I went to the practice today and I don't have to be back at the hospital til Monday, so i thought why not type out what I saw. So, here you go.
First things first, I’m not a college coach. Secondly, I’m not even a pee-wee football coach; so take my opinion for what it is, just my opinion. Also, this was the first practice of the fall. There are a lot of practices to go and this was just a quick glimpse, if you will, at what we have for the upcoming season.
Where to start? I like metaphors, so here it goes. My wife buys plain greek yogurt. No, not vanilla, plain yogurt. There is no taste whatsoever and tells me that the vanilla is too sweet. That is what our offense has been for the past three years, it was so boring and plain, it wasn’t even vanilla. Coach Kingsbury has installed his vanilla version of this offense (and I know there is a lot more to come) and it is so much more exciting already than the last three years I just want to smile and cheer, So I did.
Also, our defense is not going to suck. They might not come away the best in the big-12 (in fact, I’m pretty certain they won’t be), but I would bet they will be in the top half.
WRs: I like watching the WRs when nobody is covering them and to see how they “catch” the ball. Some are perfectly happy to just let the ball drop into their hands and they tuck it and run. The truly standout receivers are the ones who attack the ball and “grab” it out of the air, even when nobody is covering them. Marquez, Ward, and Amaro are those type of receivers. Dylan Cantrell is going to be one of those special receivers, too. I don’t know if he will break into the 2-deep, his route running is still pretty raw, but it won’t be for lack of trying. Corker was his same self, flashes of great, flashes of good, flashes of mediocre. Derreck Edwards was the same, too. Jakeem has better hands than he did last year and will be a pleasure to watch, and Sadale lined up a lot in the slot. This is a great group, even the second string is better all-around than others’ first string. We’ll see some more Jordan Davis this year, and Peyton Williams was pretty good too. Wheeler looked much more comfortable than he did last year or in the spring as well. Should be fun. #ATMO
RBs: I had forgotten just how fluid Deandre Washington looks when carrying the ball. He has not lost a step since his surgery, and looks to be even better than the beginning of his freshman year. Kenny Williams looked good, too. Quinton White, I don’t know what to say about the 5’9” 200 lb tree-trunks for legs freight train that moves like lightening. All I know is I feel REALLY sorry for the DB who gets stuck covering him one-on-one on the edge coming out of the flat. He’ll eat him alive. The problem with this group is going to be that every yard they get, they will have earned (see Offensive Line play). Picking up blitzes will determine who starts, they all have skills.
QBs: Brewer is not as far in front of Webb as some people may think. I would really call it more of a 60/40 than a 70/30 type thing. They both made some very nice throws and both made some head scratchers. Brewer is still in the lead, no doubt, but it’s a little closer than I had thought after the spring. Webb has so much upside and potential, we’ll see how the fall plays out.
OL: This is by far the weakest position on the field. Now to be fair, that is completely expected. They’re still a mix and match unit and these things take time. Tony Morales pretty much has that center spot down from what I could tell. Outlaw and Clark are prob the best tackles. Guards are . . .well, let’s give it some time to pan out. I wouldn’t hit the panic button, still plenty of time, but it is the group that will require the most work.
DL: Hyder, Bush, Richards, Jackson, Wesley, Phillips...I like them all, and I think they will be able to handle their own. Lots of athleticism there, everyone seemed to be comfortable and everyone seemed to make at least one big play. Anthony Smith is a big boy, possibly too big. He did well, but I don’t know what we’re gonna see from him in the fourth quarter of games, even at the end of practice he was just throwing his body around and wasn’t even using his hands on a couple of snaps. But, these guys should be fine, if not really good. Alston had some moments, too. We’ll see some improvement from these guys this year (I’m trying to temper my excitement down a bit, because the OL was having problems; no question they outmatched them today)
LBs: I’d expect to see Smith and Awe in the middle with a not-too-distant second string of Dees and Equavoen. Nobody made spectacular plays, but there were very few holes for the RBs today and I will take that hands down over what we’ve seen for the last ‘insert number here’ years. I don’t want to see Bullitt and Robertson leave the field. They are that good. Pete has grown up mentally and physically and he will make some terrific plays this season. He was all over the place. The drop off between first and second team here is noticeable. Give Ross and Scalzi some more time, I have a feeling they will be very adequate back-ups for Bandit, but I don’t really know which guy will step up more for the Raider spot. If I get a vote (which I don’t) this position will leave for the nickel package, but I have no idea how all that will pan out, just a gut feeling.
Secondary: As we all know Bruce Jones has his spot nicely tucked away and if he were two more inches taller he’d make first team all big12. He was all over his guys and doing everything he could to make sure they didn’t come down with the ball. A nice surprise was Falemi. He made some really nice plays and he will be the starter for that other spot. Newbold looked pretty good behind him and in my opinion, that nickel back slot will be between him and Dee Paul. Give Paul some reps...he’s good. I can’t really say anything about Porter and Gaines other than there were no big gaps in coverage and they both came down hill pretty quick to help with run support. Keenon Ward still looked a little confused at times and Martin Hill played back-up pretty well.
Undoubtedly, I missed some things and this was just my opinion on how things shook out today. But hopefully someone found it helpful. I'm so ready for the season.