A mint 70 degree night, with cirrus clouds and (to Marrone's chagrin) no wind. There was an hour of activity before the scrimmage. Chandler is in, Kolb is nowhere to be seen. Provo the new TE was in full pads and had a few nice plays tonight.
EJ was laying out perfect 30 yard passes to the WR's early in the practice segment, and hit Da'Rick, Kaufman, TJ, Hogan, Sampson, and Marquise in stride. Sinkfield dropped his. They also did T-outs, buttonhooks, slants, etc. and nobody was missing these.
The crowd started singing "Happy Birthday" to Spiller when he appeared.
Kick Returns were run simultaneously with FG practice (brilliant! Chan, take notes!). The KR order was Brad Smith, Marquise Goodwin, TJ Graham. I'd give the nod in consistency to TJ tonight, who continues to impress in all phases, including confidence. Goodwin muffed one, but it bounced luckily right back up to him and he took off like greased lightning for 40 more yards.
The FG guys (Lindell-Hopkins) seemed to be trying to hit the video man all night. Hopkins came the closest, missing the guy by <2 feet. The jack that holds up the video platform was hit 7-8 times.
In 7 on 7, Spiller had a nice catch and run, Choice ran an underneath route that worked, Marquise caught a nice out-pattern thrown right on the money by EJ, Dickerson split a seam for a nice long gain on an EJ pass, and Dickerson got hit pretty hard by Dowtin on the very next play (Dowtin got the impact play of the 7 on 7). Lee Smith made a nice dive to catch a pass (see? He doesn't only block!), and Da'Rick had a nice out route (similar to Marquise's) for a gain. EJ looked at Chandler but threw to Easley for 15 yards--fooled me, and EJ ended his turn with a dump-off to Spiller (You'll see that all year).
Tuel's 7 on 7 included a nice slant pattern over the middle to Sampson (who's coming on but won't make the team), then Tuel held the ball too long and had little room to run. Tuel made up for it with a nice split-seam route to Provo (the new Syracuse TE), but then was INT. Dominique Ellis and Pough collided and Pough walked off under his own steam. He was checked on the sidelines.
It's about 6:36 now and they placed the ball on the 30 with 70 yards to go. Spiller and Chandler are in there with the usual O-Line. Dareus. Carrington. Mario Williams. Kyle Williams. are across the front but line up in different spots, loop around and stuff. Alonso is diagnosing really quick. Spiller has a run for 3, and on the next play a spin and extra run for a first down. Ebb and flow, because Alonso reads the next play and has a TFL on Spiller. EJ passes long, but McKelvin INTs. Lindell kicks the XP.
The defense sends in Jay Ross and Carrington. Blatnick is in there too, because Alonso blitzes on 3rd down, allowing Blatnick to get the sack. Powell punts, Easley muffs it and has to fall on it for a poor drive start.
Tuel comes in, passes to Marquise for a first down, then on the next play goes right back to Marquise for a 50 yard bomb to the 2 yard line. "This QB has some talent", I say. Choice gets the TD on the next play.
Tuel's next series has Zach Brown getting tough yards up the middle for 4 and 3 yards. On third down, Scott and Blatnick (who IS going to make this squad somehow) stonewall Brown and Powell punts to Woods, who has an average punt return.
Tuel comes in again. This is the Kendall Gaskins show. Screen right to Gaskins for 8 yards, fake to Gaskins pass down the side to Brad Smith and Kip Edwards lays him out. I had to look that one up---"WTF is #39?" Tuel goes right back to Smith for the first down. Tuel fakes again to Gaskins and throws bomb number two, this one a 60-yarder to Da'Rick Rogers, with Rolle saving the TD. I think Gaskins takes it in, and the XP is good.
Tuel is in again, Gaskins rolls for 15 yards and we're saying, "Choice was Gailey's guy for Dallas, right?" Gaskins is taller and beefier than Choice. This is a great preseason battle, because I see it as Choice and Brown battling for #4 at the moment. Dorin Dickerson makes a catch but is hit (don't have the number, anyone know?) and it forces a fumble, but it's out of bounds. Gaskins carries again, and Chris White tackles him well--good form tackles for White. But Tuel has his THIRD bomb, this one to Easley down the far sideline 45 yards...but he's narrowly out of bounds. Lindell hits the video jack for a FG.
It's 7:00 and we're in full scrimmage mode. Dareus, Carrington, Ross, Hughes, Bradham, Gilmore, etc. vs. the first team offense again with EJ. I'm watching Alonso now because someone asked about his recognition skills, and he's right where he's supposed to be on three plays. On first down, he went right to the spot where the RB was headed and made the tackle. On 2nd down, he went to his left, put on his brakes and covered the TE coming out. He did the same on the next play, but covered Zach Brown the RB. Very encouraged. Blatnick makes another stop with Searcy, and the O punts the ball, McKelvin bringing it out to the 25. He looks more athletic and quicker than last year. Best O play might have been EJ on a keeper, worst D play was def. holding. Stahovich has a nice punt with oodles of hang time so that McKelvin has to fair catch it. Gaskins has a nice hole but Alonso fills it, Dareus looks solid as Gaskins is stonewalled. On third down EJ takes a little off a pass and it allows the D to cover Dickerson for a Pass Broken Up.
EJ on his next series passes to LEe Smith for a first down (See? Smith catches the ball this year!) Legursky is in for this series, and while he looks small next to Cordy, he's technically strong, sitting in his stance against the likes of Carrington et al. Woods has an end around but the D is wise to it, with Kortnei Brown and Bryan Scott sniffing it out and staying disciplined. On the next play, EJ's pass is tipped at the line by Moats and it's INT time again.
Hackett tries an I-formation now with 2 RBs, but Jarron Gilbert and Moats stop the first run, Corbin Bryant stops the second. Legursky wasn't blocking a man on this play. On third down, Crezdon Butler and Dominique Ellis get the PBU, and they punt. McKelvin's punt return is his strongest of the night.
Zebrie Sanders is now in for Legursky. While Legursky is the tech guy, Sanders is the wreck guy, the mauler. He moves his man out of the way and Gaskins has a nice gain. After Brad Smith misses a pass over the middle (yet again), EJ fakes to Gaskins and throws a first down to Provo, who hasn't even unpacked yet. Sanders looks strong again, opening up a hole for Gaskins. Turnley is the OC now, and Gaskins goes over the middle to the 4 yard line. Carrington is all over the place. He engages Sanders, backs off, goes clear around to the other side of the D-Line but the RT (Sam Young, I think) picks him up. Young was the best RT tonight, and Sanders-Legursky is a tie but may depend on the situation, as Legursky seems to be the better pass blocker and Sanders the mauling run blocker.
Duke Williams had a PI called on him against Hogan. Duke could have used the sideline more as his friend. On goal to go, Gaskins was stopped on the goal line, but EJ faked to Gaskins on the next play and sashayed right in for the TD. Hopkins made the PAT, missing the video guy by 2'.
Tuel's in with Snow, Legursky, Keith Williams, and Young (I'm missing somebody there). Gaskins catches a Tuel pass for 20 (he's the leader in all-purpose yards), and runs up the middle for a TD, Hopkins clears the video guy's head by 10'.
EJ shows his athleticism o nthe next series, buying time with his feet and hitting Provo for 15 down to the 10 yard line. Drew Smith, RB in the slot position, gets his TD for Albany. uh...Buffalo.
Tuel looked worse on the next series, holding the ball Trent-style on one play, throwing to Hogan out of bounds on another, and having Brad Smith drop yet another one. Smith is not a sure thing for this roster. Hopkins bangs in a 51-yard FG, and they begin goal line work.
Defense ruled the goal line stand, stuffing Tuel's O 4x and EJ's 3 out of 4 times, allowing one TD.
No practice tomorrow, so I'll be back for Wed's morning practice! -Astro
Edited by Astrobot, 05 August 2013 - 08:37 PM.