Pigskin's Gridiron's Debut: That's right, for those days where we just want to talk football, this Saturday morning . . . check that, this historic Saturday morning, I'm debuting the Red Raider Pigskin. Yes, it's a cheap and uninvented title, but I'm not very original or inventive. [Note by Seth C, 03/27/10 10:36 AM CDT ] Red Raider Pigskin has been quickly retired in favor of Red Raider Gridiron. This is what happens when my wife sleeps late and I have time to mess around with Paint.net.
Scrimmage Today: That's right, there's a scrimmage today, despite the wind. The official site says that for those of you who will attend, enter through gate 1 and it starts at 1:30 p.m.
Linebacker Spotlight: LAJ's Don Williams writes that although the linebackers may have the most pressure, they should also have the most fun. Here's head coach Tommy Tuberville:
"They’ll have a lot of fun,’’ Tuberville said Friday, "because they get to do a lot of things. … They get to play full speed. They get to blitz. They get to come from the inside, from the outside. They’ll have opportunities where they’ll cover receivers.
"It’s a wide-ranging defense. We won’t run the same thing two times in a row. We’ll be a lot like we’ll be on offense. We’ll be very diverse and give our guys an opportunity to use their speed.’’
LB Sam Fehoko says that the the defensive linemen and linebackers love this defense:
"It’s a blast,’’ Fehoko said, noting the twists, stunts and blitzes installed this week. "The d-linemen love it. If a linebacker is coming in that offensive lineman’s face, there’s nothing the offensive lineman can do but let the d-lineman go. So the d-linemen love it. The linebackers love it. The front seven has taken to this whole defense.’’
And LB Bront Bird thinks that the defense will be unpredictable:
"As a linebacker, you line up and do it all,’’ Bront Bird said of the new defense. "Sometimes you feel like a defensive end. Sometimes you’re coming through the A gap (between center and guard). You’re dropping (in coverage). There’s all kinds of crazy stuff we’re doing.’’
Notes, Notes and More Notes: LAJ's Don Williams writes that the scrimmage will be a test for the defense and Tuberville had this to say about the unit:
"You hope your defense wins early, because if you don’t then you’ve got problems,’’ he said. "Tomorrow, we’ll find out a lot about the defense. I challenged them today: If we don’t play well defensively (in the scrimmage), that means the offense is way ahead, and that’s usually not very good when you’re in spring practice.’’
. . . OL Mickey Okafor has asked to move back to tackle, which means he'll be battling sophomore LaAdrian Waddle for the right tackle spot and Deveric Gallington will probably be your right guard. Okafor had this to say about why he wanted to make the move about about Gallington:
"Being in there with shorter, fatter (defensive linemen) wasn’t the best thing,’’ he said. "I’m not much of a run blocker at guard. I’m more of a lengthy guy, so it’s a little easier out on the edge.’’
"Actually, Deveric’s a good guard,’’ Okafor said. "He’s short, strong, has a low center of gravity. Dude can run block. He’s almost a perfect fit for guard.’’
I would agree with Okafor on both accounts, I too think he's better suited to play tackle, but the problem here is that there's really no one to play the guard position, other than Chris Olson, should Gallington be injured. The offensive line is going to be something to watch this year . . . Tuberville also said that he's very impressed with his running backs: Baron Batch, Eric Stephens, Harrison Jeffers and Aaron Crawford:
"We’re also going to play two running backs in a game at a time,’’ Tuberville said, "sometimes three — they won’t be lined up at running back. They’ll be lined up at wide receiver, some will.’’
New offensive coordinator Neal Brown had a formation last year at Troy University in which a running back lined up in a four-man pod with three receivers.
"They play fast,’’ Tuberville said. "They’ve got good flexibility. The thing about running backs at this level, you have to be physical and you have to be able to take a pounding. I’m looking for one running back in each game to probably get 15 to 18 carries.’’
Tuberville mentions again the fact that the running backs will be lined up in the "pod" formation. I said it when I wrote my preview on the running backs, but I do believe that your most explosive playmakers on this team are at running back . . . LB Brian Duncan's grandmother passed away this week, think a good thought for Duncan and his family . . .
Practice Video: Fox34 with some video from yesterday's practice: