Tommy Tuberville: Two good practices. starting to look like a football team, everyone is learning the offense and defense. Starting to put in plays in special teams and have guys that want to play special teams. Pushed hard in technique in the morning and more physical this evening. Troy Vincent is the guest speaker in the morning, going to go hard in the heat of the day today. Want to get some more defensive backs from injury. After looking at the tape, QB Steven Sheffield didn't have a good day, but that happens and this is why you go through the whole process. QB Taylor Potts had a better day on Saturday, but Sheffield needs to stay under control and was too keyed up. C Justin Keown has had a good camp, didn't like the 31 sacks last year. Thinks they will get better. Vincent will talk about agents and thinks he can relate to players.
Sam Fehoko: The morning practice, the defense got their licks in, the offense got their licks in the afternoon practice. Need to work on blitzes and timing. Asked about depth, the backups need to continue to learn and the veterans will help with that process. Of the freshman Cqulin Hubert has been good, laid someone out today. Fehoko is good coming off the edge, and it is natural.
Jacoby Franks: Scrimmage was good. Thinks he's a team player this year, was very selfish, wants to make plays for the team. Thinks this is a great receiving corps, best in the country. Thinks the receivers are deep at every position. Eric Ward is pretty good. His teammates call him "Pretty Boy", it's silly.
There's a handful of interesting things here. Tuberville confirmed that Sheffield rushed things a bit, but he did make it clear that this is the reason why a team and head coach goes through the process of evaluating two scrimmages before naming a starter. Sounds as if Sheffield got too excited for the scrimmage and that may have caused his poor performance. Regarding Fehoko, it was interesting to hear him say that the defense is predicated on timing and that the team is still working on timing and blitzes. As to Franks, nice to hear him admit that his big problem was that he was selfish in previous year and that his biggest adjustment wasn't on the physical end, but being a better team player. Love that.
Notes, Notes and More Notes: LAJ's Don Williams writes about Tuberville's comments on Sheffield:
"Sheffield pretty much said what everybody saw out here as players and coaches: He didn’t have a very good day and Taylor did. That happens," Tuberville said after Monday’s two-a-day workouts. "That’s the reason we’re going to go through both scrimmages, to give a true insight of who the best guy is.
"As I told them, it wasn’t about completing passes. It was about running the offense and having poise, and there was no doubt that Taylor had a better day."
. . . Williams also runs down the injuries at defensive back:
The preponderance [sic] of Tech’s training camp injuries have come at defensive back. CB LaRon Moore has been out from the start recovering from the broken leg he suffered in the spring game. Starting CBs Jarvis Phillips and Will Ford, backup S Jared Flannel, freshman CB Tre Porter and freshman S Russell Polk have all been limited to some degree by injuries, none that appear to be serious. "We need to get a few more defensive backs back, so we can get a little more continuity," Tuberville said. "Other than that, (Monday) has been a great day.
"I think everything is working out," Duncan said. "I’ve still got a lot of things, a lot of different moves, that I have to master and get down pat. But the big thing is helping out this defense. The rush is beautiful, and I’m kind of fitting in with it, so I’m doing pretty well."
I was listening to Dallas Cowboys OLB Anthony Spencer yesterday afternoon as I was on the road quite a bit yesterday. In any event, Spencer said that his biggest job is to turn the offensive lineman inside in order to keep some semblance of containment within the line, but if he ever makes an inside move, he knows that he had better make the play, otherwise, it could be a bit play. In Williams article, Duncan focuses on how he must use his hands quite a bit more, and during the offseason, strength and conditioning coach Joe Walker gave him some specific exercises and OLB/DE coach Robert Prunty gave him some DVD assistance (I'm assuming this was at the point of the offseason that Prunty couldn't directly coach his players). Reading Duncan in this article makes me think that Duncan definitely gets it and I've said before that of the players to have to switch positions, I think that Duncan and Bird can handle the different responsibilities. If anything gets you excited about the season and this defense is this at the end of the article:
"What it’s going to do is help out this defense a lot," Duncan said. "Different (opponents) are never going to know where we’re coming from — from standing up, me getting down, Sam on the other side. Just amazing stuff’s going on with this defense. We’re going to dominate with this defense."
O-Line Settling In: FSSW's Travis Cram has some of the other stuff above, but also has quite a bit about how the offensive line is starting to settle:
"I thought our offensive line performed well," Brown said following Tech’s first scrimmage on Saturday. "They’re getting better. We’re piecing it together. We need to find some cohesion up there. Justin Keown has really separated himself at center. We moved Chris Olson out to right tackle … Maybe he can solidify that spot."
Right now, here is how the starting offensive line could play out: (RT) Chris Olson, (RG) Deveric Gallington, (C) Justin Keown, (LG) Lonnie Edwards, and (LT) LaAdrian Waddle.
You can also toss in junior Mickey Okafor and freshman Beau Carpenter into that mix — both who could see significant time this season.
I'm starting to think that this is going to be your starting unit against SMU.
Turfburner Preview: I found a new website a while back and Jay Beck of Turfburner previews and predicts the season for your Red Raiders. He's a fellow blogger and his site covers Big 12 football.