Consistently Inconsistent

Saturday's scrimmage drew similar comments from Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner and Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack. The Rebs, in a nutshell, were inconsistent overall, but both sides made some plays for them to hang their hats on.

Right now, 12 practices into spring training, you aren't going to get many specifics about practices from the coordinators.

Why? Because they are functioning and thinking in terms of "team," 11 guys doing what they are supposed to do to form a cohesive, functioning unit.

From that perspective, both fell back on the same word - "inconsistent."

"At times, we looked brilliant and at times not so good," Werner began. "From a quarterback standpoint, I didn't think we threw on time the as well as we did in some other practices. We did protect the ball until the last overtime drill.

"That's a great teaching tool because it shows them you can look pretty good all game, but if you mess up in crunch time, you lose the game. Hopefully, we will learn from that."

The scrimmage started with the offense in the Red Zone, starting drives from the 20 and then from the 10. Then, it shifted to coming out of a hole, the 2-yard line.

"We need to get better in the Red Zone," said Werner. "We didn't do a great job there, but we haven't worked that much this spring either. Coming out is a toughness drill and I was pleased we moved the chains there a few times.

"We will place a big emphasis on the Red Zone the last week of spring."

As was the case with every phase of the offense, the run game was spotty. Good play here, bad play there.

Open Field Wrangling
File Photo

"When Jeff Scott gets the ball, he makes things happen. We have to evaluate who else can do it with the ball in their hands. Randall Mackey looked physical with the ball in his hands and he made some nice runs," Werner continued. "We just have to keep on repping them."

The QB race? Neck and neck.

"I think they (Wallace and Brunetti) are pretty even right now. I am anxious to watch this film and grade it, but my initial reaction is they are real close," Dan stated.

Up front, Werner has seen progress. Baby steps, for sure, but progress.

"I thought they looked a lot better. We gave up some sacks, but a couple of them were the fault of the QB. If we throw on time, it helps those guys up front out, but overall, they did a better job today," Werner said.

One area Werner seems pleased is at wide receiver.

"A lot of different guys caught balls today and then did something with it after the catch. I am excited about those guys," he closed.

Wommack followed Werner's train of thought in the inconsistencies exhibited by the defense.

"We were up and down. We were inconsistent," said Wommack. "We have some guys really making improvement out here - I can see it daily, but what I don't see are 11 guys that are really doing that every single day.

"I did not think the energy was as good as it has been in a couple of recent practices, for whatever reasons. We have to learn that winning is contagious and so is losing. We have to learn to play one snap at a time like it's the most important play and for everyone to do their job every snap. I told them at the end that it took Edison over 300 times to get the light bulb to come on and it will take them some time to learn. Hopefully, it won't take 300 times."

Wommack said one of the best teachers his guys on defense have is the Rebel offense they go against daily.

"I love our offense because we see everything in the book and they help get us prepared for just about any formation and any play we will see," he continued. "For our team to get better, though, we have to get the right 11 out there and play consistently and we aren't doing that right now."

Wommack was asked about MLB Mike Marry.

"I love him because he's a leader out there. He's a tough guy who plays through injury. Once he learns everything in our system, he will be a major part of our defense," Wommack assessed. "Charles Sawyer is another one who has been really consistent. In a perfect world, I would like him at corner because I think he would be a good one, but we don't have that luxury right now."

Young DT Woody Hamilton got a lot of work with the first team DL Saturday.

"We've been beat up there, so Woody has been pressed into extra duty and he's responding," Dave said. "I like our inside guys. I think that group, when they get healthy, will be a strength of our defense next year.

"Gilbert Pena has a role, even though he's been playing with a cast on his hand. I appreciate those guys who have tried to play while they are dinged up."

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