Practice today was held in the Devine Pavilion due to rains the night before, therefore my view was pretty poor. I was going to try and focus on the offense
today, but due to my view I had to focus on whatever the heck I was lucky enough to see from the balcony at the far end of the field. Practice followed the same
basic format as Tuesday's practice had. The first 1 ½ hours were devoted mostly to drills. The last hour was mostly scrimmage situations. Here is a run down of my thoughts from the balcony.
The following players were in red jersey's today: Mills, James, Coffey, Outlaw, Nash, McCoy & Kenny. Mosley led the D and McCoy the O in stretching. Although Coach Fish actually does all the talking.
Thoughts from the drills.
The punting drills were pretty useless. Harvey hit the roof on nearly every punt, which I suppose is a good thing.
During the D-Back drills Mitchell doesn't appear to be as fast as the other guys at back peddling. He does appear to come out of his break well. He also can
accelerate out of his breaks very quickly and get up to full speed. His make up speed is exceptional though. He just looks like he needs more practice at the position.
During the passing drills Howard is clearly the smoothest athlete of the TE's. His hands were very inconsistent though. He made a great one handed grab, but dropped several that were right in his kitchen. Once he overcomes that, he looks like he could be a force. I really wish Sesay was here to see how he measures up.
Omboga burned Washington deep for a TD on a double move in the one on one passing drills . No one could stop him one on one. It wasn't even close. His
separation out of his breaks is pretty impressive. He has really looked good in both practices I have been to so far. He did limp off at the end of practice. Looked like an ankle, didn't look that serious though.
Abron has better hands then I expected. He caught the ball out of the backfield so rarely last season, I never got a very good feel what type of hands he had. They looked pretty good on this day. During passing drills with four receiver sets Britt,
Outlaw, Omboga and Crosby were running first team. Britt looked good today.
Nino had another big stick today on a ball floated by Coleman. This guy seems to have a real knack for the big hit.
While the other guys were in passing drills, the real show was down in front of the balcony. The offensive and defensive line were going at it one on one. There was a towel set 7 yards behind the line to represent the QB and the defensive guys would go after it while the offensive linemen tried to protect it. This was a great show. The battles between Ellison and Droege were just classic.
The best show of the day took place in this drill. Stephens beat Palmer to get to
the towel and the guys gave him the business.. After a few plays Childress was the unlucky guy that drew a pissed off Tony Palmer. The ball was snapped and Childress ended up 5 yards in the DEFENSIVE backfield and flat on his back with Palmer on top of him. Man did John Kadelac love that play. He was standing
beside me and he was just cracking up. He said Palmer is definitely going to be a great one. Palmer never got beat again and he pancaked one more guy in the
offensive backfield. Note to the rest of the Big 12, don't piss off big, bad Tony Palmer. He can just dominate when he sets his mind to it.
During the running drills, Abron just punishes people. If I am a D-Back I would dread these drills. Abron looks quicker to me this spring. Even if Nash is not
100%, I think we will be just fine. The 1st team O-Line and Abron looked pretty dominant.
During field goal drills Matheny and Petterson both looked solid. At 40 yards out they were consistently nailing it with leg to spare.
Full D vs. Full O.
Harrington and Scott seemed to get about even time with the first unit at Rover. To be a position that is supposed to make plays, I haven't noticed much from either guy. I hope that Harrington can step up and take it duo to his size and speed.
The offense ran three plays per unit and then switched out. The 1st team offense started off very well. They got a big 15-20 yard run from Abron and two nice
completions on there first three play series.
Hibbits had a poor first series. He was picked and had two incompletions on his three plays.
Crosby had a nice diving 20 yard catch. Nino got a pick on a deep fade thrown by Brad to Britt. It is going to be hard to keep this guy off the field if he keeps making plays like this one. He seems to break up a pass with a big hit or get a pick every practice.
Kincade and Harden ran with the first team the whole day, as did Barnes and Sweat at LB. The second team guys that saw time with the first unit were Ville for Smith at DE, Nino and Overstreet for King at FS and of course Harrington for Scott at over. I was surprised not to see Ming or Morris get any reps with the first unit at LB for Barnes.
Coleman spent some time with the second unit in place of Riccio.
Full O vs. Full D from the 25 yard line in. The first team D stuffed the first team O on the first set of three downs. They followed that up by basically stuffing then on the next two sets of three plays. This is the best the D has looked. They are looking much better today then they did on Tuesday. Howard and McCoy both dropped a ball right in their hands. This was not a good day for the TE's. They looked pretty good on Tuesday, but today they regressed considerably. Kincade had a big hit to break up a pass to Britt.
Overall, I thought the Defense really stepped up and played well today in the scrimmage situations. They played with a lot of emotion and really flew to the ball. They also made some plays. Had a nice interception and made some big hits. Brian Smith looks like a Jason Taylor clone! He is so tall, long armed and fast. I only hope he can play like Jason Taylor. He could really use about 20 more pounds. Ville also looked pretty good in place of Smith. That could turn out to be a nice battle, or a dandy run/pass tandem.
Omboga looked good again. I guess that is becoming a theme. Nino Williams also
continues to look like a difference maker to this untrained eye. I plan to be back at practice on Thursday the 20th, so I hope to have a new report for everyone sometime after Thursdays practice.