The veterans were back on the Ponderosa on Friday morning for their second practice of fall camp – in shorts, jerseys and helmets only – and there was one newcomer that wasn’t with the group on Thursday.
True freshman linebacker Barkevious Mingo moved up to practice with the veterans and he joined the two members from the 2009 class who were there on Thursday morning – defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and Chris Faulk.
A couple of other vets who practiced in yesterday’s afternoon session also moved up in receivers Jhyryn Taylor and John Williams, along with offensive guard Thomas Parsons.
The quarterbacks and receivers looked considerably smoother and on the same page today with the various routes I saw them working on including curls, outs and fades.
Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee rotated again and both were drawing some praise from wide receivers coach D.J. McCarthy for not waiting on the receivers to make their breaks on the curls and outs. Both put the ball on the money taking into account that it was just their second practice.
The receivers went in the order of Brandon LaFell, Terrance Toliver, John Williams, Jhyryn Taylor, Jarred Joseph and Chris Tolliver. Williams and Taylor both moved up from the afternoon session yesterday and we expect R.J. Jackson, who worked out on Thursday morning, to be in the afternoon group today.
The receivers all caught the ball well but the timing was a bit off with the quarterbacks on the out routes where they had to drag a foot inbounds. With that said, there was much more encouragement coming from McCarthy for their route running and for getting up field once they secured the catch. On a side note, when the receivers drop passes they should have caught they owe coach Mac 10 pushups and the only one I noticed that had to drop and give him 10 was Chris Tolliver on one occasion.
The tight ends weren’t involved with much passing and focused more on coming off the ball and striking a defender with Richard Dickson, Mitch Joseph and Alex Russian working in that order.
One noticeable change with the running backs was Richard Dugas was now wearing No. 45 as opposed to the No. 63 he wore before which would indicate that his move to fullback may be a done deal. He was also listed as an offensive lineman before.
Charles Scott, Keiland Williams, Richard Murphy and Trindon Holliday worked in that order in their running drills and there really wasn’t much to say with the drills they worked on.
Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa did a lot of teaching today. His first unit consisted of Ciron Black, Josh Dworaczyk, Patrick Lonergan, Lyle Hitt and Joe Barksdale from left to right. The second unit going the same direction was Chris Faulk, Clay Spencer, Will Blackwell, Thomas Parsons (was with the afternoon crew on Thursday) and Alex Hurst.
With Stud doing so much teaching you really didn’t see the line firing off the ball as they worked mostly on assignments and getting to the second level.
With eight defensive linemen at practice, defensive line coach Brick Haley was able to give a lot of individual work and he was definitely the most vocal coach out there today. Several times you could hear him shouting, “I’ve got all day and you do too. You’re going to get it right.” There were some other choice words tossed around but we’ll leave those up to your imagination.
The first team ends were Rahim Alem and Pep Levingston with Drake Nevis and Al Woods running inside. The second unit consisted of Lavar Edwards and Chancey Aghayere at end and Akiem Hicks and Charles Alexander inside.
Hicks was getting plenty of attention from Haley and defensive ends/special teams coach Joe Robinson as he struggled at getting everything to click. One play he had good footwork but his hand placement was poor then when Robinson made him go again he fired his hands out but his feet were miles apart. Once again, though, I want to stress that Hicks will need some time since he’s behind with trying to get qualified this summer and not working nearly as much with the team as others.
The big news of the day was Barkevious Mingo moving up with the ‘Big Boys’ as he joined Perry Riley, Kelvin Sheppard, Jacob Cutrera, Kyle Prater and Harry Coleman at linebacker.
It still takes some getting used to seeing Coleman with the linebackers because of his size but next to Mingo he certainly wasn’t the smallest one in terms of weight and the way he filled out his jersey. As for Mingo, it’s obvious that the coaches recognize his athleticism and this may be a way of throwing more at him at a quicker pace to see how he responds because there was certainly a quicker pace with the morning group compared to the afternoon on Thursday.
Brandon Taylor continues to get work at strong safety and the word we’re getting is that secondary coach Ron Cooper wants someone who is a little more physical at the strong spot but who can also cover a lot of ground.
Taylor played alongside Chad Jones with the first unit safeties, while Danny McCray and Ron Brooks, worked with the second unit at free and strong, respectively.
Patrick Peterson and Chris Hawkins ran with the 1’s at corner with Jai Eugene and Ryan St. Julien going with the next group. It appeared that Cooper paid quite a bit attention to the way the guys pressed then backpedaled before breaking on the ball. Once again, Peterson looks like he is in a different league when it comes to breaking on the ball.
Here is a full list of the players who were present today and we’ll have much more throughout the day on day two of fall camp.
QB: Jordan Jefferson; Jarrett Lee
RB: Charles Scott, Keiland Williams, Richard Murphy, Trindon Holliday and Richard Dugas.
WR: Brandon LaFell, Terrance Toliver, John Williams, Jhyryn Taylor, Jarred Joseph and Chris Tolliver
TE: Richard Dickson, Mitch Joseph and Alex Russian
OL: Joe Barksdale, Lyle Hitt, Patrick Lonergan, Josh Dworaczyk, Ciron Black, Alex Hurst, Thomas Parsons, Will Blackwell, Clay Spencer and Chris Faulk
DL: Rahim Alem, Al Woods, Drake Nevis, Pep Levingston, Lavar Edwards, Charles Alexander, Akiem Hicks and Chancey Aghayere
LB: Perry Riley, Kelvin Sheppard, Jacob Cutrera, Harry Coleman, Barkevious Mingo and Kyle Prater
DB: Patrick Peterson, Chris Hawkins, Chad Jones, Brandon Taylor, Jai Eugene, Ryan St. Julien, Danny McCray and Ron Brooks