Alright, I didn't look at the defense as much today as I probably should have, but several plays stick out that I have included.
15. Robo looked really good coming off the edge. On one occassion early in the 11-on-11, he nearly took off Reggie's head (he came around so fast, there was really nothing he could do).
16. K-Mike had a nice sack on Reggie as he buster through the line and made a very athletic play to catch Reggie as he tried to avoid him.
17. Towards the end of the 11-on-11, Michael Johnson tipped (with his extremely long arms) a Tater pass which was subsequently caught by Marcus Harris and run back for a TD. That play got the first team defense fired up and they came back with an INT of their own (Kenny on CJ, as I mentioned earlier).
18. Shane Bowen also tipped a pass from Tater (who had a lot more trouble today than he did yesterday).
19. Practice tomorrow will again be at 9:30 over at Rose Bowl field. GoJackets.com will be sure to have someone there in attendance.