Injury Free Scrimmage
The best news to come out of Saturday's scrimmage was that for the most part, the Clones came out of it injury free according to head coach Dan McCarney.
"It appears that there weren't any major injuries. When you scrimmage almost 100 plays which we got today, that didn't include all of the kicking, you just hope and pray that you can come out of there with good health and I think we did. Some minor stuff as always but I don't think it's anything major," McCarney told reporters Saturday after the scrimmage. "We got a lot of good work. It was very competitive, many game situations that can and will come up in every game. We got a lot done. I was impressed with the way these teams came to practice today. We've been in camp since July 31st. It's a long camp. They came out with a great attitude today."
This is how it went down on Saturday.
"The first two sets I went ones vs. twos, then the rest was ones vs. ones, twos vs. twos and threes vs. threes. I rotated it around. There were some good plays made and some great plays made, McCarney said."
In the end, the red team was victorious and for the most part, Coach McCarney was happy with his team's effort on Saturday.
"There was some give and take and some positives on both sides of the ball. I don't come out of it saying, ‘boy our defense really stunk,' or ‘we were really poor offensively or in one area.' I'm anxious to watch the tape. You can see so much more than just standing out there on the field."
Penalty wise, the Cyclones committed eight in the 100 play scrimmage, but McCarney will give his players a mulligan on one of them.
"We had eight total penalties for 100 plays which is too many. One of those was a celebration at the end of overtime when the ones beat the twos. I'll take that any day as long as we win the overtime."
With the loss of Kurtis Taylor and the appearance that Collins Eboh won't be playing, the RUSH END position is wide open and according to Coach McCarney, nobody really stuck their heads out above the rest on Saturday.
"I didn't see anybody who looked dominant out there. We played the run better today than we have in camp since we've been there," McCarney said.
"Travis Ferguson will definitely be back next week practicing. He's very much in the mix out there at RUSH," McCarney said.
A Defensive Tradition
Even though the 2006 defense is being forced to replace eight starters from a year ago, they are still hanging with the offense returning 10 starters. Coach McCarney said that there were a number of takeaways on Saturday, including two by linebacker Jesse Smith.
"Jesse Smith had a couple of interceptions as a linebacker. Our number one offense fumbled one time so there were three or four. Defensively we're keeping with the tradition that we have of getting some turnovers and takeaways," McCarney said.
The cornerback positions are locks heading into Aug. 31 with DeAndre Jackson and Chris Singleton, but the two safety positions are still wide open, but even with the uncertainty of the two positions, the secondary still looked ‘solid' on Saturday.
"It was solid, but our cornerbacks and receivers made some plays too. I'm anxious to see the tape. We know who our starting corners are (DeAndre Jackson and Chris Singleton). We need to figure out definitely who our starting safeties will be. I've told you guys this a number of times. It's hard to get continuity when you have guys in and out of the lineup on defense. Today is another example of that. Some guys are there, some guys aren't. We've got to get our starting 11 as soon as we possibly can," McCarney said.
Arnaud Continues to Impress
It's beginning to look like Austen Arnaud is every bit as good as advertised when he committed to
"Austen Arnaud again is continuing to make plays every time he gets an opportunity. He rolled with the twos and the threes. Kyle Van Winkle went one snap with the ones and Bret of course ran with the ones all the time," McCarney said.
McCarney has been quick to point out over the last week that the starting RG position is still up for grabs and during Saturday's scrimmage, McCarney rotated three players at the position. Those being Lee Tibbs, Reggie Stephens and Paul Fisher.
"We rotated three guys in there trying to figure out who our best one is," McCarney said.
Team Elects Captains
"We elected our captains last night. It's an outstanding group that I announced before we went out today. Bret Meyer and Austin Flynn on offense and DeAndre Jackson and Brent Curvey on defense. It was a landslide with those four. They ran away with it and I'm really proud of them. They've been doing that since January so it's no surprise to me that those are our four captains," McCarney said.