Arrived about 1/2 hour late, but I think I just missed the stretching and team warm-ups. Team was in shorts, so no tackling or big hitting. So, thoughts starting from biggest impression to random tidbits
Richard Brehaut. Very inconsistent yesterday. He would go from making some nice throws to forced throws that resulted in INT's. It appears as if he just has a hard time making a decision, then just decides to go for it. The beginning of practice saw him make a nice 7 yard completion to Marvray and then on the very next play, force an INT to Hester...I think Hester was as surprised as anyone since he had to make almost no effort to catch it. Later, Brehaut made a sweet leading pass to marvray in the back of the endzone for a short-yardage TD....the kind of pass where you think "what the hell is he throwing at....oh...didn't see him coming.' That was followed up by an underthrown completion to Embree and, in the 2 minute offense, a pretty poorly thrown bomb to Rosario that went for an incompletion. I also noticed on a few plays that he waited too long to make his pass...after the receiver made the break and, at times, ended up just standing there or starting the 'break free' dance to try and get open. Unfortunately, it very much reminded me of last year where we could get a first down or two, but never sustain a drive for 5 or 6 first downs.
Nick Crissman. What struck me at this practice was that I think his throwing motion is weird to the point it messes up the receivers' timing. There were two passes that were dropped (one a crossing pattern and the other a slant, I think) where it seemed the passes were catchable, but the receiver seemed surprised when it arrived. Maybe it was the receiver not paying attention, but I think it might be that they are used to a certain delivery style and Crissman's kind of throws them. At the end of the day, the receivers need to make the catch.....That said, he did have some nice completions on longer balls.
More worthless thoughts after the break
Almost becoming run-of-the-mill at this point, but Ricky Marvray continues to just make it happen. Kid catches pretty much everything that comes his way. I, and the people around me were chuckling during the PR drill. Marvray had just made his catch and was heading back to the rotation. For some reason, he stopped short and turned around and got in position to take the next one. Meanwhile, Josh Smith was waiting for the same punt over where Marvray had previously taken it....so, the punt (boomed, by the way) comes and Marvray fields that one too....Basically, he snaked J. Smith's return....It was funny b/c Smith was like 'Man, wtf?'...that and during Marvray's video interview where he said if there were four footballs to go around, he'd want them all. Also, made that sweet reception in the back of the endzone previously mentioned, as well as the blue collar 5-7 yard gains. It's also worth noting that I think he has the best ability to get open against the DB's...
Randall Carroll. Kid is fast, especially apparent during the fly sweep (yes. all I can say is; yes.). But also more dropped passes than he should have had. It was only one play against S. Price, but it looked like he didn't really know how to position himself to take price out of the play and the result was Price had a nice pass defended.
Jerry Johnson. Didn't get many reps, and had a catch or two, but the one thing that stuck in my mind was that his DB made the stop on a QB keeper. I guess this may just be a pet peeve of mine now, but other than Marvray, I haven't really noticed much from the receivers in terms of blocking. You see Marvray flying around after the play still blocking his guy from the opposite side of the play action.....and he's about the only one. Not to pick on Johnson, but his was the time I noticed his DB making the stop.
Josh Smith. Interesting that he is now the 4th receiver with Marvray taking over the third spot. However, Smith is no slouch and it'll likely be a battle throughout the year...Smith has just been out with his injury, so it is him that has to earn his way back into the rotation....it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out...if Smith takes over Embree or Rosario's spot instead.....or if he ends up behind Marvray....It looks like Smith has gigantic paws that make his catches seem pretty effortless. He didn't seem 100% as I've seen him juke and move much more quickly than anything I saw today. He also gets good separation from the DB.
Dietrich Riley. Another interception. Three practices I've seen. Three interceptions. Again, I don't watch him solely to see if his understanding of coverages is what it needs to be, but if Rahim rolls after this year, I'm not worried at all....Riley seems to be in the right place at the right time, just like Rahim...but he is much more physical than Rahim at the same point in his career. Again, I think Rahim at FS with Riley at SS would be a sight to behold...
Jayson Allmond. Was lined up at TE during 7 on 7's....I also loved that they had him on the punt team...twice I saw this load of a human being barreling down the field...and it made me feel good. Feel good to think about the potential mayhem that would ensue if he actually made the tackle. I think we should structure our Punt game around all the other players funneling the returner towards Jayson....
Malcolm Jones. Nice soft hands on the outlet....didn't see much from him in terms of running. Not a whole lot of holes being opened up, to be hones. But him catching the outlet pass in the open field looked to be a good thing. I've had high hopes for the myriad of RB's we've recruited over the last few years, but I think he is the furthest along that I've seen.
Cory Harkey. Got some good action today. Seemed to be a reliable option in the 7 on 7's and the 11's. He beat out (gasp!) Akeem over the middle to haul in a nice 7 yard catch. He hasn't been getting the love lately, but probably should be recognized for being solid.
Redzone Offense. Not bad. Of course, the first TD was a Brehaut pass to 6'4" Embree over 5'8" Viney....but hey, it could happen. This was also the time where Brehaut made the sweet leading pass to Marvray.
LB Corps. First team, at this point, is Ayers, Westgate and Sloan.
Who was it? Some QB has to fess up to getting picked by Sean Westgate while attempting to pass to Embree. I didn't see who made the pass....but if Westgate can jump and make the INT at 5'11" when trying to get the ball to 6'3" Embree....?
Abbott is the 1st string nickel back followed by Thigpen. Dye is first string SS followed by Dalton Hilliard.
Justin Edison. Big dude that seems to be most of the mosh that results in no running yardage gains. Had a clothesline tackle of J. Franklin today...more like a near-decapitiation. Basically stuck out an arm as Franklin was bursting though. Think it rung Franklin's bell a little.
2 minute offense. Ugly. At some point, they just gave up the pretense of 2 minutes and just started running plays.
Play 1 - Batt down by Glenn love.
Play 2 - Incomplete bomb attempt that looked to be more the receiver's fault. Receiver didn't turn in toward the landing spot until the last second when it looked like he should've started veering that way sooner.
Play 3 - Sack by Ayers against a completely blown-by Sheller. Wasn't even funny.
Play 4 - Poorly thrown bomb by Brehaut. Underthrown to Embree and no chance of completion.
Play 5 - Blitzing Abbott allows for a quick 3 yard completion by Crissman. Good read by Crissman, but reminiscent of Craft's time here...(totally respect Craft, btw....not his fault he never had any time to throw).
Play 6 - Bad snap for a TFL
Play 7 - Great, GREAT catch by Presley. Presley was running toward the sideline and Viney read the pass, running in the exact opposite direction. Ball arrived at the exact point both crossed paths, full steam, headed in opposite directions. Presley basically snatched the ball out of Viney's hands as they passed. Wish I had video!
Play 8 - Crissman throw away due to coverage.
Play 9 - Barr dropped pass on a crossing pattern. Should've caught it.
Random Note. Ayers is badass. He absolutely owned Micah Kia on one play. Made the initial hit from the DE position, then as he was shedding him, literally threw him to the ground.