Originally Posted by Spurticus
Spring Practice Report: 3/27/14 (Practice Number 7)
The coaches tried to use the practice mainly to work in the Hurry up offense / defense. This resulted in a lot of high energy reps, but the execution was not exactly stellar this afternoon. There were some exceptional efforts by some players who have been quiet so far, but the vets (especially our WRs / TEs) were underwhelming in their performance overall.
There were a couple of missing players from the workout today that I could not account for. Did not see Mike Davis on the field today in uniform or a yellow jersey. Also didn’t see Buster Anderson out there today. I checked and saw the usual yellow jersey numbers that have been out there the past couple of weeks. (#19 Jody Fuller - #1 Damiere Byrd - #85 Kane Whitehurst, #22 Brandon Wilds), Connor McLaurin (#41) was added to that list as he was walking around with the yellow on today. Not sure where Mike and Buster were, but hopefully it’s nothing that will keep them out of the remainder of the Spring Workout. That said, here are the observations / opinions for today’s practice.
The QBs looked pretty good during the 1-on-1s, but unfortunately their receivers did not. I lost count of the dropped passes there should have been caught after I saw Shaq Roland drop three consecutive passes there were in his hands. The team drills are now down to four QBs getting reps and even though they were throwing into a pretty stiff breeze most of the day, they were on target for the most part, but too many of their throws touched the hands of the intended receivers, but then hit the ground. Dylan is getting the fewest amount of reps of the group, but is still the best QB in the group. He had a little less success with his longer throws today, being a little long on most of them, but the mid range / shorter timing routes looked good out of Thompson’s hands. Brendon Nosovitch had his best efforts during the 1-on-1s and Skels today, save the few that were dropped by his receivers. He didn’t look near as good in the full team drills tonight as he usually looked, and it appeared that the Hurry up offense which they ran during the majority of these drills threw off the timing of not only him, but with Perry Orth and Connor Mitch as well. Still, overall I’d have to say that Nosovitch had a decent workout today. His biggest negative on the afternoon was his mishandling of about three snaps from the center out of the shotgun formation. The snaps were off line a few times, but well within his ability to bring them in, but they ended up on the ground and got some coaches on the sidelines pretty upset.
Connor Mitch followed in line with a “so-so” day. He looked good during the skels and had some nice throws during the 11-on-11 when his time was up for reps. He and Shaq Roland hooked up for one really nice deep ball just as I walked onto the practice field that got the fans and the offense revved up. Connor threw the only pick of the group today however with an off target throw during the 11-on-11. Even with the pick, Connor still had a decent performance today.
I’ve been impressed with the efforts of Perry Orth the last couple of practices. You can tell he has a hard time trying to figure out what to do when there’s no receiver open, but when he can get into a rhythm, he looks as good as any of the QBs we have on the team. Very good footwork and a quick release. He also does a good job of running the read option and during the 11-on-11 he did the best work of moving the offense during the hurry up today.
With Mike Davis not out there today it was time to let some of the other guys shine, and a couple of the players who we don’t hear from that much turned in some good work today. Darius Paulk who is used mainly as a lower unit Full back, got quite a few reps today and really looked quick hitting the holes and shedding tackles. He broke off two or three long runs during the full team drills and caught the ball well out of the backfield as well. He Devin Potter and Rod Talley saw increased reps today and all these guys made some nice yardage at times. Potter broke off a long run of about 15 yards to score on a long drive by the offense from the North 10 to the South end of the field. David Williams only got short reps today, and only carried the ball twice that I saw in the full team drill. Both runs were NICE gains, one between the tackle and guard on the right side, and the other was a long run after bouncing the ball to the outside on the left when the play was stuffed inside.
WIDE RECIVERS / TIGHT ENDS:
Not a good day from the group for the most part. WAY TOO MANY dropped balls from several different members of the group, and the majority of them were from our “leaders”. Shaq started off the day after catching the nice deep pass from Mitch early, proceeded to drop three consecutive passes that hit his number four. Two by Connor and the other thrown by Dylan Thompson. He did rebound from his early issues and caught two consecutive passes to lead off the Skels. Both on throws by Dylan and the second (his last rep of the afternoon) was probably the best looking play of the day when Thompson rolled to his left and threw the ball that hung up in the wind. Shaq had to slow up and was surrounded by Rico McWilliams and Kad Marcus but he went up and got the ball from between both of them and came down on his back with the ball. The play was so good that Dylan ran the 30 or so yards down to him to give him a high chest bump for his effort. The Dropped passes sort of rubbed off on the group today, and you know it’s just a bad evening when players like Pharoh Cooper, Drew Owens, Roland and Jody Fuller all miss multiple chances that were easy catches to make. At one point Coach Spurrier Jr had to walk out on the field and get the group together and have a little “pep” talk with them. The good thing about all this is that it hasn’t happened this badly from this many receivers in any of the other workouts, so hopefully the guys got it out of their systems today and it’s over with. Aside form the dropped balls, there were some nice catches here and there, and of the lesser used guys, Matt Harvey (the tall drink of water) caught three / four passes today and should have had one other in the back corner of the Endzone during Skels, but Rico had a very clear pass interference call overlooked by the official. The call was so bad that Jr. actually fired a couple of words toward the ref for not making the call.
IN THE TRENCHES:
The right Guard spot on offense is pretty much Mike Matulis’ spot to lose. After trading reps there with DJ Park the first week, he has now seeing his second week of First Unit work. Coach Elliott is spending a lot of teaching time with him between reps during team drills so it appears he’s going to be the guy to replace Ronald Patrick going into the fall. I think most of you are familiar with my criticism of Corey Robinson (our LT). My opinion of his overall body of work from last season is not favorable. So far this spring I can not say if he’s improved or not, but I’m definitely wanting to see him get better this Spring and take his play up a level. He looks good running drills, and with the light contact from the practices I can’t give an opinion about him or any of the linemen, but he looks as good right now as any of the guys out there. He seems to be able to keep guys like Darius English and Cedrick Cooper off our QB.
Ced and Darius are the guys being used mainly as the strong side DE replacing Jadeveon form last year. Neither of them is making a big impact so far, but at this point it’s impossible to tell if this is good work by our LTs or just not good effort from the strong side DEs. JT Surratt is looking very strong in the inside as our starting tackle. The man can move for a guy his size and puts the D/linemen to shame running agility drills. He and Kelsey Griffin are starting to impress. Coach Adams seems to like the effort by those guys during drills and on the field during the team practice. My impression is that they will replace the work of Kelsey Quarles without a major loss of production there.
The Linebacker play has gone from solid to spectacular in the fist couple of weeks. Larenz Bryant and Skai Moore are taking over with the second level defense and shutting everything down that comes their way. Skai has bulked up a little over last season and it’s staring to work for him. Last year he had to rely on “out quickening” blockers…now he’s taking them on, shedding them and getting to a spot to make plays. A good summer of conditioning is going to make Skai and Bryant DANGEROUS ANIMALS !
Still looks good here. The guys that got everyone’s attention early on this spring are still making plays, (McWilliams, Elder, Kad Marcus…), are joined by Jamari Smith. Smith (IMO) was the outstanding performer on the entire team today. Several batted balls, a nice pick of an off target throw by Connor Mitch and another near pick of a pass from Dylan Thompson that Jamari batted up in the air, away from Jacob Augus, and then while falling, almost took the ball off the grass for another int. I heard coach Robinson talking on the radio about the effort Jamari had in the scrimmage Saturday. Said Smith was a very talented corner who just needed a lot of reps to get his mind able to understand what his role with the team was. Apparently he’s starting to “get it”! He had an outstanding practice today along with McWilliams. Looking forward to these guys adding to the depth of our secondary this fall, and getting to see them play a lot for the Gamecocks this year.
More Tomorrow Night.