Spring Ball report for March 18th

Chris Miller is back with another Eyes & Ears installment from the Missouri Tigers spring camp. Chris provides several updates including more on Josh Hibbets new position, which newcomers are staring to exert themselves, and who are the real "tough guys" on this team. Enjoy!

Practice Report for March 18th

Well, it was another day in the Devine building due to rainy weather.  Again it is hard to see, but there were some pretty significant changes out there today that were clear to everyone.

Hibbets is now at the Rover position it appears.  I didn't get a very good read on him on D yet.  King moved to CB from FS.  Not only did he move from FS to CB, he moved in as the starting CB.  Kincade was pushed down to the 2nd team, which pushed Curry down to the 3rd. 

Ellison has been moved to DT.  He was at 2nd team DT all day and I overheard him after practice tell someone he had been moved to DT.  I think this will be a good move.  That will give us a nice rotation of Mosley, Bell, Ellison and Pitts to run at the offense.  Ville has looked good at Ellison's end spot and it is clear that Brian Smith is going to be given a shot at the rush end position.  If he can hold up vs. the run he will be great.  Bell was in the house and making his presence felt.  He didn't look like he had missed a beat. 

Nino was the solid started at FS with the departure of King.  It was clear this guy needs to be on the field, so if the coaches feel that King does too, then one of them needed to be moved to CB.  I think this will help the overall depth of the team because we had three solid options at FS and that just looked like too many to waste there.  Harrington is now on the first team D in place of Scott at the Rover.

Incidentally, it looked like several coaches from Northwest Missouri State were in attendance today. 

Players in the red: 

McCoy, Mills, Outlaw, James, Nash, Kinney, Starks (new), Crosby (new).  Crosby was in a full leg brace and not getting around well at all.  I hope it is nothing serious.  Coffey is out of
the red jersey and running with the 1st unit at WR.

Thoughts from the drills.

Mitchell looks quick, fast and comfortable at everything but back peddling.  He looks like he is getting more comfortable out there. Smith can't have more then a 32-34 inch waist.  The kid is just ripped.  Can you say washboard?

The towel drill was once again a treat.  I think it is the drill I look forward to the most.  Man, the Bell vs. Ricker battles were just great.  This the first practice I have been able to watch  Bell.  He is one strong dude.  He only beat Ricker once on a bull rush.  He destroyed Sells twice with the bull rush though.
Bell isn't a cute player out there.  He is just going to lower his head and take you man to man.  When you have the strength he does, that is a pretty effective method.  I was surprised what a leader he was.  He is very vocal and even gave other guys tips on moves.

Cook and Sanchez looked good on the 2nd unit.  Those two give us good depth at tackle (Sanchez) and guard (Cook).  Cook stuffed everyone that came at him.  Young got beat by Mosley a couple of times.  He better play at a high level or Cook could take his job. Heck, he might take his job even if Young does play at a high level.  Palmer is one nasty dude.  I love the
way he plays the line.  He is one of those lineman that is more then happy to take the battle to the defensive player rather then lay back and react.  He has a mean streak. 

While the towel drill was going on the rest of the team was in a passing drill of full squads minus the linemen.  James made a great catch, and I mean a GREAT catch, in the corner of the end zone while falling out of bounds.  It was down right pretty.  Abron caught a ball over the middle for about a 7 yd gain and then the show really started.  He turned up field with a full head of steam and Deke was the poor guy that got caught in his path.  Abron just flat blasted him.  I mean the hit echoed in there.  Deke popped right up, but that had to leave his ears ringing.  Abron is plain ol' dangerous for the defense.  I am completely
serious when I say I hope he doesn't hurt any of our D-backs.  Luckily we rarely run the ball at all in practice and don't throw Zack too many passes.

Rob Hoover is the MU version of Rudy.  This kid is just so positive and works so hard.  He is the perfect practice squad player.  He is the first one in every drill and he goes at a dead sprint between every drill.   You can just see how much he enjoys football.  The guys all seem to love him.  Unfortunately he is 6'1" and plays DT.  In other words he will likely never play.  He is valuable none the less.  Not only that, he is from Brookfield, and I love all those Brookfield guys.

Thoughts from the scrimmaging.

Brad over shot Howard for what would have been an easy TD.  He was running free down the left middle.  Ville, Bell, Mosley and Smith were running as the first team defensive line. 

Morris makes his first appearance with the first team D in place of Sweat.  This is the first time I have seen anyone but Sweat and Barnes.  I thought he would be in there for Barnes, but I guess the coaches are seeing something from Barnes that I'm not. 

Nino broke up a deep pass to Coffey that looked like it was going to be a sure TD.  Coffey was running free, but Brad hung the ball a little and that gave Nino time to get back in the play and break it up.

Coleman seemed to make the right reads, but is inconsistent in delivering the ball.   Matthews and Howard spent about equal time with the first unit. Harden intercepted a pass off Coleman.  I can't believe this guy was ever a walk on.  The progress he
has made is impressive.

During the 2nd set of scrimmages, Sweat was back with the first team. Scott has learned something.  He went to submarine Abron and lived to tell about it.

Britt had a very nice TD catch and run.  He caught the ball over the middle and took off.  He out ran the D to the corner of the end zone and snuck in.  He showed some real nice speed and moves on that run.  This kid has really stepped up and taken advantage of the injuries to the other receivers and made a statement for playing time.  Once the season starts I can't see
him taking Outlaw's spot though.  He has had a very good Spring, but Outlaw did it in the Fall and that has to mean more.  I could sure see him pushing Coffey and James for time though.  He has a fair shot at the 3rd starting spot or  a great shot at the 4th spot when we go four wide.  We really have 5 solid options
(Omboga, Outlaw, Britt, Coffey, James).  I really have
no idea about Crosby yet.

Coffey made a nice stretch for a catch on the sideline.  When he goes up for a ball it looks like a Stretch Armstrong cartoon.  His arms just keep going and going. Matthews made a nice catch, but then fumbled.  Howard has been by far the best TE today.

The ball is placed on the 3 yard line.

Abron promptly punches it in on the first play.  The first team D stepped up after that and  stuffed Abron on the next two tries.  All the defensive units did pretty well in this drill.  The offense was held to TD's on only 3 of 12 plays from the 3.

After practice you can hardly tell that practice is over.  There are that many guys sticking around to do extra work.  Deke and Simpson and very impressive looking physical specimens out of pads.  Those two are just ripped.  There body fat has to be next to nil. They are all muscle. 

There were many player movements after Saturdays scrimmage.  I would think things will settle down now for the rest of the Spring though.  I should have another report for you guys next Tuesday.

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