COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT 3/19/13 (practice #3)
PRACTICE #3: 3/19/13
I got to the Proving Ground today when the punters were going through their portion of
practice. With two #13s on the roster, Iím not sure how to tell you which punter was Tyler
Hull and which was Patrick Fish. Both are about the same height and build but today it
didnít matter which was which. Both were inconsistent throughout the practice with only
one saving grace to their credit. All the punters were kicking with a pretty stiff wind at their
backs and even the poorly hit punts were getting some distance. For most of this round of
practice, Shaq Roland and Damiere Byrd were fielding the punts, and they were joined by
Vic Hampton toward the end of the drills. We have a Walk On kicker by the name of
Andrew Komornik who showed some really nice punts at times with both distance and hang
time, but he was having issues with his consistency as well.
Right after the punters completed their work, Coach Spurrier called the offense over to the
East Field and began an extended version of Skeleton drills, running them from game
situations with the down marker. First round was started near the 30 yard line with the offense
moving to the South (Long field). From my observations tonight:
Shamier Jeffery had his best day of practice for the past two seasons (IMO). Today was the
first time I can recall going through game situation drills where Shamier didnít drop a pass
that was within his grasp. In fact, he turned in the catch of the day when the team was running
skels with the short field. Dylan Thompson threw a rifle shot to Jeffrey running an out
route right along the goal line but was tightly covered. The DB swiped at the ball but
missed it and Shamier made a really nice one handed grab with a defenders hand near his
face. What made the catch all the more impressive was that it was coming in HOT from
a short distance. Those are the kinds of catches that will win games for you in crunch
time. It will also get you a lot of praise form the coaching staff like it did today.
Hopefully this practice will get the confidence level up in Shamier and this will be the
season that he breaks out with some consistent play during game time. We need he or Shaq
to step it up this fall. Shaq Roland still has work to do, but he did manage to make a couple
of really nice catches during the game drills tonight. Roland was involved in what was
probably the nices pass play of the practice early in the Skels. Connor Mitch who had
completed his first two passes throwing to his checkdown receiver, launched a deep one on
his third rep and found Roland a step behind Ronnie Martin and threw the ball to Shaq in
stride for 6. Roland has the skills to be a remarkable WR with this team, but he desperately
needs to work on his concentration. During the Full team practice a short while later, the
offense ran almost the identical play with Roland, and once again he had gotten beyond the
defender, only this time when Dylan Thompson found the mark, Shaq let the ball slip out
of his hands. Thereís a few months until the whistle blows to start the season and still time
for Shaq to work on his game. Iím hoping he can get involved with the offense and make
some big plays for us this year.
Drew Owens made some noise today as well, making a couple of nice catches in tight
coverage, Buster Anderson was sort of on the quiet side only catching one ball that I
remember (during full team drills), he had another thrown his way when he ran a nice short
post route but Dylan threw the ball too high on that rep.
Connor Mitch was the most consistent QB during practice today. Very few passes thrown
by Conner that werenít catchable and is showing a little mobility in the pocket as well.
Mitch did an admirable job under center in Skels and 11 on 11. Brendon Nosovitch wasnít
quite as sharp today as he was a couple of weeks ago. Still had some nicely thrown balls at
times, but there were two or three occasion were he was hesitant throwing and the play was
blown dead because he held the ball too long. There was another occasion when he couldnít
find a WR and time was running long, and coach Spurrier started yelling Throw It, Throw It !
and he finally threw the ball to a checkdown receiver. I think that was Spurrierís point he
was trying to get across. If thereís not anything open deeper, Drop It Off There. Overall today
the Defense far outplayed the offense. There were several of those incidents where QBs were
having problems throwing downfield because there was nothing open. I also noticed that even
though Connor Mitch looked exceptional throwing the ball, both he and Brendon in the full
team drills were having problems running the Zone Read play. They were getting the ball
into the RBs belly but holding it there way too long because they were having trouble
reading the End. Because of that, there were several fumbles during the exchange with the backs
when those two were going to the run plays. Dylan on the other hand made two or three calls
tonight to keep the ball himself, and picked up some nice yards on his own. Thatís the difference
in the depth chart right now. The two guys right behind Dylan have amazing Skills but
running the full offense, you can tell that each has a long way to go before getting major PT.
Brandon Wilds and Kendrick Salley did most of the running today with a very few reps going
to Mike Davis. Donít know if that was by design or if Mike is having some ďissuesĒ. Davis
did get a couple of reps and made the most of them, but was quiet overall in tonightís
practice. Brandon looked very good running with the ball, and was by far and away the best
back of todayís workout. Looked good running both inside and out without any hesitation
except for when he was close to Jadeveon Clowney. He was looking for somewhere other
than where JD was.
Defensively the team looked like they were ready to go play today. The guys played very well
for coach Brown last year, but so far this spring, the DBs are playing very good as a full unit
and seem to be quicker to the ball. This is from the players that are out there, and are still missing
a couple of players from the roster due to injury. Iím actually more impressed with the work
by this squad that I was at this time last fall with guys like DJ and Akeem in the lineup. Iím
still convinced that when Rico McWilliams, TJ Gurley and Chaz Elder join the unit, we are
going to have a very good Backfield that may outplay the group we had last year. There was one
pick today from the DBs. Chris Moody stepped in front of a highly thrown ball by Austin Hails
intended for Shaq Roland and he was able to bring it down. Even though it was the only pick of
the night, there were several well played knock downs and deflections. Which made the catch
by Jeffery early on even more impressive. Very active defensive backfield out there today.
Next practice is at 4:15 Thursday.