April 7th Spring Practice Report

The Texas Tech Red Raiders practiced in the cold for the second day in a row and today were graced by the presence of snow at Jones AT&T stadium. The weather was cold but the players were in an extremely fire mood so come on inside to read about all the latest happening at the Red Raiders April 7th practice.

Courtesy of TTU Media Relations

Scrimmage Stats 4/7/07


Harrell: 16-25, 120

Potts: 15-18, 208, 2 TD


Lewis: 6 car, 21 yds

Woods: 4 car, 22 yds


Crabtree: 7-131, 2 TD

Amendola: 5-69

Morris: 4-27

James: 2-23

Leong: 2-20

Reese: 2-10

Reed: 1-13

Defensive Stats

Player Tackles TFL FF Sacks

Ryan Hale 5 2

Brian Duncan 3

Jamar Wall 3

Brent Nickerson 2

Anthony Hines 2

Victor Hunter 2

Daniel Charbonnet 2 1

Darcel McBath 2

Pete Richardson 2

Julius Howard 2

Marlon Williams 2

Ty Linder 1

Rajon Henley 1

Tyler Yenzer 1

Joe Garcia 1

Sandy Riley 1

Brett Dewhurst 1

Chris Wallace 1

Brian Duncan 1

Phillip Jones 1

L.A. Reed 1

Jordy Rowland 1

Jake Ratliff 1 1

Lance Fuller 1

LaShawn Vation 1

Nathan Stone 1

Quarterbacks :

The quarterbacks looked better in today's practice than they did during yesterdays and showed much better awareness and made better decision. Graham Harrell looked more poised out of the bunch and his reads seemed sharp and quick. Harrell threw several nice passes and did a great job of moving around the pocket. While he was sacked on several different occasions, the majority of the sacks were due either to a miss-cue by the offensive line or just a particularly good play by the defense.

Taylor Potts continues to improve but contrary to what Coach Leach says, it doesn't appear that he has outperformed Harrell in any aspect of the Air Raid offense. His reads are better but still about a full second to long and he still throws balls low or high fairly often. His pocket presence isn't what it needs to be yet and he doesn't seem to have that internal timer to let him know when it is time to throw the ball away or to an outlet receiver. This will be developed but for anyone to expect Taylor Potts to upset Graham Harrell as the starters is ludicrous.

Steven Sheffield looked decent today but was not particularly impressive. His reads were decent but he seemed to get antsy in the pocket and his accuracy wasn't all there today. Sheffield continues to lose ground to Potts and while he looks like a good 3rd option at quarterback, he is not Division 1 starting caliber at this point in time.

Quarterback Depth Chart

Starter: Graham Harrell

Back-Up: Taylor Potts

3rd String: Steven Sheffield

Overall Grade - B, the quarterbacks were better but still need to continue to improve their reads and ensure that they are mindful of the defensive pass rush.

Running Backs :

The running backs had a very good day both rushing and receiving. Woods looked good and while his runs weren't particularly long, he did a good job of getting every yard out of them that he could. His receiving looked good once again and he was hitting the hole hard.

Kobey Lewis looked very good today and had several long runs and receptions. He continues to be a pleasant surprise of the spring but the question remains if he will be able to carry his progress in the spring onto the football field. Lewis did get into an altercation with linebacker Blake Collier and Lewis showed that he fears no man, which is either an admirable trait or one that will get him destroyed come the 2007.

Baron Batch continues to rehab his ankle and moved around for the second day without the use of crutches. Bath appears to have added more weight during the off-season and looks healthier and healthier every day.

Running Backs Depth Chart

Starter: Shannon Woods

Back Up: Kobey Lewis/Baron Batch (Injured)

Overall Grade - B+, a good day overall for the backs. They did miss a few important blocks and need to continue to polish off their receiving skills to be the best backs that they can.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends :

Redemption is sweet and the Red Raider Receivers did get their redemption today after yesterday's abysmal effort. Michael Crabtree was the star of the show with several tough catches and one particularly impressive run after catching a slip screen pass. Crabtree did have one noticeable drop but that is most likely attributed to the extremely cold conditions at practice today. Crabtree also nearly had a circus catch after a pass intended for Eric Morris bounced off of a defenders helmet and went airborne. Crabtree was within centimeters or pulling in the errant pass for a touchdown but it was just out of his reach.

Danny Amendola proved to be Mr. Reliable today at practice and is making the routine play along with the big play and dropping fewer balls than he did earlier in practice. While Amendola always has been a great route runner, he seems to be doing a much better job of hitting his breaks cleanly and getting himself open faster so that the quarterbacks can look to him if they are in trouble.

Eric Morris also returned to his usual form and looked very crisp today with several great grabs. Morris' speed is going to be an asset and his elusiveness is something that the Red Raiders have been looking for since the departure of Nehemiah Glover. Morris is also becoming quite adept at running the end-around and sets his blocks up nicely. Morris' back-up Kelly Hildebrant had an off day and dropped several passes that could have been caught.

LA Reed was quiet today at the X receiving position but Eddie Britton had a terrific day. Britton is showing an outstanding ability to break open and his moves after the catch are jaw dropping. Britton is also learning how to use his body to shield away defenders and how to catch a pass in traffic. Lyle Leong continues to impress with his broken hand and had several nice catches today during practice including another touchdown from high school teammate Taylor Potts.

Adrian Reese had an off day with several drops and took multiple huge hits from the secondary. Reese needs to continue to work on his ability to catch the ball cleanly and bring it in if he wants to be a big part of the Air Raid offense once the season starts. David Schaefer is showing off improved hands and recorded several tough catches today during practice, including a touchdown catch out of the two back set. Schaefer has always been and will always be a blocker first but the ability to occasionally catch the tough pass and run for the first down makes him that much more dangerous when he is on the field. Adam James had a good day catching passes from the H inside receiver position and also showed good strength after the catch.

Receiver Depth Chart -

Z- Michael Crabtree, Eddie Britton, Landon Hoefer

Y- Danny Amendola, G. Walker (Injured)

H- Eric Morris, Kelly Hildebrant

X- LA Reed, Eddie Britton Lyle Leong, Brik Brinker (Todd Walker, injured)

Overall Grade - B, not a perfect day but certainly an improvement over the poor effort yesterday, the receivers looked like they were on the same page with the quarterbacks for most of the day.

Offensive Line :

The offensive line had a good day today during practice and it saw the starting group with a minor change in it. Louis Vasquez was practicing at left tackle and Chris Olson at left guard during the starters snaps and then Vasquez was at left guard and Marlon Winn at left tackle during the second team portion of the scrimmage. Chris Olson continues to impress as a guard and tackle prospect and could be just as versatile as former Red Raider offensive lineman EJ Whitley.

Shawn Byrnes looked to have sustained a serious injury that caused concern among both the coaching staff and members of the media at practice but luckily Byrnes was ok and re-entered the scrimmage after taking a series off. Byrnes helmet came off while he was blocking downfield on a running play and he caught a defensive helmet to the top of his exposed cranium. Luckily, there was no visible injury and Byrnes came back in and played well.

Rylan Reed and Stephen Hamby continue to man the right side of the line with Brandon Carter still being held out of contact to continue to rest his strained back. Carter was at practice today and watched as his teammates scrimmaged. Back-up center Justin Keown committed the cardinal sin of a center today, once snapping the ball to high for Graham Harrell and the other instance sending the snap rolling back to the quarterback. Keown looks to be a very good blocker but needs to improve his snap accuracy if he hopes to compete in the Big XII next season.

Offensive Line Depth Chart -

Right Tackle: Rylan Reed, Andrew Johnson

Right Guard: Brandon Carter (Injured), Stephen Hamby

Center: Shawn Byrnes, Justin Keown

Left Guard: Chris Olson, Louis Vasquez

Left Tackle: Louis Vasquez, Marlon Winn/Chris Olson

Overall Grade - B-, the line looked good but was blown off the ball on running plays early in practice and did allow a few sacks during practice today.

Defensive Line :

The defensive line looked good today with several of the younger players making big impacts at practice today. Phillip Jones and Brian Jones both played like players with something to prove today and both recorded tackles for loss against running back Kobey Lewis in the backfield. Sandy Riley and Brandon Williams continue to distance themselves as the best pass rushers from the outside on the roster even though Tyler Yenzer got the first set of reps at weak side end with the starters. Jake Ratliff is a beast and plays as hard as anyone at practice every snap.

Clint "Turbo" Stoffels had another good day but needs to continue to get stronger and bigger to be more than just a situational pass rush prospect for next season. RaJon Henley continues to impress and even at his light weight is playing with great tenacity and pad level. Britton Barbee, the walk-on from last fall from Abilene Wiley, looked good today and had a near sack and several nice plays where he forced the runner outside.

Overall Grade - B+, a solid day for the big guys in the trenches. There were contributions from everyone on the defensive line and a good show of teamwork as they worked together to make life hard on the offense.

Linebackers :

The linebackers had a productive day, thanks to good play from the defensive line. They showed good athleticism getting to the ball and showed a continued willingness to play sideline to sideline. Blake Collier continues to shine as does Kellen Tillman and Marlon Williams had several punishing tackles today during practice. Paul Williams' lack of noise during practice seems to finally have been explained. Williams is so proficient in pass coverage that the quarterbacks don't usually have time to wait for the man he is covering to break open. Williams also continues to make the routine play against the running game to insure that a ball carrier doesn't get past him.

Victor Hunter had a quiet day in the middle but continues to perform well as does Ryan Hale. Hale had several nice plays today and two particularly impressive pass breakups, although one was flagged for questionable pass interference.

Julius Howard and Brian Duncan both looked like Division 1 linebackers for the first time this spring, making several nice plays and both recording a tackle for loss against the offense during their time on the field in the scrimmage.

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 - B+, a good day overall, the linebackers missed few opportunities today but must continue to work on their pass coverage as the spring starts to wind down.

Secondary :

The secondary didn't force many turnovers today but did do an outstanding job of laying the wood to the offense and forcing dropped passes. Adrian Reese was the focal point of most of the wrath during today's practice and was hit hard by both Danny Charbonnet and Lance Fuller, each time losing the handle on a pass that could have been caught.

Marcus Bunton finally seemed to have a very good day of practice and god his revenge on LA Reed for the way that Reed burned him early in spring practice. LaRon Moore and De'Shon Sanders continue to show all-world potential and under the coaching of Brian Mitchell have already improved tremendously from where they were when spring practice started.

Darcel McBath and Joey Garcia had quiet days although McBath was in on a stop of Kobey Lewis behind the line of scrimmage. Anthony Hines seems to be seeing more and more time at the strong safety position and in particular on certain nickel and dime defensive packages. Hines looks very fluid covering receivers or playing center field and it appears that the coaches like getting him on the field in those situations.

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+, the secondary was good but not perfect and did have some mental lapses.

Now it's time for some awards

Offensive MVP: Michael Crabtree

Defensive MVP: Ryan Hale

Mr. Underrated: Phillip Jones

New Comer of the Day: Lyle Leong

Unit of the day: Wide Receivers

Come back Monday for the next RaiderPower Practice report!

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