After the first week of practice that culminated in Saturday's first fall scrimmage on Kyle Field, what were the major storylines that developed on the field? Aggie Websider's David Sandhop takes a look at the biggest developments of the week.
1) Do the Aggies have a adequate QB to run this offense?
Johnny Manziel has certainly improved his skill set in the offseason and he has made the QB competition more than just interesting. His scrimmage performance opens the door for him. In contrast, the leader coming out of spring, Jameill Showers, showed some issues with the offense's fast-paced tempo. Matt Joeckel had some nice moments on Saturday and some are saying he should be under consideration. What we do know is that each of the three has his strengths, but more importantly just 2+ weeks from the opener all three have tangible weaknesses. Regardless of who is the starting QB, question marks about performance still remain at the position.
2) Depth issues at DL - Nealy to DT
This issue has been well-documented. The fact that the staff felt compelled to move their starting strongside defensive end to tackle now exposes another position along the defensive front. How the staff manages this position all season will be critical to the team's success in 2012. Jonathan Mathis and Kirby Ennis missed the scrimmage and have been out for several practices. They should be back shortly, but durability is certainly an issue now.
3) Devante Harris emerges as a true freshman phenom
Wow, has there ever been a true freshman on defense jump onto the radar like this kid has done the first week of fall camp? Harris definitely turned heads with his cat quick moves and his rare confidence level for a freshman. But it was clear after the scrimmage that he's more than just an average good looking freshman. He's the best pure cover corner on a team that has some pretty good cornerbacks and someone that could be special before he leaves.
4) Trey Williams is the real deal
Williams has looked good in the drills we've been able to observe, but it was his three touchdown performance and particularly his 77-yard TD run and 30 yard TD run in Saturday's scrimmage that we realized that he's as good as advertised. He has the entire package. He cuts on a dime, he has sub 4.4 breakaway speed, and his rock hard, compact frame makes him tough to bring down. He bounces off tacklers and then runs away from them.
5) Lack of deep threat at wide out
The A&M receivers have looked good in recent practices and there's a lot of outside guys like Mike Evans who will catch a lot of balls in this offense. But are they explosive and fast enough to separate from defenders both in the middle of the field and in stretching the field? Could it be Evans, Nwachukwu, Askew? I don't know yet, and that's the story.
6) Offensive Line looks solid
This isn't a surprise, but it's good to know that the experienced OL is doing just fine, thank you. They seem to have transitioned well into Coach Anderson's schemes and philosophies and none of the starters have missed any practice time which is critical. The unit opened up plenty of holes for the running backs on Saturday.
7) Punting a disappointment
A&M football has two scholarship punters on the roster and of the eight punts attempted on Saturday, only one was more than 45 yards. More of the same at this position.
8) Physical conditioning has improved
From top to bottom, it's clear that this year's team is in better overall physical condition than last year's team. Larry Jackson's philosophies and work ethic in the weight room have paid off. It also shows the overall level of athlete coming into the program is also higher....meaning better recruits.
Biggest Practice Storylines From Week One
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