Reading from yesterday's reports in the MSM it sounded like our offense had a pretty mediocre Friday night against the defense. However, a poster named Jeff_is_smiling, who has been publishing some detailed reports from practice, seemed to have a different impression. Per Jeff's report from Friday which he posted in BruinGold, the ' the offense was competitive with the defense':
Then the full scrimmage got going. Again, just like yesterday, it appeared to me that the offense was competitive with the defense. The first team defense was studly against the run as usual, but the offense managed to move the ball on the ground and in the air. What was intriguing was that the throws were DEEPER than previous years. While we lived thru the dink-and-dunk offense the last few years, this offense uses the dink and dunk alot smarter. Previous seasons would see a 3 yard pass go for.......3 yards and a cloud of dust. This version of the offense throws a 1 yard pass that goes for 6 yards, and often requires a very good defensive play to keep from going for 10 yards more.
Anyways, I was encouraged. The best passes today were a quick slant into the end zone by Cowan that he drilled in there, and two beautiful fade throws up the sidelines by Olson. He should excellent touch and accuracy on the throws. Each ate up 25-30 yards. Overall, Cowan was 4 of 6, Olson was 3 of 6 with a TD and a pick, Craft was 2 of 3.
It's what the Niners did so effectively with Roger Craig (TB), Tom Rothman (FB), Brent Jones (TE), which in turn effectively set up the explosions from Rice and Taylor.
I think it will take a while for our guys to get this down. But I like hearing that they are trying to master one aspect of the offense first, and then expand it from there. It's a different approach from last five years when a huge playbook (which offensive coaches didn't seem to have a full grasp on) was crammed down our players' throats.
Speaking of players, Dohn mentions couple of kids who could potentially have an impact on our offense this coming season. Ryan Moya is back with our team. And the TE could emerge as a key contributor to our offense this season. Here is CRN on what Moya needs to do:
"We'll see," said Embree, a grayshirt who entered school in January. "I'm doing everything I can, every chance I get, to make a play. The big thing for me is I need to get in the playbook and start learning more of the receivers' plays from each of the positions, not just one spot."
Also another kid who coaches are expecting a lot from is left guard Darius Savage. Coaches asked Savage to switch over from defensive line. He has also been adjusting playing both in the track team this spring (he went to Oregon for this weekend's track meet) and putting in his time at practice. In the past during spring he was exclusively doing track, but this year the coaches also asked him to put his time in at Spaulding. Kuwada from the OC Register had this note on Savage who was fired up to get back into it after his weekend track meet at Oregon:
"The mental aspect is coming, not slowly, but it's getting better," Savage said of his football education. "It's not slow, but it's not rapid. It's right in the middle."
Savage was primarily an offensive lineman in high school before being switched to defense when enrolling at UCLA, and he said his confidence is increasing as an offensive lineman, "and I'm able to play faster and faster every day.''
Offensive linemen gaining comfort levels will be crucial to the Bruins as none of the six players on the depth chart at the guard positions has started a game or even played a prominent role.
Savage was put there because he looked the part at 6-foot-4 and 340 pounds.
"I was surprised, but that shows a lot of faith that the coaches have in me and the pressure was on me. But it's not pressure when you want to do it, and I relish the challenge," he said.