Saturday, April 5, 2008

Live from the Jones, Spring Practice Notes

Went to practice for about an hour and a half today. The fiancee was wonderful and came I was nice enough to leave early in exchange. Got some really nice photos but I can't upload them until I get back to Dallas in a few days. Without further are a few thoughts:

- First up was special teams work.
Jonathan LaCour would've had at least 1 punt blocked if this was a game situation. It was a good snap and hold but somebody (Duncan or Hunter maybe??? It was a 50's number) got through VERY quickly.
- In DB drills,
Darcel McBath was very solid. Caught everything thrown to him and stayed balanced through all his movements.
Jordy Rowland really stood out to me. He moves as well as any other DB we have out there. Every shift was very smooth.
LA Reed dropped multiple balls (3) out of the 5 or 6 reps he took. He's still very raw though he shows very good instincts, more about that in the scrimmage notes.
Michael Crabtree was himself as usual but had one very uncharacteristic drop in WR/DB drills. He ran up to me and said, "How did I drop that??? It hit me in the hands. No more of that today."

---Switch to full 11-on-11 scrimmage---

- On the first drive,
Taylor Potts lead the offense right down the field and Aaron Crawford punched it in from a yard out for the score. He (TP) looks very calm and confident running the offense.
Graham Harrell stepped up and made a couple very nice throws to lead to a second TD.
Stefan Loucks looked VERRRY bad today. Ruffin McNeill had McKinner Dixon lined up at rush end and Loucks was very quick to move away from his side after taking the snap. As a result...he wasn't maintaining any pocket presence or going through his progression consistently. Dixon beat his man a few times and would've most certainly blown up the QB if given the chance.
Eric Morris was very fiery today. A few times he was gang tackled for a short gain and he came out of the pile bouncing around and shouting some unmentionables at various players.
- After a great defensive breakup of a pass intended for Crabs at the goalline, Ruffin was talking up the secondary on a great play when he saw that a late flag was thrown. The call was defensive PI and Ruffin quickly turned on the officials. "That was a BS call. How can you make that call???" This drew some nice laughter on the sidelines. Evidently there's no offseason for officials!
Louis Vasquez spent some time at left tackle with the first team offense. Brandon Williams beat him on the first few plays but LV adjusted and kept BW out of the play after that.

- There were a lot of 2 back sets run today. One interesting formation was 2 backs, with 3 WR's bunched on one side. They put Shannon Woods in motion out to the opposite before running the play. It was only run once. They also ran 3 or 4 running plays out of the 3 wide pro formation (QB under center) with the line having "smaller" splits.
- Finally, the defense stepped up and stopped the 1st team offense at about the 18 while they were driving. They of course go for it on 4th in a scrimmage. GH throws a strike to Todd Walker at the goal line but Taylor Charbonnet makes an amazing play and knocks the ball out of Walker's hands to secure the turnover.

Misc Notes

- 2009 WR recruit Jarrod Darden (Keller Central HS) was in attendance. For most of practice, he seemed more interested in his iPod than talking to anybody. However, I did see him spend some time with Leach, Crabtree, GH, and the WR coaches at various times throughout practice. Once full scrimmage started he paid particular attention to the near side (home side) WR's.

- Good crowd today. There were a few hundred people spread out through the stands and around the sidelines. Great weather and not a cloud in the sky.

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