You'll all be happy to know that both Brishen Matthews and Sam Noblin can throw a spiral left handed, though Damien Jackson does not possess this ability. Luckily for all of us, all three of these players are right handed and, more importantly, not quarterbacks.
Coach Dameron was unhappy with the technique used by the safeties during their tackling drills, so he decided to employ an exercise that I'm sure is used by coaches all across the country. Still, this drill has to be the best/most comical drill ever created by a football coach. All the safeties lined up side by side on their hands and knees while Dameron worked his way down the line. One by one, the safeties "exploded" from their knees into a flying squirrel position in the air before landing abruptly on their belly around 3 yards upfield. Appropriately, the purpose of said activity: teaching them to properly "roll their hips".
The rest after the jump:I showed up to today's practice about 20 minutes early and I think I was one of the first 3 or 4 fans to arrive. To my surprise, only one player was out on the field, Lionel Breaux. He was busy practicing over the shoulder catches. It was another 5 to 10 minutes before the next player came outside.
The newly admitted Rebels were not on the roster today and I didn't notice any of them on the sidelines. I'm guessing they were inside getting "acclimated" to Rebel football.
Today was the first day I've seen Vincent Sanders with pads on. He's still super skinny, but I don't think he's too thin to help us out this year. He's working from third team right now, but in passing drills he make a killer catch on a fade in the back of the end zone. He's plenty fast and smooth in his route running. I could see him starting as our number 4 or 5 option in September and then finish the year as our 2nd or 3rd option.
Enrique Davis' hands scare me...even when he catches it. He his hands look as though they're 2 blocks of ice slamming together every time he catches a ball. I know that's a weird analogy, but it's as close as I can come. Jeff Scott also has questionable hands, but he just needs a little repetition. I don't think it's something that will stick with him.
Mike Marry dressed out and practiced, but he hobbled out onto the field and looked as though he was in pain. Good to know he's a tough one, though. Cliff Coleman didn't look to be so fortunate as he wasn't dressed and he had a boot on his right foot.
After stretching, the team worked on Punting and Kicking Off.
The first punt was another booming punt off the foot of Tyler Campbell...it was so big that Jesse Grandy had to backtrack a good 15 yards. By the time he looked up, the ball was bouncing off of his facemask and into the wrong endzone. The only other returner today was Markeith Summers. I'm pretty sure it's because we only trust those two. Our longsnapper, Mr. Will Denny, has a bit of a gut. In fact, if I saw the guy on the street, I'd predict his only athletic talent comes around the beer pong table.
Speaking of snapping the ball, Evan Swindoll needs work....lots of it. In his first series during the scrimmage, I remember problems with 4 or 5 snaps.
Kickoff drill saw 3 kicks sail 6 yards, 1 yard, and 7 yards into the end zone. Good sign....very good sign.
Here's today's Bigfoot update. Terrell Brown is getting a ton of attention from Mike Markuson. I think it's indicative that the coaching staff thinks he can help. He's already on the right side of the line when practicing field goals(no, not blocking them.....kicking them). I watched him during a 2 v 1 drill under the "trampoline" like apparatus meant to emphasize getting low for leverage. Obviously this is a Chinese death trap for Terrell, but he managed rather well. Actually, he didn't hit the apparatus even after making contact with the opposite lineman. Many of the other linement didn't fare so well.
I can promise you that we don't have a Kendrick Lewis Interception machine in this year's safety group. It's just not their specialty. After about 10 minutes of catching drills, Dameron became frustrated with the group: "Let's go....we can't catch, but God-Dangit we gone tackle!." Five minutes into the tackling drill, "You look like me doin' it...yall bout to piss me off!". Finally, after holding the full body pad and asking Damien Jackson to demostrate the tackle, Dameron shouted "That as hard as you can hit me?" Jackson shook his head no, to which Dameron replied "You had your chance...you had your chance!"
Realizing his job may depend on the receivers' improvement this year, Ron Dickerson was on the field playing cornerback against his players. If I'm Dickerson, I'm worried about my job right now. Too inconsistent. At the end of this show, a jump ball was thrown to Melvin Harris, who fought off a valient challenge from Dickerson to come down with the Touchdown. Really nice play.
In both the drills and the Skeletons, I thought the cornerbacks fought really hard. There were beaten a few times, but a lot of them made nice plays. On the other hand, Julian Whitehead dropped three GIMME interceptions for no good reason before intercepting Stanley on a broken play during the scrimmage. Among the better performers were Charles Sawyer and Frank Crawford. Crawford looks especially physical and athletic to me. Ja-Mes was one of the few receivers to make nice play against press coverage during the drills. It's rare right now for our receivers to fight through the pressing that the D-backs are throwing their way.
Right before the scrimmage, Mike Markuson sprinted down the field with all the defensive and offensive linemen following. As Markuson screamed for them to hurry up, guess who raced down the field five yards ahead of everyone else....Terrell Brown...I'm not joking.
It's obvious to me that the quarterbacks all love to throw to Melvin Harris. Who wouldn't like a six foot seven inch target? Masoli is the only one that seems to constantly look for the tight end.
The order of Running back use in the scrimmage: 1-Bolden 2-Rodney Scott 3-E. Davis 4- J. Scott 5-Devin Thomas 6-Herman
Number of Quarterback Reps in Scrimmage(might be off by 1 or 2): Stanley-13 Masoli-12 Mackey-9
Scrimmage Stars: Devin Thomas had the most impressive run of the day when he ran outside to the right, cut back, put on a spin move, and darted through 3 defenders for what would have been around a 30 yard gain.
Masoli-Masoli completed a bomb to Jesse Grandy for about a 70 yard touchdown(the ball was slightly underthrown, but it got there). On top of this, we ran a read option with Masoli. Wanna guess what happened? Yeah, he ran for 40 yards before the play was blown dead.
Mackey-He hit Grandy on a play action rollout for what would have been another 70 yard touchdown. None of his throws were dangerous unlike Stanley.
Wayne Dorsey-I counted two sacks but he always seems to disrupt the offensive line.
Bobbie Massey and Rishaw Johnson-looks like we're able to run the ball a little bit behind the right side of the line.
Ralph Williams-the freshman linebacker flies around and at one point ended up making an impressive tackle for a two yard loss on a running back.