The Tigers returned to the practice field on Faurot Field in full pads on Tuesday afternoon for the first since Saturday's initial spring scrimmage. There are several changes to report in the alignment within the depth chart. I'll update the full depth chart on the premium board.
The most significant change to the depth chart came at the right guard position, as Travis Ruth was promoted to the first unit, making a position switch from second string center in the process. I'll have more from Ruth later.
Terrell Resonno returned to the practice field today, allowing the Tigers to put their starting defense on the field for the first time this spring. It was good to see Resonno and Hamilton out their together, flanked by the Smiths, Aldon and Jacquies. There were other changes to the depth chart, as well, as Josh Tatum moved from 3rd string WLB to 2nd string SLB, behind Zaviar Gooden. Also, James Franklin moved up to 3rd string at QB, behind Jimmy Costello.
Coach Pinkel talked about getting the starting DTs back out there. "Those two guys have the potential to be pretty good."
Coach Pinkel talked about the positive motivation provided by the competition at several positions on the team. "We've got quite a bit of depth at a lot of positions. Competition just makes people better."
During the 1-on-1 pass receiving drill, Tyler Smith took a short pass along the right sideline, and beat Kenronte Walker to the end zone. Jimmy Costello completed a slant pattern to Kyle Peasel, in front of Sterling Summerville. James Franklin overthrew Terry Dennis on a deep pattern down the right sideline. Kip Edwards was close in coverage. Ashton Glaser found Wes Kemp on an out route near the right sideline in front of Jasper Simmons. T.J. Moe beat Matt White for a jump ball on a deep throw down along the left sideline. Kevin Rutland's close coverage on Michael Egnew down the left sideline resulted in an incomplete pass. Tyler Gabbert completed a deep out to McGaffie down the right sideline, in front of Terrell Lloyd. Derrick Washington took a Costello pass on a square out, and beat Gooden down the left sideline for a score. Washington looks really good.
During 11-on-11 action, Derrick Washington took an inside hand-off from Blaine Gabbert around the right side for a nice gain. Blaine faked a hand-off to Kendial Lawrence, and ran it around the right side for a first down. Blaine kept it again, and ran around the left side for about five yards. Later, Derrick Washington took a hand-off and started around the left side. Hamilton and Andrew Gachkar were among several defenders who swarmed Derrick at the line of scrimmage. Blaine found Jerrell Jackson out along the left sideline, in front of Edwards, for about 7 yards. Then, Resonno burst through and struck Blaine as he was attempting to deliver the ball, forcing an errant throw.
Costello was tackled for a loss after he fielded a bad snap that was on the ground.
Working with the second unit, Franklin faked a hand-off, and went around the right side for a short gain. Nikko Sansone took a Franklin hand-off, but was stopped at the line of scrimmage by Luke Lambert and others. That play was not well blocked. Later, Franklin missed connection with Beau Brinkley out near the left sideline.
During the 7-on-7 portion, Blaine Gabbert found Egnew in the left seam, in front of Will Ebner. Kemp hauled in a Blaine Gabbert pass on the right sideline. That was a nice catch in front of Rutland, but I'm not sure he stayed in bounds. Blaine stuck one in to Rolandis Woodland, coming across the middle. Kenji Jackson nailed him just as the ball arrived, but Woodland held on for the first down. Later, Derrick Washington made a leaping catch of a pass from Blaine, out near the left sideline, that was just a little bit off target. Later, Blaine hit Egnew coming across the middle. Jasper Simmons arrived with the ball and knocked Egnew off of his feet, but Egnew held on for the first down. Blaine threw a bullet to Woodland in the front corner of the end zone, but Ro was ruled out of bounds.
Costello found McGaffie out in the left flat, and Gahn turned it up for a nice gain. Later, Costello and Lawrence missed connection on a hand-off, and the ball ended up on the ground. The defense recovered it.
Glaser completed a nice pass to Jaleel Clark for a first down, out along the left sideline, in front of Trey Hobson. Glaser came back and ran a QB keeper for a short gain. Glaser found Eric Waters, with a nice pass over the middle. Waters broke a tackle, and took it down field for a nice gain. Glaser put a soft touch on a screen pass to Sansone, leading him behind his blockers, and Nikko turned it into a nice gain. L'Damian Washington did a good job of adjusting to the ball in the air, and made a great catch in the end zone, as he and Kip Edwards battled for position.
Brad Madison came across and blew up Kendial Lawrence, as Lawrence had taken a hand-off and started around the right side.
Tyler Gabbert scrambled out to his left, and threw the ball away.
Later in practice, Aldon Smith tipped a Blaine Gabbert pass at the line of scrimmage, and Rutland came up with the interception.
After practice, Coach Pinkel talked about the maturation of Aldon Smith. "I think he did good last year, but he can be a lot better than last year............ He didn't come close to what his potential is. He's maturing as a competitor, and as a person. He's got a good work ethic, and a good attitude."