The quarterbacks had a quiet day and struggled early with their accuracy. Graham Harrell had a fairly good day and Taylor Potts seems to have taken over the second team spot behind Harrell. Steven Sheffield threw an interception during the pass skeleton during practice when he over threw Grant Walker but had a fairly decent day afterwards.
Overall, the quarterbacks had a quiet day and didn't do anything to stand out, either good or bad. As a side note Ryan Rowland was not at practice today but a source close to the team said that he had a test and will be with the team tomorrow during the scrimmage.
Quarterback Depth Chart
Starter: Graham Harrell
Back-Up: Taylor Potts
3rd String: Steven Sheffield
Scout Team: Ryan Rowland
Overall Grade - B-, the quarterbacks were decent but need to continue to improve to be ready for Big XII play.
Running Backs : The running backs picked up the slack from the quarterbacks today and did an outstanding job on both screens and draws. Kobey Lewis continues to impress in practice and showed terrific agility and awareness running screens and draws.
Shannon Woods had another good day and rushing the ball and showed an outstanding ability to keep his feet after first contact with a defender.
Running Backs Depth Chart
Starter: Shannon Woods
Back Up: Kobey Lewis
Overall Grade - B+, the running backs had another good day but still weren't as impressive as they were earlier in spring practice.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends :
The wide receivers had a good day but also had more drops than they have had in any other spring practice. Danny Amendola had a good day but wasn't quite as impressive as he was the last several practices. Eric Morriss had a shakey day and didn't seem to have as many impressive catches as he did early in practice. Michael Crabtree had the best day of the receivers followed closely in second by Eddie Britton. Britton had the "wow" play by taking an end around and shooting down the far sideline for what certainly would have been a touchdown. LA Reed had several nice catches but much like Morriss, he didn't have as good of a day as he did earlier in the spring.
Receiver Depth Chart -
Z- Michael Crabtree, Eddie Britton, Landon Hoefer
Y- Danny Amendola, G. Walker
H- Eric Morris, Kelly Hildebrant
Overall Grade - B-, the receivers were decent but had several drops and showed a lack of concentration early in practice. They did have some good catches towards the end of practice but must continue to work together to become a cohesive unit.
Offensive Line : The offensive line was quietly very good today and allowed only two sacks during the 11 on 11 portion of practice. Both sacks occurred because the quarterbacks (Harrell and Sheffield) held onto the football for too long before attempting to throw it. Louis Vasquez had a particularly nice block on a screen pass and showed terrific acceleration down the field. Shawn Byrnes did get hit in the right elbow but it didn't seem to affect his play. Justin Keown had perhaps the best block of the spring, absolutely destroying a group of defensive backs as they attempted to move in on a screen pass.
Offensive Line Depth Chart -
Center: Shawn Byrnes, Justin Keown
Left Guard: Louis Vasquez, Stephen Hamby
Left Tackle: Marlon Winn, Chris Olson
Overall Grade - A, the line had a solid day of blocking down the field and in the trenches for screen passes. Yet another solid day from a unit that is gelling faster than anyone could have expected.
Defensive Line : The defensive line looked good today, in particular Sandy Riley and Clint Stoffels. Both again recorded a sack today and Stoffels is becoming one of the most pleasant surprises of spring practice. RaJon Henley looked good today in practice and had several nice quarterback hurries. Richard Jones, as was reported by RaiderPower earlier in an earlier practice report, did officially have surgery on his right shoulder and is expected back sometime in July according to a source close to the team. Red shirt freshman Britton Barbee had a decent day but needs to continue to grow under the wing of Coach Ruffin McNeil.
Shawn Estelle did not practice in the contact drills but was on the field with pads for a fair portion of practice.
Overall Grade - A, the defensive line did have a good day even though they are fairly thin at defensive tackle.
Linebackers : The linebackers stole the show today on defense with great coverage and terrific ability against the run. Marlon Williams and Kellen Tillman were the standouts today and both recorded impressive tackles against offensive players. The linebackers as individuals were not impressive but the way that they worked together as a group was the most impressive part of the practice from their position. Several linebackers were meeting at the ball carrier and did an excellent job of working together to make the play as a group.
Linebackers Depth Chart
Strong Side Linebacker: Kellen Tillman, Ty Linder, Brian Duncan
Overall Grade - A, the linebackers looked very good as a group and showed some terrific athletic abilities during practice.
Secondary : The secondary continued to have an outstanding spring and De'Shon Sanders, the newest Red Raiders defensive back, showed and incredible ability to hit and actually knocked Adam James back during a screen drill. Jamar Wall had a terrific pass deflection and Nathan Stone recorded a very good interception as did Anthony Hines. Darcel McBath had a very good pass deflection and Joey Garcia continued to show the leadership qualities that every good secondary has.
As an interesting note, the corners are no longer giving the 10-12 yard cushion that they used to and actually play closer to the line of scrimmage, particularly on 3rd and short situations.
Secondary Depth Chart -
Strong Safety: Joe Garcia, Anthony Hines, Daniel Charbonnet
Overall Grade - A, the defensive backs had another good day and showed a great command of running the defense.
Now it's time for some awards
Offensive MVP: Michael Crabtree
Defensive MVP: Marlon Williams
Mr. Underrated: Grant Walker
New Comer of the Day: Brik Brinker
Unit of the day: Offensive Line/Secondary
Come back Saturday for the next RaiderPower Practice report!