Nice rundown on Wednesday's open practice here already by Scipio.
And now that I've pointed out to him who all the players are and what positions they play, tomorrow's recap should only get better. He tends to focus on the defense whereas I watched the guys who actually make plays, score points, etc. After a few minutes of this divide and conquer strategy, we both ended up just watching the defense.
If you're keeping tabs at home, it's Muschamp: 1 Greg Davis: 0 so far in Fall camp.
Get used to that.
This recap is more Big Chief Tablet style than the concise dictation-to-young-Asian-intern method Scipio prefers but we realize you have already read 14 practice reports and expectations are accordingly low for finding any new golden nuggets.
It was New Orleans bath house humid but the energy level remained high throughout practice.
The offensive line clearly struggled against the 10 future NFL guys on the defense. Sorry, Gideon.
270 lb RT Luke Poehlmann actually looked better backing up starter Britt Mitchell, but that's not saying much. Everyone on the OL except Snow and Walters got chocolate enemas from the DL.
Jeffcoat, Acho, and Okafor abused whatever tackle/guard combo lined up in front of them when on the edge and Randall controlled the LOS inside. Hix is still too slow laterally against the speed rush and Jeffcoat can certainly bring it off the edge. Trey Hopkins logged a lot of snaps at OT last night, an acknowledgment from the staff perhaps that we have a problem there? Not only do we lack depth, Hix is never going to be confused with Justin Blalock. Gilbert better watch his blind side. Or maybe his mom can adopt a walk on from East Austin, change his name to LeMichael O'Hair, and call it a day at OT.
Barrett Matthews and Curtis Brown were held out with minor tweaks. I'm all for Curtis Brown getting pampered by a coterie of Swedish aestheticians for the entire month of August until the season starts. I did this prior to the 2005 season and you know how that year turned out. Besides, we know what he brings to the table.
Hopefully Matthews plays tonight as he is the key to making what ChrisApplewhite calls the H-back-in-motion-flex-thing work. The slimmed down 2010 model of blue collar muscle car Greg Smith is serviceable for now and works hard. Give him a T Ring and a gold volleyball but Matthews is the more dynamic option. Dominique Jones caught a few tough balls, including a tight pass from Case McCoy under blanket coverage. Nice sleeper candidate.
Adrian Phillips (future safety) and AJ White (CB) are both great looking prospects in the secondary. Definitely ahead of the freshman curve that Eryon Barnett is stuck behind, partly due to his injury last year. Carrington Byndom is intriguing as well but needs to gain some weight. Best name in the secondary, and good names are what ultimately determine the winner in the AND-OR depth chart wars. Let's hope Greg Daniels can overcome his built in disadvantage over the more wickedly named Kyle Kriegel, whose parents wake up to
Slayer's Iron Maiden's Aces High every morning. On vinyl. How do you keep this kid out of the lineup?!
Kenny Vaccarro and Christian Scott both impressed and need to be on the field together against teams that can run the ball. //checks schedule ... OU? Nebraska?// The difference with Vaccarro and Gideon is a forced fumble from a violent collision at the LOS brought by the former, or watching the latter being dragged down the field after a six yard gain. Notice who knocks some heads around tonight and who doesn't.
Yes, I value Blake's fortunate positioning when hauling in INTs off tipped balls and underthrown passes. He's a Thorpe Award candidate because he plays in a secondary of bad asses, not because he's one himself. We have better options in run support and he's often slow to slide over with safety help -- see Malcolm Williams' TD down the sideline against tight coverage from AJ White. Great throw from Gilbert but no safety help. We have a championship caliber defense whether Gideon is on the field or not, but if I'm looking to pick nits, it's with #21.
In case you haven't heard already, Keenan Robinson blows up this year. He's a Muschamp-bred pitbull with size, speed, brains, and the right blend of foreign stocks and domestic muni bonds in his investment portfolio. Total package, imo. He and Acho can really cover some ground and will light your ass up when they get there. Michael Huey is still doing backward somersaults from E. Acho's stoning of our struggling right guard early in 11-on-11 last night. It was comical and sad all at once. Zero sum game.
If there were any youtube compilations available on our linebacking play from 2000 - 2003, I would link it here for a humorous comparison to what Muschamp has thrown together in a few short years. Add a surprisingly healthy Jared Norton in the mix and I feel better about the potential soft spot at 2nd DT in the run game.
Ashton Dorsey looks promising once he gets in shape and hopefully Calvin Howell is mentally ready to go when live bullets start flying. He certainly looks the part. We have lots of bodies at DT, but unlike DE -- where we have 8 guys ready and willing to behead the opposing QB -- we're still uncertain who gets in the rotation at tackle. Right now that guy is a 270 Lb freak DE named Sam Acho.
In Muschamp We Trust.
DT is the toughest position to learn and we need to get lucky here with one of the young pups. Don't count out Bible just because he showed up fat. Big Boy can be a great anchor DT and he'll drop weight over the next few weeks. With the constant personnel shuffling on the whole DL, we only need a few snaps from Bible and Dorsey at a time. At the very least, our super badass DT succession plan is getting a head start.
Mike Davis, #1, wide receiver, listens to Lil Boosie and prays before gametime, silky smoove. Davis had a few nice battles with Aaron Williams and those should only get better once Gilbert gets more confidence in his young receivers to throw into tight coverage against a future top 10 draft pick. (Aaron Williams is Champ Bailey in burnt orange.) What caught my eye was how quick he gets up to speed out of his cuts.
Since all we have to go on is kids running around in shorts and shells, lets continue with the presumptive player comparisons and just assume they are fact. Darius White looked like Roy Williams on his first day of camp at the Intramural Fields in '99. Big feet and hands, long arms,lazy gait, and freaky all around athlete. Not sure yet if he wears green Longhorn hats or watches cartoons while wearing big fuzzy slippers like the original #4. He blazed around the backfield on a reverse and beat his blockers upfield for a nice gain. Massive upside, still raw.
DeSean Hales is a mini DeSean Jackson that hasn't done anything yet but when he makes a few SportsCenter highlights this fall, you'll remember this moment and write a big six figure check to us. Because that's what you do. Hales hauled in a nice grab on a toss up ball by Gilbert that had DeSean twisted around.
The next two plays, Chiles and Malcolm Williams had balls bounce off their facemask and hands, respectively. But Chiles looks great, he feels great, and goddamnit, people are starting to like him. I'm pulling for #5 this year. And for Malcolm, it's all about focus. Tough thing to teach.
Watching coach Tolly, Muschamp, and Giles coach their guys from 15 feet away was the highlight of practice. There is a genuine sense of accountability in all aspects of the defense, from the way they are coached to the way the kids execute that instruction, that seems to be missing from the offense.
(This is where one of our many highly entertaining posters tells me how Greg Davis will some day be in the College Football Hall of Fame and what echeese will say during the induction speech.)
Live bullets tonight. Full pads, waxing moon, 148% humidity, and I'm a firm believer that Will Muschamp is a fan of the excellent HBO Series, True Blood. This defense is going to be fast, violent, and bloody.
Expect carnage in the backfield...
Here's a nice slide show of the entire practice. Thanks Donald, whoever you are. Free totebag on the way.