Saturday was full of surprises, both in the morning and the evening, with new players seeing time in the first team, and other players missing from practice. Both sides of the ball teeter-tottered and the competition between the two is very high, leading to a couple of skirmishes, but here ar he highlights.
--- Trey Garrett earned his way into the first team at safety, and never looked back. Garrett found out on Saturday that he would be running with the first team and seemed to be really excited about the opportunity. He has really good speed, plays very physical and is solid in coverage. There was no rotating in and out of the first team, Trey Garrett looks like he will be the third safety in the 4-2-5 and could possibly even overtake Germod Williams for his staring role in any other formation.
---Brice Gunter is also starting to see reps with the first team on the other side of the ball, due to the void of Brandon Smith. Smith is out with a concussion, and Gunter is doing his best to try and get some notice from the coaching staff. Tyler Jones and Gunter, if you don't already know, went to the same high school and seem to have a little bit of a relationship . With Gunter at 6'3 190-pounds, he makes a big target and is good at using his body to shield defenders away from the ball, and getting vertical to snatch it away from smaller defenders. Could end up being a valuable weapon for the Bobcats in the red zone this season.
--- Ryan Carden seems to be taking over at TE even after missing the fist week of fall camp. Brady Miller was probably the player of the game in the spring game, but has had trouble this fall bringing the ball in and actually possessing it. Carden is a 6'4 240-pounds, but can move for such a big guy. Carden gets the ball and rolls forward like a bowling ball and is a hard player to put on his back, you just have to wrap him up and hope he falls over you. Carden's strength is his blocking, but he proved today that he can be a very viable option in the passing attack as well.
Coach Fran on Leadership of Players
"The leaders on your team need to drive the team. We are a little more player driven this year and thats good. In situations where the players need to be pushed, its far better for them to hear it from another player rather than one of the coaches," Said Coach Franchione
Trey Garret On His Position In the Depth Chart
"We play with three safeties, and I see myself as one of the top three safeties I just need to play at a consistent level, and that's what I'm trying to prove," said Garrett. "They never told me they were going to move me up, they had been telling me they liked what I was doing out there, but I just found out today that i was going to be running with the first team."
Ryan Carden on His Role on the Team
"I do what I can, I try and take care of everything on the blocking end first if I can contribute in the passing game, that's just an added bonus for me," said Carden. "There are a lot of things going on at the tight end position, I try not to worry about what everyone else is doing and just come out and improve every day."