April 1st Practice Report

Mike Leach's Red Raiders took to the practice fields for another day of windy preparation for the 2009 season. The wind had one part of the team whipped to near frenzy levels while a young up and comer is starting to make a name for himself. Come inside for the RaiderPower practice report from April 1st.

Practice Observations

• Mike Leach was not a happy camper with his offense today, to the point that he had them doing up-downs in the middle of practice.

Chris Perry and Jamar Wall continue to rehab while Taylor Charbonnet was without pads during the early portion of practice, though he did participate in the later practices periods.

• Perhaps the biggest news of the day is the injury to Brandon Carter. Carter went down with an apparent knee injury and was taken from the practice field into the training facility. The extent of Carter's injury is unknown, but it did not look overly serious on the field.

Baron Batch, Aaron Crawford, and Harrison Jeffers were about the only offensive players that had truly good days. Detron Lewis also had several strong moments, though the remainder of the Texas Tech receiving core struggled with consistency. Also worth noting was Tramain Swindall's absence from the field entirely today.

• Perhaps the biggest brawl in the last three years took place today. Both the entire offense and defense were involved, along with the coaching staff. Ruffin McNeil and Dennis Simmons also got into it during the fight, though only in a verbal manner. As practice wore on, the defense fed off of the energy from the fight while the offense seemed to back down.

• The defense might have know that it was April 1st, but they weren't fooling today and neither was freshman safety Cody Davis. He did the best Dwayne Slay impression in years, separating receiver Eric Ward from his helmet and the ball, then hitting Ed Britton hard enough to jar the ball loose for a probably defensive score by Davis.

• Experimentation continued across the defensive line today, Rajon Henley saw a small amount of time at defensive end while Brandon Sesay worked both inside and outside. Daniel Howard and McKinner Dixon were the starting ends while Richard Jones and Colby Whitlock earned most of the starting defensive tackle snaps.

Terry McDaniel was pressed into service with Brandon Carter's injury, and while he didn't do a terrible job he wasn't great either. McDaniel is a large (6'8") offensive linemen and seems to struggle with using his arms to keep quicker defensive ends away from he. He also has a tendency to hold, but was very good in the running game this afternoon.

• Jarrell Routt was the target of criticism from defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeil after he failed to play with enough passion during practice. Routt has been somewhat of a disappointment in his time on campus, though he can certainly still prove himself.

Julius Howard seems to be adapting well to the switch from linebacker to safety while Tyrone Sonier is fitting in well with the second group of linebackers.

• The receivers were more of the droppers today as they struggled throughout practice. While Adam James and Detron Lewis had good days, Rashad Hawk, Eric Ward, Cornelius Douglas, and others truly struggled.

• Ward and Harrison Jeffers continue to see time as both punt and kick return men and Taylor Charbonnet joined them near the end of practice at the kick-off return position.

• Sam Fehoko is receiving less and less criticism from defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeil and is slowly but surely becoming a leader for the second team defense.

Jared Flannel, the running back turned cornerback turned safety, had a near de-cleating hit today during practice, though he is still light to be considered a true candidate for one of the safety jobs.

Taylor Potts and the rest of the quarterbacks had an off day as they were leading receivers into big hits, throwing poor balls, or making wrong reads.

• Garrett Riley was talking with McKinner Dixon, one of the few times that predator and prey (defensive end and quarterback) talk amicably among themselves.

Joe King is another of the young offensive linemen that has the potential to grow into a great one while David Neill continues to impress in his transition from defensive tackle to offensive guard.

Austin Zouzalik deserves special praise for a strong day of practice and did particularly well blocking during screen drills.

Awards

Offensive player of the day: Harrison Jeffers

Catch of the day: Detron Lewis in the corner of the end zone.

Defensive player of the day: Cody Davis

Defensive play of the day: Davis twice separating receivers from the ball and taking one back for what could have been a touchdown.

Quote of the day:

"Potts, we're in your head Potts. Potts, we're in our head!!!"

Linebacker Bront Bird after Taylor Potts threw an interception during the pass-skeleton drill.


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