Life isn’t fair. Vince Young plays for the Eagles and I’m not allowed to tell you about the plays the Texas Longhorns are installing for Oklahoma. But I do get to wake up and talk to great people like the Asset and the Big Cigars every day, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
First, we’ll start off with the QB conundrum since that’s how we do it here. We were told that David Ash had a solid day throwing the football from the short to intermediate range as usual. He struggled on some deep balls but the fact he garnered some attempts shouldn’t go unnoticed. The staff is opening up the playbook and Ash has been a sponge thus far. He dropped some balls in the bucket just as he did yesterday.
Garret Gilbert had a really good day, especially in the deep ball department. The kid has a terrific arm and put it on display today. The problem is that he struggles in the intermediate and short game and today wasn’t an exception. The Asset posits that it has to be in between GG’s ears because he has the talent to make all the throws. He’s even getting rid of the ball quicker at Bryan Harsin’s behest, but putting air under the ball is not GG’s strong suit.
We couldn’t report it yesterday, but after the specific practice reports that came out today, the Asset gave us clearance. Gilbert had a horrible pick to a walk-on in scrimmage work on Wednesday when he had Blaine Irby running wide open. Had he put a little air under the ball he would have had a Mack Brown explosive. Instead, some kid from Eagle Pass had a gift wrapped pick.
McCoy continued to look erratic based on arm strength. As we reported, he’s probably the best at checking to the correct play, but he doesn’t have the requisite talent to execute.
Wood, had a solid day, but he’s probably going to transfer as we reported back in June.
If you were handicapping the short, intermediate, and long game, the Asset claims you should proceed as follows:
Short: The pecking order is Ash, McCoy and then Gilbert.
Intermediate: Again, it’s Ash, followed by McCoy/Gilbert in a tie. Gilbert can’t seem to mentally execute the throw and McCoy doesn’t have the arm strength.
Deep ball: It’s Gilbert, closely followed by Ash, with a significant drop-off to Wood. McCoy can’t get it out there without putting too much air under it.
As for snap distribution with the first team, despite what other sites are reporting, the allocation goes - Ash 50%, McCoy 30%, GG 20%. As we reported back in June, Ash will get, at the very least, a package of plays starting with Rice. If he blows up in tomorrow's scrimmage, it could be a harbinger of future starts. Either way, we’ll have a full report.
In the running game, Bergeron and Fozzy got most of the work, but the Asset tells us that Malcolm Brown will be the bell cow. The Asset's been telling us that since Tuesday, if you’ve been paying attention. Brown is special and will have double digit carries against Rice. Bank on it.
We were also told that the wildcat formation another site reported about with Fozzy Whitaker taking the direct snap isn’t the full story. While Fozzy has been involved, there’s another player that is lining up at QB and running Urban Meyer-esque offense replete with a third option after the zone read look. We can’t tell you who, but we appreciate other sites jumping into the fray because it gives us more cover for our source. The wildcat we reference will likely be used against OU, and since we’re fans, we won’t go there. Let’s just say you’ll be happy with the personnel involved in this pseudo triple option.
We were also told that the full blown Boise State trick-play portfolio is in vogue with this team. We won’t give specifics, but just know that the squad has been working on this package in practice and it’s resulted in long touchdowns--like today in fact.
A contradiction to another site’s sources is on Mal Brown's play. We were told that the young man didn’t fumble so perhaps there is some confusion.
Yet another contradiction is that Tray Allen bounced around when in fact he stayed at left tackle and Trey Hopkins was predominantly at RT. We were told that Tray Allen had to get out of drill work when nature called and Hopkins filled in, in a pinch (pardon the pun). But the fact remains that Hopkins is staying at right tackle and the staff feels comfortable with Allen as their first team LT thus far.
Our source also said he didn’t see Walters at RT today--just RG.
Defensively, Okafor is still a beast coming off the left edge. The battles he had with Hopkins are legion and he’s winning most of them in pass pro. Manny Diaz is building his defense around Okafor’s abilities and the stunt/E-T loop games he runs with Randall are devastating as we reported yesterday.
Speaking of Randall, he again got some push in today’s scrimmage work. He’s a first day NFL draft pick. Calvin Howell is coming on as a complementary tackle in Diaz’s attacking style, especially against the run. Howell holds the point, allowing Randall to attack. Desmond Jackson is your third tackle in passing situations and Taylor Bible has coaches intrigued to the extent his motor cooperates. Bible had a really good day yesterday and today. In drill work that is designed to improve the DL’s ability to take on double teams, Bible shined. The problem is that he still takes plays off when the spotlight isn’t on him.
Jackson NEVER take plays off and gives max effort on every play. He’s still most effective in obvious passing downs because there isn’t a guard on the roster that can handle him one on one in pass pro.
Ashton Dorsey is a viable option at DT when healthy, but he was dinged today.
Jackson Jeffcoat looks good in pass rush or pursuit, but he struggles when the play comes right him. That’s a testament to how well Allen’s playing as a drive blocker in the run game.
At linebacker, Acho, Hicks, and Robinson continue to play at a high level. Demarco Cobbs is the story of fall camp at linebacker because he has elevated his game to the point where he’s considered a co-starter. The kid runs like a deer and brings the wood.
The defensive back depth chart may provide the biggest beta on the defense. When Adrian Phillips and Kenny Vaccaro are on the field together, the defense is much more formidable in their zone look. In fact, if the Asset had his druthers he prefers Gideon and Vaccaro at safety, with Diggs, Byndom, and Phillips as the three corners in nickel.
Overall, the Asset thinks the kids are tired and restless for game time against an opponent that doesn’t wear orange and white. They’re ready to hit the enemy and today’s lethargic practice is proof positive.
Also, please stop by the Recruitocosm’s Q&A tomorrow where we’ll try expound on what’s going on with respect to these practice reports.