Spring Practice Report 4/2

The Texas Tech Red Raiders ran into some weather difficulties on the sixth day of spring workouts. Dust, wind, and rain all greeted the Red Raiders and their fans during the practice session.

Today's practice gave the Texas Tech players a day off from contact drills as players practiced without pads for the first time since the previous Friday's workout, Between the lack of pads and the abysmal weather conditions, the practice lacked much of the intensity that the previous couple of workouts had featured. Despite the weather conditions, some individuals had strong workouts that could have an impact on the depth chart.

In one on one drills, cornerback Chris Parker had a good day, breaking up several passes and playing fairly solid football throughout. The rest of the defensive backs also looked good. This spring has seen a major emphasis by the coaching staff on preventing the receivers from getting behind the safeties, something that plagued the Texas tech defense last season. Their efforts seem to be having an impact, as the defensive backs managed to keep the receivers in front of them for most of the workout.

On the offensive side of the ball, Brandon Douglas had a good day at wide receiver. Douglas has all of the tools necessary to be a productive receiver in the Red Raiders' pass happy offense. It's tough to say where Douglas will fit on the depth chart right now, but I would expect him to get some quality playing time in the upcoming season. Joel Filani continues to be impressive at times. His athleticism is as good as any of the receivers, but there are some issues with his consistency. The Texas tech coaches place a lot of value on consistency from players, and Filani will need to improve in this area if he hopes to be a big part of the Texas Tech offense in 2004.

Today's team scrimmage saw the first team offense against the scout team defense. Sonny Cumbie started the drill and had a tough time moving the ball. The offense actually stalled and had to restart the drive for an angry Mike Leach. The drive stalled due to a combination of bad passes, bad reads, and dropped passes. Robert Johnson faired much better in his attempt at leading the team. The newcomer completed 10 of his 13 pass attempts. The first incomplete pass was a dropped pass, the second was due to bad timing on a screen, and the third was simply thrown behind the receiver. It is impressive to see just how fast Johnson is learning the offense. Early on he seemed a little lost, but he is getting more comfortable every day. This workout could very well have moved Johnson into the lead for the starting job, though I think he still needs to have similar performance the next time the players wear pads. Until I see that type of performance in live action I'm going to call the quarterback race a dead heat, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Johnson take the lead in the near future.

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