Cyclone Spring Practice Report 7

Iowa State held its biggest spring scrimmage to date on Saturday afternoon, as head coach Dan McCarney put his team through a 100-play intrasquad workout. It also marked the halfway point for this year's spring practice. The Cyclone coach hit on a variety of subjects afterwards in a question-and-answer session with CycloneNation.com.

CN: How about starting with some general comments on the scrimmage today?

McCarney: We had close to a hundred plays and didn't get anybody hurt, so that's the best news. We got into a lot of situational stuff, and I think we improved as a football team. We got a lot of things to correct, but got a lot done. The guys that had been playing well all spring, for the most part played well today.

CN: Who were some of the offensive players that stood out?

McCarney: Bret Meyer was real sharp and has been all spring. He's cool, calm, and made some real good plays scrambling and running. Whether it was design run or not he made some good plays. Stevie Hicks ran real hard. I thought he and Jason Scales did a lot of good things today. Milan Moses and Austin Flynn showed up and did a nice job. Those are the two that did the best job of catching the football today. Our tight ends didn't catch the ball much today.

CN: How about any stand outs on defense?

McCarney: You always see Tim Dobbins, Brent Curvey, and Nick Leaders show up. Cephus Johnson also did some good things. Brandon Hunley got an interception in the two-minute drill and it's nice to see him make a play. He's a redshirt guy that we're anxiously awaiting him to step it up and help our team.

DeAndre Jackson is playing with as much confidence right now as Ellis Hobbs demonstrated last fall. Does that mean he's going to be an All-Big 12 guy right away? I'm not ready to say that, but he's playing with confidence and is fundamentally sound.

CN: Which side of the ball seemed to dominate this afternoon?

McCarney: When you get into short-yardage, red zone, and goal-line, those are real critical situations in football games. The defense has their back against the wall in those situations, but I think they did some real good things. We got our first live two-minute drill with officials, and the defense dominated both of those.

We've got a lot of work to do with our PAT and field goal teams. The defensive team picked up where they left off. We led the Big 12 in blocked kicks last year and they're continuing to do it. We need to shore it up and improve offensively, but we got some more blocks on defense.

CN: Did any second- or third-teamers establish themselves with solid performances?

McCarney: Highsmith and Van Winkle did some good things today, and Jason Scales did some good things at running back. I'm impressed with Bryce Braaksma. He's got a ways to go, we've got to get him bigger stronger, but he's definitely going to be in the mix.

CN: How did the kickers grade out?

McCarney: Nobody was very good. Our defense won those drills. We kicked a lot of kicks today and there were more misses and blocks than there were makes today. Nobody looked real good today.

CN: What about the return men?

McCarney: DeAndre will definitely be one of our starters on the kick return. I don't know who our punt return guy is going to be yet, because nobody has really grabbed the spot.


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