Practice Report - Friday (4/16)

There was a crispness to practice today. This was probably, from start to finish, one of the best practices of the spring. Everyone was hustling and intense. There was a ton of high school coaches mulling around and observing today's practice.

Glenn Holt hurt his hamstring again today that he injured Wednesday. It look a lot more serious today. It will be day to day whether or not he will make it back this spring. Holt has really worked hard in the off-season and this spring and had worked his way into the starting rotation with his play. He is one of the most improved players on the team and has fixed his inconsistency problem he showed last year.

Mike Aitcheson did something to his left shoulder in the pit drills. He did come back to drills but you could tell he was hurting. Although he has struggled some this week he needs to be healthy a put together a strong finish to spring. The rest of the offensive line has started to really turn it on this week and are starting to gel. They are starting to slowly but surely hold their own against a defense that totally dominated them the first two weeks of practice. They are starting to open some holes and producing some nice gains in each series now. Unfortunately, the second team line is still struggling.

So what does this say about the defensive line that was so great the first two weeks? Is the o-line merely adjusting to players they've seen for the last three weeks, or is the d-line sliding? At this point, I don't see a slide, but neither do I have the same optimism that I had when spring ball opened. So while it is certainly NOT all doom and gloom, we should really try to not fall into the trap we fell into last year in allowing our hopes for the line (last year it was the offensive line) to cloud what we actually see on the field during practices. And what we saw the first couple of weeks out of the defense you still see, but not as consistently. That could be a very good thing if it means the offense is picking it up, but it could be bad if our offense is not that good. Let's wait and see what the last week shows us.

Scott Mitchell looked very good today as did most of the receivers. Jacob Tamme caught a 55 yard perfectly thrown pass from Woodson where only Tamme could catch it. The quarterbacks were still throwing a little behind receivers today but not enough that the receivers still couldn't make the plays. The receivers were catching almost everything thrown at them today. Dominic Lewis looked good today. There was one play where he completely de-cleated Chad Anderson when he was blocking on a cut-back play. Shane Boyd needs to work on speeding up his progressions and not locking on to one receiver, but he is getting better each and every practice it seems.

They were working on several new drills today. One was like the defensive/offensive line pit drill but with the linebackers and fullback/running backs. They were working a lot on picking up blitzes and blocking techniques for the offensive backs.

The punting game still needs work. Blocking and snaps both had breakdowns today and Sevin Sucurovic wasn't extending his arm the way he should on his drops causing him to get no extension and creating shorter punts than usual.

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