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Spring Practice Report for 4/4/09

It was a little chilly out there this morning, but the atmosphere was perfect. There were close to as many coaches out there today as there were yesterday. It was good seeing a crowd that large.

1. I counted 7 players on the beach. There were no kickoff returns or punt returns today. Dwyer played very little and was probably held out to keep him from getting injured. It was also a good chance to see what the other B-backs could do.

2. The scrimmage started with the first string offense against the first string defense. It was not pretty for the offense. After gaining a first down, the defense tightened up considerably. They then forced two three and outs. The first string defensive line was just plain killing our offensive line. Josh was having a bad day just like yesterday. The passing game looked horrible 98% of the time and the offense really only moved the ball when Josh ran with it. Most of Josh's passes were sailing over the receivers probably because he was throwing on his back foot the entire time. The first string offensive line started off horrible, but they eventually got going and started pass protecting a little better. Near the end of practice, they also gave lots of room for Luke to run up the center. They constantly switched A-backs and B-backs. This rotation also caused some drops by the A-backs. All the pitches were good, but the A-backs kept dropping them for one reason or another. Embry missed a pitch just because he wasn't even looking for it. Josh also got intercepted by Jason Peters (DT). All in all, it started off really bad, but the first string offense got through it and managed to end the day with a couple of scores. Tyler Melton had one amazing one handed catch in the endzone today.

2. The second string offense was absolutely destroying the second string defense. It was probably because Jaybo was on fire. The man was ripping apart the defense on the ground. He was constantly breaking tackles and out juking defenders. I was very impressed. His reads were crisp and he executed the offense very well. He didn't even need to pass but only once or twice. The second string offensive line was having no trouble providing room for Richard Watson. Watson was just chugging away up the center and fighting for those really though yards. I thought this was weird because it was on TJ Barnes's side of the field. I soon realized that Barnes was just too tall to get any leverage on his offensive lineman. This could be a reason he was not starting on the first string defense, even though he was later used to sub in on the first string. The second string offense looked just like the Navy. They were constantly grinding out yards and creating 3rd and 1 and 2 and they were even getting the 4th downs converted too.

3. The third string offense had a really good day, but not as good as the second string. Tevin was in charge of this group and they were in good hands. Tevin ran the offense fairly well and made some really good reads. He also kept the ball a couple of times and got some big yards. The main star of the third string though was Preston Lyons. This kid was a beast. I really think they should have tried him on first string or at least second string. He was tearing up the middle of the field. He wasn't very fast, but he was dragging defenders with him and constantly kept his legs churning. The defense had no answer for him. He was just hitting the hole extremely hard and breaking tackles left and right. He had at least 2 scores on the day.

4. They did go for extra points after the touchdowns with mixed results. Blair looked good and converted the couple I saw, but the other kickers had some trouble. One long snap flew over Jaybo's head as he was trying to get the ball set and one kicker missed an extra point. I think the kicking and longsnapping needs to get a lot better before the season starts.

People that had a Super day:
Jaybo, Preston Lyons, Paul Reese

People that had a Good day:
Entire first string defense, Lucas Cox, Tyler Melton, Richard Watson

People that had a Bad day:
Josh, the first string offensive line (during the early part), Anthony Allen