If you want to talk about a unit having an off day then the quarterbacks would be a text book example. None of quarterbacks looked particularly poised and Graham Harrell threw 2 interceptions during the 7-on-7 portion of the drills and also misfired on several passes. Steven Sheffield threw an interception right to Daniel Charbonnet and Charbonnet dropped another would have been interception.
While the quarterbacks did look decent during the 11-on-11 portion facing the scout team defense, Coach Leach was still appalled at the lack of work by the quarterbacks and the offense in general. Coach Leach had the offense do 50 up-downs before moving from the 7-on-7 portion to the 11-on-11 portion of practice. The quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs stayed almost 50 minutes after practice working with the offensive coaching staff to ensure that they understood just how unhappy Coach Leach and the offensive staff was with their lack of effort.
Quarterback Depth Chart
Starter: Graham Harrell
Back-Up: Taylor Potts
3rd String: Steven Sheffield
Overall Grade - C+, the quarterbacks looked rattled and almost uninterested during portions of practice today. While they did looked better later in practice, the effort seemed to be about as high as the thermometer.
Running Backs : The running backs looked the best of any of the skill groups today during practice. Shannon Woods had a better day than Kobey Lewis and Woods looked explosive running through the hole. He also did a fairly good job receiving today although he did misplay a pass that could have been caught coming out of the backfield. Lewis looked terrific later in practice and had several long runs and did a particularly good job with a shovel pass during the 11-on-11 portion of practice. Lewis did completely miss a block on a running play and Coach Leach made his displeasure with the missed block known to everyone at practice.
Running Backs Depth Chart
Starter: Shannon Woods
Back Up: Kobey Lewis
Overall Grade - B-, a fairly good day, the backs still suffered from the same lackadaisical attitude that plagued the rest of the offensive skill players during practice this afternoon.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends :
It is perhaps the most disheartening sight to watch a wounded animal flounder about trying to perform things that it was at one time extremely good at but can no longer do because it lacks the strength. This previous analogy is a perfect description of the horrendous play of the wide receivers today. They were running sloppy routes, dropping easily caught balls, and not doing a good job of blocking down the field. LA Reed and Eddie Britton did recover well towards the end of practice as did Michael Crabtree, Eric Morris, and Danny Amendola. Adrian Reese also had several nice catches even though he did lose the handle on a pass that it looked like he pulled in when Kellen Tillman came in for the pass break-up.
Overall, a totally lackluster effort on the part of the receivers showed not only by their 50 up-downs but also by the number of balls that Coach Leach required them to catch after practice.
Receiver Depth Chart -
Z- Michael Crabtree, Eddie Britton, Landon Hoefer
Y- Danny Amendola, G. Walker
H- Eric Morris, Kelly Hildebrant
Overall Grade - C, horrendous effort early in practice that was a little improved near the end of the practice. Hate to bring up the memory but the effort looked on par with that which was shown during the TCU game of the 2006 season.
Offensive Line :
The offensive line was the only offensive group that didn't look like warmed over liver and onions today during practice. Brandon Carter returned to the starters and played a fair portion of the practice although his endurance isn't quite where it needs to be his back seems to have healed well enough that he will be able to participate for the rest of the spring practice. Shawn Byrnes continues to play extremely well and even with Carter back in the lineup, Byrnes continues to make all of the line calls during practice. The rest of the line rebounded well from a shaky practice on Wednesday and Rylan Reed looked particularly good in practice. Marlon Winn also looked very solid today and he and Louis Vasquez will be a formidable team during the 2007 season. Stephen Hamby looked good playing in relief of Brandon Carter and it looks like Hamby and Carter will both be a very good combination next season for the Red Raiders.
Offensive Line Depth Chart -
Right Tackle: Rylan Reed, Andrew Johnson
Right Guard: Brandon Carter, Stephen Hamby
Center: Shawn Byrnes, Justin Keown
Left Guard: Louis Vasquez, Stephen Hamby/ Chris Olson
Left Tackle: Marlon Winn, Chris Olson
Overall Grade - A, while the line looked inconsistent on Wednesday they were the picture of consistency today and did a very good job considering that they were not in pads.
Defensive Line :
The defensive line looked as good as they could today considering that the team was not wearing pads during practice today. RaJon Henley and Clint Stoffles continue to have the best spring of the interior lineman while Brian Jones appears to be getting back into the swing of things and his endurance seems to be improving back to where it was before his injury last season. Sandy Riley and Brandon Williams continue to show that they are the best pass rushers on the outside for the Red Raiders. Jake Ratliff showed off some impressive strength today with a great bull rush and Phillip Jones continues to show that he may very well be the next Seth Nitschmann. Strong, powerful, and a terrific run-stopper who develops into a good pass rusher as his time as a Red Raider progresses. Jones could also move back inside in a pinch as an undersized defensive tackle.
Overall Grade - B, a good day overall but still a little thin on depth.
The linebackers had a very good day and showed a dominant nature that hasn't been seen by a Red Raider linebacking corps since the days of Zach Thomas. Kellen Tillman and Blake Collier both recorded interceptions while Collier also had an interception that went the other direction for 6 points off of Steven Sheffield. Paul Williams had a very good pass breakup and is showing off very good pass coverage skills. Collier is still looking like the prime back-up at the weak side while Victor Hunter has just about cemented his position as the number two middle linebacker and Marlon Williams is looking more and more like the starting weak side linebacker while Chad Hill is out of commission resting an injury.
Ty Linder is showing off some impressive command as the back-up strong side linebacker and he is going to provide very good senior leadership as a back-up. He has an outstanding command of the Red Raider defense and is showing that he is a very good teacher for the younger linebackers on the roster and could end up as a coach if he wants to.
Linebackers Depth Chart
Weak Side Linebacker: Marlon Williams, Blake Collier, Julius Howard
Middle Linebacker: Paul Williams, Victor Hunter/Marlon Williams, Ryan Hale
Strong Side Linebacker: Kellen Tillman, Ty Linder, Brian Duncan
Overall Grade - A+, a fantastic day for the linebackers, there is real depth being developed and they are going to be one of the biggest surprises of the 2007 season.
The secondary spent a fair portion of practice working on their nickel and dime packages and showed off some serious talent for both the starters and back-ups. Daniel Charbonnet recorded the secondary's only interception of the day after dropping a possible interception the play before. Jamar Wall and Marcus Bunton both had very good pass break-ups and LaRon Moore and De'Shon Sanders have both shown that they just might be ready to play and play often during next season. Lance Fuller and Anthony Hines are both developing into very hard-hitting safeties and Daniel Charbonnet is definitely the cover strong safety on the roster and is playing very well, even with an injured hamstring.
Secondary Depth Chart -
Right Cornerback: Marcus Bunton, Brent Nickerson, De'Shon Sanders
Free Safety: Darcel McBath, Daniel Charbonnet/Lance Fuller, Jordy Rowland
Strong Safety: Joe Garcia, Anthony Hines, Daniel Charbonnet
Left Cornerback: Jamar Wall, Pete Richardson/LaRon Moore
Overall Grade - B+, a very good day for the secondary. They played hard and fast without missing any plays that could be made.
Now it's time for some awards
Offensive MVP: Shawn Byrnes
Defensive MVP: Blake Collier/Kellen Tillman
Mr. Underrated: Stephen Hamby
New Comer of the Day: La'Ron Moore
Unit of the day: Offensive Line
Come back Saturday for the next RaiderPower Practice report!