The annual spring game is often one final opportunity to get a look at players to solidify the depth chart for the fall.
With a new coaching staff, those looks are that much more important.
Saturday's Brown and Gold spring game at War Memorial Stadium might have head coach Dave Christensen still looking.
Christensen said there were some good things and some bad things in the spring game, but mostly talked about what he didn't like -- all of the dropped passes by his receiving corps.
"I was disappointed in our ability to catch the football," Christensen said. "If you want to play wide receiver in this offense, you have to catch the football … you better have courage."
Quarterbacks Karsten Sween and Adam Barry combined for 23 completions for 218 yards and one touchdown on the cool and blustery day, but also had 35 incompletions and a pair of interceptions between them.
"I saw some things turned down, I saw some drops," Christensen said. "That has got to get corrected or somebody is going to have to find another position to play."
In Christensen's no huddle spread offense, the ability to play catch might be the most important aspect. That point has been drilled into their heads this spring, the first-year head coach said.
"You throw the ball and you have to catch the ball," he said. "They weren't all the greatest throws in the world. But I don't think the wind affected us that much. The ability to catch the ball was just horrible today. That wasn't the wind. Some of it was courage, which I challenged them afterwards."
Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Stewart led the Brown with five catches for 49 yards, while junior David Leonard had four catches for 39 yards and the lone score.,/p>
"We can't give excuses, that is on us," Leonard said about the drops. "We didn't focus and we didn't concentrate enough. When it is a windy day like that, you have to have 100 percent concentration in catching it. You have to catch first and run second. That is something we have to work on in the off-season with the jugs and the quarterbacks."
Leonard said there is really no break for them.
"We want to win a championship, so this summer, we're going to be out there catching a lot of passes so that doesn't happen again," he said.
Christensen said the receiving corps -- which was minus starters Greg Bolling and Donate Morgan for much of the spring because of injury -- has three months to work and develop their skills.
"Or we will find somebody else and put them in there," Christensen said.
There were some highlights offensively in the 20-3 Brown win, with Stewart scoring on a 22-yard end around and Leonard catching a late 13-yard touchdown pass from Sween in a little two-minute drill. Junior running back Darius Terry also gained 49 yards on 11 rushes and scored one touchdown. Sophomore James Davis ran for 60 yards on 11 rushes for the Gold, highlighted by a 29-yard run.
"I thought Karsten did a nice job in that last two-minute drill," Christensen said. "That is why we played the clock like we did, to get to that situation. I didn't put him in a situation where I said that we're down by two or six, I wanted to see what we could do when we got down there. He did a nice job, throwing a touchdown pass. He managed the clock well. It was probably the best executed two minute offense that we have done all spring."
Sween, who took all of the snaps for the Brown, was 16-of-34 for the day for 154 yards. He was also 1-of-2 in one series with the Gold.Barry was 7-of-24 for the Gold for 64 yards and one interception. Junior Dax Crum was suspended for the scrimmage and did not play.
Sween, who has started 21 games in his Cowboy career, will at least likely go into fall drills ahead of the pack on the depth chart, Christensen said.
"We'll set the depth chart on Monday, but I would say it is a pretty fair assessment to say that he will be the No. 1 guy when we start camp," Christensen said. "But we're getting two other quarterbacks in and we have three here. We have to let them all compete."