Friday Practice Report

The Texas Tech Red Raiders practiced early today, in preparation for autograph night at Jones AT&T Stadium. After a horrendous practice from one of the teams units yesterday, today turned out to be an exciting and pitched battle between offense and defense. Come inside for the RaiderPower practice report from Friday, August 21, 2009.

Practice Observations

D.J. Johnson has played himself into the line-up somewhere in the 2009 season. It is entirely possible that he may play in a role similar to that of Jamar Wall in 2006, playing in certain situations and packages. Johnson has made an amazing transformation from someone who played quarterback into a cornerback with limitless potential.

• Brian Mahoney made the first epic miscalculation of Fall camp as he got into a fight with a taller, and heavier, Shawn Byrnes. Byrnes easily beat the freshman linebacker in the abrupt and brief scuffle before it was broken up by teammates and coaches.

• Austin "Zazoo" Zouzalik had an outstanding practice including two 60+ yard receptions. Zouzalik has an intriguing combination of agility and speed at the Y position which should make him a more than capable back-up to starter Detron Lewis.

Eric Stephens did what he has routinely done the last two weeks in scoring a touchdown during the team portion of drills. The difference this time is that after he scored left guard Brandon Carter picked up the diminutive running back with one arm for a celebratory hug. Stephens also threw several very good blocks during the team portion of drills.

Julius Howard went down during practice but was back shortly there after while Aaron Charbonnet had an immobilization brace on his leg along with an ace bandage from ankle to hip. Justin Keown continues to rehab his injury from earlier in the week as well.

Marlon Williams had a good day as did Brian Duncan. Bront Bird, however, had the best day of the linebackers. Bird might very well spend more time rushing the passer this year than dropping into coverage as his combination of size and speed make him a tough prospect for offensive linemen or running backs.

Will Ford continues to work in the nickel formation while the "Jet" back today was Julius Howard, playing the hybrid linebacker/safety position that Jordy Rowland manned during the 2008 season.

Cornelius Douglas had a good day of practice, showing off incredible moves in the open field and great vision with the ball in his hands. He is working behind Tramain Swindall at H and the two players different styles should make them a dynamic 1-2 punch for defenses to deal with.

Terry McDaniel was working at left tackle along with Chris Olson while Olson continues to be the second string center. LaAdrian Waddle was again in the mix at right tackle. It remains to be seen if the coaching staff intends to allow him to take reps there once the season starts or if Joe King will play the back-up right tackle role.

Baron Batch spent the day inside rehabbing.

• Myles Wade was playing with David Neill as the third team defensive tackle tandem. While Neill is by no means small, Wade makes him look like a peanut when the two are lined up together.

• Alex Torres had a quiet and workman like day at practice while Jacoby Franks had several tough catches during the day.

Dion Chidozie had a tremendous edge rush during the team portions of drills while fellow freshman linebacker Brian Mahoney was playing the other outside linebacker position.

• Stephen Sheffield seems to have officially won the back-up quarterback job as he took snaps during both 7-on-7 and team drills.


Offensive player of the day: Austin Zouzalik

Defensive player of the day: Bront Bird

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