On the first play during the 7-on-7 drills, Kyle Wright hooked up with Khalil Jones for a 45-yard pass play on a deep-route. The ball was thrown beautifully over Jones' shoulder as he beat Randy Phillips.
Also during the 7-on-7 drills, the offense displayed an efficient attack, with the offense only having one ball that was incomplete during the drill. The offense ran a lot of three step drops and executed a lot of quick throws to various receivers. Both quarterbacks did not force anything downfield during the drill, dumping the ball off to the runningbacks when they needed to.
On the first play of the scrimmage, Wright overthrew a wide open Lance Leggett deep ball that would have been a 30-40 yard gain. Leggett was held during the play and the defense was called pass interference.
"Lance could have had a touchdown on the first play, if the defense did not cheat and hold him back," Wright joked.
Wright started the scrimmage a little slow, throwing an interception to Lovon Ponder on a rollout that was intended for Greg Olsen. Wright was pressured from the pocket on occasion and had good timing on the three step drop throws that went for 3-to-6 yard gains. Wright however could not lead the team for a touchdown starting from the 50-yard line.
"In a more structured scrimmage like this, you have to focus on the little things because we have not practiced in front of a crowd or with referees, so that is the most glaring thing we have to get better at—the little things," Wright said. "Jumping offsides and penalties are the biggest thing we have to work on now."
Kirby Freeman, while working with the second team, could not find any rhythm. He was pressured all day due to the inexperience play of the second-team offensive line. Freeman's second team receivers were Khalil Jones, Brian Monroe and walk-on, Ryan Lacedonia. Freeman was picked off by Carlos Armour on a ball that was juggled by Khalil Jones.
Freeman did get a few snaps with the first team, completing an 8-yard pass to Richard Gordon on a rollout and a three step drop throw to Greg Olsen for 4-yards, leading to a 34-yard touchdown run by Derron Thomas.
All the running backs had a solid run during the scrimmage. All three running backs, Charlie Jones, Derron Thomas, and Andrew Johnson, each got reps with the first unit. Thomas busted a 34-yard run up the middle of the defense with the first team offense. Charlie Jones consistently ripped off four yard gains and Andrew Johnson exhibited his speed by bouncing runs outside the tackles. The most impressive back, however, was Thomas.
"The receivers were limited, and I was only going to allow myself to do a certain number of things as far as jumping for the ball," Jenkins said "Today was more about catching short routes and catching the ball and getting up field."
Jenkins admits that today, the offense did not show the full formations and routes. "There is more to come," Jenkins said. "Due to the fact that we had limited receivers, we could not go four and five receiver sets. That is what's coming."
Khalil Jones displayed his improved catching ability during the scrimmage by making a nice catch with his hands on a post route from Kirby Freeman. Jones, however did drop a couple of balls, one of which was bobbled an intercepted by the defense.
Brian Monroe displayed some raw ability by creating good separation on a 25-yard deep ball that was overthrown. Monroe also ran a good 12-yard out-route, but he could not make the catch as he bobbled the ball while going out of bounds.
Lance Leggett primarily caught quick three step drop hitches from the quarterbacks. Leggett had a beautiful catch on a jump ball against Randy Phillips that was ruled to be out of bounds.
The first team offensive line started a little shaky at the beginning of the scrimmage, but settled down as the practice continued. The first unit consisted of:
The line opened up some adequate holes for the running backs, with the big run being the 34-yard touchdown run by Derron Thomas. The running backs consistently picked up 3-to-5 yard gains with the first unit offensive line.
"We started off slow," Wollschlager said. But, overall we picked it up towards the end and had that nice run by Derron."
The second-team offensive line looked porous at times during pass protection and could not open holes for the running backs. Alex Pou played center, AJ Trump at left guard, Matt Pipho at right guard, with Chris Rutledge and Cyrim Wimbs at tackle. The second-team offensive line was by far the unit that needed the most work.
The offense moved the ball much better during the red-zone portion of the scrimmage. In the first series, Wright hit Olsen over the middle of the field for a 20-yard touchdown on a 3rd-and-10 situation.
The next series ended with another interception by Carlos Armour, as Wright threw a jump-ball in the end zone for Jenkins.
The next drive in the red-zone was very efficient, featuring a 6-yard run by Andrew Johnson, a 4-yard out route to Greg Olsen, and a 13-yard touchdown reception to Darnell Jenkins on a 6-yard hitch route in the middle of the field, which Jenkins then took and dove into the end zone. Overall, the first team offense score on 2-of-3 red-zone series.
"We started off slow, which is something that we have to get better at," Wright said. "We have to come out with a better fire. We finished strong and we got a couple of scores in the redzone which was a problem for us last year."
David Lake is a Staff Writer with CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at email@example.com