Practice Report: Day 6

Not backing down from the scorching heat, the Bobcats took to the practice field for day number six of fall camp. BI Intern Tyler Hammond was on location to recap how the 'Cats looked on Thursday evening.

This was the second practice in full pads for Texas State and you could tell they were excited to hit. Today's main focus was on technique throughout the receivers, defensive backs, and defensive line. Practice began with several special teams drills. The primary players fielding punts were Brandon Smith, Demun Mercer, Bralon Hutchinson, and Ryan Garrey. In both kicking field goals and punts, Lumi Kaba seemed to have the strongest leg and most consistent hang time.

After breaking out of special teams work, I focused on the tight ends and defensive tackles. The tight ends were running routes against both defensive backs and linebackers with Ryan Carden and Lawrence White looking the best. Both guys showed good agility and soft hands. Carden had a really nice one handed catch up the sideline against a defensive back, and White seemed to catch everything with ease away from his body.

As has been noted throughout some of the forum discussion, our defensive tackles are relatively small, but the group looked quick this evening. Dallas McClarty regularly received praise from Coach Kyle Tatum regarding his ability to stay low and finish through the offensive line.

The next group I watched was the defensive backs versus the wide receivers. Safeties Dila Rosemond and Damani Alexcee seemed to be the strongest in coverage, regularly locking up the wideouts and forcing dropped balls.

What stood out the most amongst the wide receiving core was Brice Gunter’s inability to get separation from the defensive backs, and over reliance on his body to catch the ball. He's having difficulty and is getting out muscled by smaller defensive backs.

Coach Jeff Conway had the running backs running routes and working on blitz pick-ups from pass rushers. The route running and receiving was good, but the pass blocking was not. Tyler Siudzinski, Nick Bingham, and AJ Krawczyk all impressed with the crispness of their routes and ability to separate from a defender to make a catch. Siudzinski had a really nice 30 yard wheel route up the right sideline where he burned a defender for a touchdown. When it came to pass blocking, this group is still a work in progress. More times than not the pass rushers were easily pushing the backs aside, or putting on a swim move to skate right past them.

A few takeaways from 11 on 11:

- Jerrid Jeter-Gilmon was running with the third team defense, but looked really good (maybe because it was the third team?). He had back-to-back plays where he blew past the tackle; one was for a tipped pass and the other was a “sack.”

- Lawrence White looked very comfortable. In trips wide sets, several times they moved White out as the middle guy in the set on the line of scrimmage.

- Tyler Siudzinski received most of the reps as the third running back

- Jackson Hoskins' knee was looked at twice by trainers; once during position drills and again later in the practice. Not sure of the severity, but definitely something to keep an eye on.

- Tyler Jones looked as comfortable as ever, making very quick decisions and getting through his progressions quickly. Seemed to not scramble around the pocket as often. Took his drops, went through his progression, and found the open receiver.

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