Went to practice today. Here's what I thought....
First off, it was physical. The offense and defense went toe-to-toe and that was the main thing that stood out to me. People were getting hit, the defense was coming up and playing the run and pass aggressively.
"That's what I believe in," DeWayne Walker said. "We gotta be tough and play well in all phases of the game. That's how we'll play."
Alright then. The team definitely is playing aggressively right now and practices are being ran efficiently. There is little or no free time for these guys to dillie-dallie. Everyone's on the move.
The passing game could be a work in progress. I say could be because, lets be honest, this was the fourth practice of the spring. Everything should be a work in progress at this point - you could view it like that as well. But the reality is this: It seemed like Walls got a little more work and played a little more with the first team. I like Trevor. He can throw the ball and has better mobility than people want to give him credit for. Fleming is a bit more athletic, but it seemed like he struggled to throw the ball a little more than Walls. Again, it's just spring ball and there is a lot of room to grow.
Also, the receivers need to step up. The team lost two great players in Chris Williams and A.J. Harris this offseason. And there are holes there now. Julius Fleming, Todd Lee and Marcus Anderson were all getting snaps on Saturday, but they're all small guys. They were snug fits in Hal Mumme's offense. We'll see how they do in this offense. A few big targets: Joe Cordova (6-foot-8, 205 pounds) and tight end Kyle Nelson (6-foot-4, 234 pounds). Offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach said that Nelson was in on 70 percent of the offensive plays on Saturday. And the QBs threw to him.
Seth Smith saw the most carries at running back. Seth was a highly regarded recruit last year but sat out with grade issues.
Here were the defensive players seeing snaps on the "first team." First team is in quotes because, again, it's the fourth day of spring practice and we don't want to go too bonkers over this. But it's still worth noting and storing away...
Defensive line: E.J. Cannon, Ka'ua Adolpho, Donte Savage, Pierre Fils.
Linebackers: Jason Scott (outside linebacker), Ross Conner (MLB), Sam King (OLB).
Secondary: Cornerbacks: Davon House, Chris Buckner; Safeties: Junior Fasavalu, Stephon Hatchett.
Some notes - Jason Scott continues to play good. He's a little small for a linebacker but he just has a nose for the ball carrier. He made a few big hits on Saturday including one where he came off the edge and drilled the running back in the backfield.
Fasavalu and Hatchett at safeties? Wow. Fasavalu hasn't played a whole lot in two years and Stephon used to be a backup receiver. Actually, both came up and made some hits during drills. Who knows?
And along the offensive line.....
David Norman, Chuck Taylor, Joseph Palmer, Joel Buschmann and Dwayne Barton.
Great to have football back.