On Sunday afternoon, the Tigers continued their bowl practices with a two hour workout inside Devine Pavilion that emphasized extra work for the younger players.
Afterward, Coach Pinkel talked about practice. "I think overall it was a good practice. We have finals the next four days. We will not practice at all during those four days. This was the last practice where we really have a huge emphasis on the young players. We'll start the approach and the game-planning for the Navy game when we get back at practice on Friday. I think it's been very successful. We got a lot of good out of that for our young players."
Coach Pinkel talked a little bit about preparing for Navy. "They're a real good football team, well-coached........... I'm very, very impressed with the QB. Very impressed with their defense. The scheme is really going to cause a lot of problems, structural issues. So, that's going to be a real challenge for us."
The Tigers have been working on shedding cut blocks. Coach Pinkel said that part of that was because the Tigers have not been very good at it, and needed to work on it anyway, but also have an eye on preparing for Navy. He said, "that's something that we've needed to improve on anyway."
My guess is that they'll continue to work on shedding those cut blocks throughout their preparation for Navy.
During 7 on 7 drills, Ashton Glaser got quite a number of reps with the third unit, throwing to the likes of Jaleel Clark, Kerwin Stricker, and L'Damian Washington. Each of those three receivers are very much improved from fall camp, as is T.J. Moe. Moe is looking like a veteran, catching everything, and showing speed I haven't seen from him before. According to T.J., he's still not completely healthy. Stricker is finally healthy after not being able to run during much of the fall. He's much faster than I expected. Think of a little bit bigger, stronger version of Jerrell Jackson. Maybe faster, too.
Blaine Gabbert stepped in and threw a deep sideline pattern down the right side. Wes Kemp was covered closely by Kevin Rutland, but hauled in the 40 yard pass as he and Rutland tumbled into the end zone.
During 11 on 11 drills, a scuffle broke out between Kip Edwards and Rolandis Woodland. Actually, there were a few of those popping up throughout practice. Afterwards, Coach Pinkel talked about this, saying that some guys like to show how tough they are after the whistle. He said that that behavior doesn't have anything to do with being a good football player, and can be detrimental to the team, but that he doesn't strongly discourage it as long as it's not too disruptive. The coaches and other players break them up, and practice continues.
Coach Walker spent a lot of time giving individual instruction to Mark Hill, who was working at LT on both the third and fourth team offensive lines to get twice the reps. Michael Sam worked him over pretty good in the one-on-ones. It was obvious that Hill was thinking about, and trying to execute, the things that Coach Walker was showing him, but Sam is just too quick and explosive for someone who's thinking about things out there. Still, Mark Hill's a great-looking young player, and looks like he'll develop into a pretty good OT. Actually, the Tigers are in great shape at OT, and I expect to see a tackle or two move inside.