Friday Practice Report

August 19th Practice Report

Practice Conditions:

Hot and breezy today.
A lot of intensity from the Defense in-between drills.
Manny Ramirez very talkative before practice (e.g., getting O-line fired up, encouraging other players during individual drills, yelling across field to WRs)
Coaches and players had high spirits at beginning of practice (e.g., Sonny Dykes yelled at Hicks, "It's a good day to be a Red Raider!")

Individual Drills:

Dave Brown told his DBs "You touch it, you catch it!"  He was doing a LOT of coaching today, and was very involved.
Olomua looked very fluid after catching passes today.
Filani continues to consistently catch balls, and is improving every day.
Quarterbacks were smooth and relaxed while warming up.  The receivers were catching balls in stride, but had a few catchable passes dropped while stretching out for them.

Screen Drills:

Hodges and Harrell shared equal numbers of snaps during this drill.
Equal passes spread between Rawls, Henderson, Olomua, and Johnson. 
The DBs reacted well to the screen and were all over the field making athletic plays to pursue the ball carriers.
There were many handoffs today to Henderson and Rawls throughout this drill, both ran very hard and made some impressive jukes to continue running downfield.
The double pass to Robert Johnson and then to Filani was practiced several times today, with TDs on each rep.  Johnson made accurate, well placed throws to Filani and Filani made good decisions on body placement when going for the reception.
Olomua received several reps today, one after the other.  He looked comfortable and was catching balls in stride.  We feel he will be a huge asset for quick yardage and goal line plays.

1-1 Passing Drills:

Amendola was making some impressive catches, but was getting irritated with defensive back number 10 (not in the roster) due to the contact before the pass.
Cody Hodges, Graham Harrell, and Chris Todd all had equal reps during this drill.
Douglas really appeared to be trying very hard all throughout this drill.  He had several athletic moves to get to the ball and fight his way open.  He was impressive to watch today.
DBs were fun to watch today.  They were really knocking down a lot of passes and making the receivers work for every catch. 
There was a lot of battling going on between the offense and defense in this drill.  Everyone had something to prove, and it is difficult to declare a winner.

Run-Scat Drillsl:

John Saldi was all over the field.  He was in on three or four tackles in a row at the line of scrimmage. 
The D-line dominated in this drill.  They were really holding back the lineman, allowing Session, Saldi, Stratton, Hill, and Brinkley to make plays.
Linebackers really plugged the running lanes well today.
R. Hunt found himself in the backfield on more than a few occasions. 
Harrell fumbled the ball on a center to quarterback exchange.  The ball was recovered by Bischofberger .

Special Teams:

Reyes continues to impress with his punting ability.  He had several four or five second punts today, high and perfect spirals.
TooGood missed an extra point today.
E. Morris is getting some reps at punt return.


Hodges did well finding many open receivers downfield during this drill.  He tagged Hicks wide open for a nice TD pass.
Harrell and Hodges shared an equal number of reps
Harrell still hesitant to throw downfield, and overlooked an open Hicks downfield for a seven yard pass to Filani.
Harrell still holding onto the ball for a long time when no open receivers can be found.  He then dumps it off for a short gain on the flats.
Harrell still appears to become nervous when the pass defense is tight, and attempted to force some balls today.
The DBs were flying all over the field throughout this drill.  They were quick to spot the cross and were making receptions very difficult.  Both quarterbacks had difficulties finding open receivers.
Chad Hill received praise from Coach Brown on wrapping up and executing well.

1-1 Pass Blocking Drill:

G. Hall stood his ground against Keyunta Dawson, standing him up.
The first team O-line, as a whole, did really well.  There were no major breakdowns.


Gabe Hall and E.J. Whitley were making impressive downfield blocks on sweep plays.
DBs still a major factor in this drill.  The offense struggled making positive yards and only managed short gains, with few breakaway plays today.
The O-line is experimenting with the starters in all positions. 
Shannon Woods brings the wood in this drill!  He made some really good pops on the linebackers and struggled for every yard.  He also blocked well during pass protection.  He did have the ball ripped out on what would have been a 20 yard gain.
E.J. is being better about quickly snapping the ball when the defense enters neutral zone.
Hodges was making decisions that sent the ball into double coverage, resulting in dropped balls
Harrell still making short throws, but was accurate on most of them.  He did throw a nice TD pass to Filani streaking through the middle.
The O-line blocked very well, and both quarterbacks had plenty of time to find an open receiver.
E. Morris put Paul Williams on his butt during this drill after a catch.
Hicks continues to impress, and was making some very impressive grabs (including a one-handed grab for a 25 yard gain).
O-line was pushing the D-line five yards backwards on some running plays, they were getting the upper hand on them during this drill.
Greg Aycock was flying around the field today making several plays, he made a really nice play on a safety blitz that caught Henderson for a loss on a draw.
The D-line had mixed results, looking dominate at points and sub-par at others.
F. Session did a really good job of pass coverage.
Bischofberger really pursues to the ball well, making several downfield tackles.
There were several instances where Bischofberger lined up at D.T
Chad Hill, on a linebacker blitz, recorded a sack.
P. Williams also recorded a sack.
S. Brinkley stayed home on a reverse and made a good tackle in the backfield.
Defensive backs are still playing 10 yards back off the receivers, we don't understand this.
Our linebackers seem to be blitzing a lot more; several, including Stratton, recorded sacks.
Our defensive ends seem to have a really quick first step, they get up the field fast!
Ken Scott pursues the ball very well for how big he is, he seems to be in great shape.
Chris Parker and SirDon Lewis made several great plays in today's 11-11.
Our D-line seems to listen to the snap count instead of watching the ball, they were drawn off sides several times today.


Closing words:

Dixon was not seen at practice today and Huffman was at practice but once again was held off of contact drills.  Marsha Sharp and her coaching staff made an appearance at today's practice and Leach thanked each one for coming.  Overall, the defense and offense both performed well today.  We feel that the defense has come a long way and will surely be better.  While we think that Hodges might be the starter, we believe that either one can get the job done, but Hodges is clearly the leader.  For RP Club members, check out our interviews with Dwayne Slay and Gabe Hall!


Gabe Hall
Dwayne Slay

Red Raiders for Life,
Andrew Swofford and Adam Probst



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