Spring Practice: The Lines

Man... I hate this. I watch practice and start to think we're really good. I'm so hopeful for this season. Of course, we'll end up winning 5 games or some crap like that. However, this post is going to seem a whole lot like a Spirit post. The lines are just good.

Offense:
Michael Oher:
Positives: Everything
Negatives: Nothing
RSC Analysis: Oher will be beastly. In practice, the ends have real trouble with him. Yesterday, Greg Hardy got so frustrated that he moved inside right before the play started to try to get away from Oher. He ended up running all the way around the line, essentially taking himself out of the play. Oher will dominate opposing defensive ends.

John Jerry:
Hasn't played enough to know (due to illness)

Maurice Miller:
Positives: Strength, Bulk
Negatives: Footwork
RSC Analysis: Miller is very powerful. The concern I have is with his pass blocking. It seems that he overcommits when dropping back into stance. Defensive ends can fake him with a juke move.
This could be part of the reason he is being moved to guard.

Daverin Geralds:
Positives: Bulk, Snap (Center)
Negatives: Inexperience
RSC Analysis: Geralds is a little overweight (even for an O-lineman) but nothing to be worried about. Geralds looks to start at center. Early on, he had trouble connecting on snaps, but that is much improved.

Reid Neely:
Positives: Bulk
Negatives: Doesn't use weight well, gets pushed off the line too often
RSC Analysis: Neely has never impressed me as much as he has our coaches. However, with this staff, I can say for certain that they know more about football than I do. Also, like most untrained eyes, I still have some difficulty analyzing offensive linemen. Because of this, I'll go with what they think.

Rishaw Johnson:
Positives: Strength (one of the strongest linemen and only a freshman), Bulk
Negatives: Too much fat, misses assignments every now and then
RSC Analysis: Johnson is going to be a very good guard, just not right now. With more work from the coaches, his problems should be erased. He has prototypical physical tools.

Mark Jean-Louis:
Never paid attention to him.

Bradley Sowell:
Positives: Footwork
Negatives: Too thin, Not incredibly strong
RSC Analysis: Sowell has the height necessary for LT. Unfortunately, he lost too much weight his senior year in high school. He needs to gain some of that back in order to keep defensive ends away from the quarterback.

Brandon Green:
Never paid attention to him.

Alex Washington:
Positives: Size
Negatives: Footwork
RSC Analysis: Squares up well with dlinemen at first but overcommits like Miller.

I'm sure there are players I'm missing, but that's it on the O-line for right now.

Defense:
Ends:
Greg Hardy:
Positives: Speed, Aggression
Negatives: Takes plays off
RSC Analysis: If Greg can consistently play to his ability, he can dominate (as evidenced by the Alabama game against All-Everything Andre Smith). Unfortunately, he doesn't do that.

Marcus Tillman:
Positives: Size, Strength
Negatives: Speed
RSC Analysis: Tillman is just not fast enough to consistently pressure the quarterback. One thing that Tillman brings to the table is that when he's in the game opposite and end like Kentrell Lockett, we can go with a 3-4 look (which we did yesterday in practice). That's two big ends (Tillman and Peria Jerry) lined up on either side of Ted Laurent. Lockett moves back and plays OLB. It's a fun set to see us throw in ever now and then.

Kentrell Lockett:
Positives: Speed, Finesse
Negatives: Size, Strength
RSC Analysis: He needs to be in the game on 3rd and long. Does well enough to fill in on other downs, but is primarily a pass-rusher.

Emmanuel Stephens:
Positives: Speed, Size, Strength
Negatives: Inexperience
RSC Analysis: Finally, a 4-star juco who lives up to his billing. Stephens really has shown a lot of power and speed in practices. He has complete tools at the position. He just needs experience against effective offensive linemen.

Chris Strong:
Positives: Size, Speed, Strength
Negatives: Agility, Inexperience
RSC Analysis: Strong may become a good DE or DT, but he's just too slow (in terms of quickness, not top speed).

LaMarck Armour:
Didn't pay attention to him.

Tackles:
Peria Jerry:
Positives: Everything
Negatives: Nothing
RSC Analysis: They only make Peria practice for a little while each practice because they can see just how dominant he is on every play when he's in. After a few snaps, they need to get experience for the younger players.

Ted Laurent:
Positives: Size, Strength
Negatives: Speed, Inexperience
RSC Analysis: Laurent has been a pleasant surprise this spring, stepping into the starting role seemingly with ease. I expected Lawonn Scott to get the nod. Laurent uses his size well enough to clog running lanes. I hope we pull him out in obvious passing downs and move Tillman over to DT (similar to the way the NYG used their three ends at the end of the season.)

Lawonn Scott:
Positives: Size, Strength
Negatives: Speed, Inexperience
RSC Analysis: He looks very much like Laurent, and I often confuse them because they are so similar. The only difference I notice is that Laurent throws his body toward the ball carrier with more aggression than Scott.

Justin Sanders:
Positives: Size
Negatives: Speed, Agility, Inexperience
RSC Analysis: Sanders is definitely a work in progress...

LaDerrick Vaughn:
If he was really moved to DT, I can promise I haven't seen him there.

So that's it for the lines. We seem to be set on both sides of the ball.

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