Spring Practice Report: February 21

Joe Yeager has his latest report from the latest Spring Practice, which included pads for the first time. See what exciting things are going on in the Tech football camp.

Blurry Ball: Although Tommy Tuberville, in his post-practice comments, expressed no dissatisfaction with the offense's focus, it seemed to me that the Red Raider strike force was not particularly sharp. Seth Doege had a reasonably good day, but Michael Brewer threw many a bad ball and had problems with his progressions. The X and Z receivers could not separate deep from Tech's cornerbacks. Kenny Williams and Ronnie Daniels had fumbleitis. And Deveric Gallington's center snaps were ideal for Manute Bol, Doege and Brewer not so much. All in all, it was just not a very good practice for the offense.

 

Quote of the Day: After Michael Brewer misread a play in skeleton drills, Neal Brown screamed at him: "He [Darrin Moore] led the country in receiving for three @&%!* games! Throw him the ball every time!"

 

Defense Wins the Day: The corollary of Tech's offensive struggles was that the Red Raider defense played very well. They held their own at the line of scrimmage, hit hard when the opportunity arose, and most impressively, covered very well. There were just not many open receivers on the field Tuesday. And anytime you hear that the defense outplayed the offense, consider it very good news.

 

Big Rash: Backup left tackle Rashad Fortenberry is listed at six-foot-four and 280 pounds, but looks larger than that. He's definitely got the frame you'd expect to see in a tackle.

 

Bouncing Q-Ball: After drilling primarily with the linebackers on Monday, Cqulin Hubert worked with the defensive ends on Tuesday.

 

Replenished Ranks: After missing Monday's workout, defensive ends Jackson Richards and Leon Mackey returned on Tuesday. Both had a solid practice.

 

Will Not Feed the Bulldog: Cornerback Thierry Nguema made a very weak attempt at tackling Ronnie Daniels in team drills and caught a bit of grief from his teammates on the sideline as a result. Everybody associated with Tech football has seen more than enough matador defense lately, and that kind of effort from Nguema will not get it.

 

Back-to-Back Blunders: On successive plays in early team drills, linebacker Blake Dees was beaten by Jace Amaro on a slant route and whiffed a tackle on Kenny Williams.

 

Iron Will: Early returns on linebacker Will Smith are positive. As examples, he covered a back perfectly on a drag route in skeleton drills and delivered a thunderous shot to Kenny Williams in late team drills. Smith has size, he has speed and he has explosion.

 

Line Drill Report: Delvon Simmons deposited Matt Wilson on his kiester, Kerry Hyder used a nice swim move to get past Terry McDaniel, Branden Williams speed rushed past Rashad Fortenberry, and Hyder did the same to Alfredo Morales.

 

Bush n' Corn: Dartwan Bush and Cornelius Douglas may have been the defense's co-MVPs. Bush was easily the defense's most effective pass rusher in team drills, while Douglas was not only a physical presence at cornerback, he also used excellent instincts to break up a couple of passes.

 

The Red Carpet: In team drills Alfredo Morales, Tony Morales and James Polk absolutely blew out Lee Adams, Donte Phillips and Sam Eguavoen to create a massive hole for Kenny Williams.

 

Money Quotes from Coach Tubs:

 

"Most coaches on the staff knew him [new defensive tackles coach Fred Tate], and a couple worked with him. That's always key, to know a personality and how they fit in. Good coach, well recommended by all the head coaches he worked with."

 

"He [Marcus Kennard] just tweaked his ham. Hopefully we'll get him back in a couple of weeks. Probably more than likely after spring break."

 

"You can't hear with the wind blowing, blowing through the holes in the helmet. And that makes it pretty tough. They gotta do a lot of hand signaling. But it [offensive focus] was good. We let the quarterbacks go with the wind as much as we could, but it swirls down in this stadium. Our young receivers, they don't know what they're doing most of the time and that hurts their timing. But their tempo was good. You know, right now I just want to keep them off the ground and learn as much as they can."

 

"Today was the first day we got to look at Lee Adams. He was in a fender-bender in the snowstorm on Sunday whenever it snowed and got jarred around a little bit. They wanted to keep him out for a couple of days and he's healthy now, ready to go."

 

"He [Will Smith] is working at both outside linebacker spots. He'll end up inside some too. He hasn't been a surprise, but man he can run. He's got good instincts. He's really gonna help us."

 

"Linebacker corps, we look a lot more athletic, now we just gotta learn what to do."

 

"He [Seth Doege] knows this is his team, and he's got some good guys around him."

 

"Playing linebacker, he [Pete Robertson] has never played that before. But it's like strong safety, and with Terrance Bullitt not being here he's gonna get a lot of snaps. He'll be cover down on the outside receiver a lot so mental is gonna be a concern with him. It's not effort. It's not athletic ability, it's just mental."

 

"Le'Ravin [Clark] is gonna be a little bit soft early. Because he's thinking. Offensive linemen are thinking on pass protection. You're gonna get pushed around a little bit. I noticed today Leon Mackey got a mess of him a couple of times. Got knocked back. That's concerning because your quarterbacks are standing back there looking downfield and you don't want to get anybody hurt. The upside to Le'Ravin Clark is huge."


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