At Wednesday's practice, the coaching staff had all of the position groups working on getting their hands up to deflect balls, tip drills, and intercepting the ball. They ran a variety of drills focused on these three things for the first 30 minutes of practice. Though there isn't a lot of size on the defensive line, for the most part, these guys are quick out of their stance and were comfortable using their hands to secure the football.
After positional drills, the team went to the stadium to run offense versus defense. It was the usual starters we have been reporting. Connor White ran mostly with the second team, but did get some reps with the first team in case something were to happen to Tyler Jones, and he looked very comfortable running the offense. During 11 on 11, I counted at least 10 drops between running backs and wide receivers, but I did not see any by the tight ends. Not every ball was thrown perfectly, but the receivers were getting their hands on the football to some extent, enough to where it could have been a catch.
Jones and the wide receivers had trouble connecting on deep throws this evening. There was at least three times where Jones went deep to one of the wide receivers and he threw the ball high. The deep balls to the wide receivers may not have been connecting, but there were several tight end seam routes by Ryan Carden and Lawrence White that worked for a 15-20 yard pick-up.
On defense, Trey McGowan had a nice interception in the middle of the field and looks like he will do a good job replacing David Mayo in the middle of the defense. Demetrius Woodard also had an interception deep in the middle of the field.
A few items of note:
- Lumi Kaba repeatedly placed kickoffs in to the back of the end zone.
- CJ Best looked to be in good form; very quick after the catch.
- Prior to 11 on 11, the offense was working on a lot of screens and swing passes to the backs. I don’t think the coaching staff was too pleased with the results. They did this for about 25 minutes; several poorly thrown balls and dropped passes by the backs.