Fall Practice Report #13
To Robert Johnson, who sat out practice the past few days.
"Hey, Robert; (gives thumbs up) Good to see you practicing again."
What was left of a quarterback battle before today's practice is now likely over. Graham had another solid outing, and ran the offense very well once again. Harrell has also mastered drawing the defense offsides. Leach has also appeared to take quite a liking to Harrell, as he is always discussing the offense with him. It is all but set in stone that Graham Harrell has earned the starting nod.
Chris Todd had a little bit of a tough time with offense today, but wasn't getting much help from his supporting cast. There was a series of events where the receivers got their routes confused, followed by the offensive line allowing an immediate sack, and after that, Chris Todd called the wrong play. Leach just lost it. Mike went on a tough love tirade that lasted nearly three minutes, and Chris received the brunt of it, although it wasn't all his fault.
Taylor Potts has a cannon for an arm, but must work on his touch to improve in Tech's offense. Derek Shaw was finally in attendance, but cannot suit up until the paperwork goes through. Shaw also has one of the greatest tattoos ever, but you'll have to wait for the photo gallery to see what it is. Shaw is bigger than I thought he was, and many people, including myself, are excited to see what he can do.
Harrell 11-16, 107 yards
Todd 12-19, 127 yards
Kobey Lewis refuses to give up his second-string spot. Every time it appears that Baron Batch is going to overtake him on the depth chart, Kobey goes out there and has a huge afternoon. However, Baron Batch proved to be a dominant receiving threat today. Shannon Woods continues to a productive back, quietly getting the job done and putting up good numbers along the way. Shannon also had a phenomenal block on a blitzing Sandy Riley today that preserved the pocket. Believe me when I tell you that all three running backs are incredibly talented and capable, and all have earned the playing time that they will likely divide up this season.
Full Scrimmage Statistics:
Shannon Woods: 3 rush for 15 yards; 1 catch for 5 yards
Baron Batch: 5 catches for 43 yards
Kobey Lewis: 2 rushes for 37 yards; 2 catches for 27 yards
It was a surprisingly quiet day for the receivers. Robert Johnson made his return to practice, and not surprisingly, led the field once again. Joel Filani looks like he is in more mental than physical pain. Joel knows he is about 85% healthy and could play, and it's killing him to not be in practice. Filani gets in the huddle very often as if he's actually going to line up and run a route, and will be absolutely ready to dominate by the time the season rolls around. L.A. Reed is also moving around well, jogging some today. Also interesting was that Reed and Filani seemed to be having a push-up contest today, each doing about 200-250 reps on the afternoon. Jarrett Hicks and Marcus Bunton continue to have some physical battles in the 1-on-1 drills. Also, there were NFL scouts from the Green Bay Packers taking quite a look at Hicks today. Lyle Leong also visited this afternoon to watch the practice. Danny Amendola was burning the DBs all day long on out routes. Grant Walker had the catch of the day in the 1-on-1 drill with a one-handed grab. There was a very scary moment when Michael Crabtree slid helmet-first into the brick wall. Luckily, he was okay, but he was dazed. The coaches allowed him to take it easy for the rest of practice as a precautionary measure. I can't wait for the season to arrive so the injury bug can't keep scaring us.
Cumulative Practice Statistics:
Robert Johnson: 2 catches for 24 yards
Eric Morris: 2 catches for 24 yards
Chris Cunigan: 1 catch for 21 yards
Todd Walker: 3 catches for 20 yards
Grant Walker: 2 catches for 19 yards
Adrian Reese: 2 catches for 16 yards
Edward Britton: 2 catches for 13 yards; 1 rush for 35 yards, TD
Danny Amendola: 1 catch for 11 yards
Jarrett Hicks: 1 catch for 5 yards
Michael Crabtree: 1 catch for 7 yards
Landon Hoefer: 1 catch for 5 yards
Manny Ramirez returned to practice today, and played rather well. Gabe Hall expects to be ready to go by next week. Ofa Mohetau also took off half of the practice to rest, but there is no cause for worry there. The line as a unit is not playing as well as usual, but that is to be somewhat expected while they are not at full strength. Still, there were players that had good individual efforts today. Rylan Reed is doing very well, especially considering that he is playing with an injured hand. Glenn January and Louis Vasquez had a strong outing as well.
The defensive line had a huge day, punishing the second-team offensive line all afternoon. Jake Ratliff continues to progress very well, and is finding his way into the backfield often. Newcomers Richard Jones and Dan'Tay Ward also had their shining moments this afternoon. Tyler Yenzer hurried Chris Todd once today as well. And, as always, Chris Hudler and Keyunta Dawson were a big part of the unit's success. The depth here has proven to be truly impressive, especially considering the absence of two members that were expected to contribute.
Paul Williams is quite possibly the best coverage LB that we have. Williams has been a presence in the middle, and he has had to restrain himself on multiple occasions to keep from nailing our wideouts on inside slants. Conversely, Brock Stratton has done well shutting down the run game. Stratton put pressure on a blitz that freed up Keyunta Dawson for an easy TFL. Chad Hill is also doing an impressive job filling the gaps against the run.
Joey Garcia is undoubtedly the player of the Fall, making an impressive deflection at least once every practice. Chris Parker was out once again, just for the record. It is obvious that his talent will be saved for the season. Marcus Bunton continues to wow the spectators with his physicality. Blake Collier is beginning to shine as a safety as well, jumping a pass in the 1-on-1s for an INT on Amendola. Just the fact that Collier can stay with Amendola on an out route is a feat by itself. Th unit has more speed than ever, and looks poised for a good year.
Now lets hand out some awards:
Best Overall Unit:
Best Individual Performance: