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Old 08-06-2011, 01:32 PM   #1
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Default COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

I wish I could tell you that the final practice of the first week was as good as the others, but unfortunately this morning’s practice lacked a lot of the crispness and energy that was present in the first two. I don’t know if that was because the team was tired or having trouble adjusting to working in shoulder pads, but for some reason, the pace seemed slower and the timing was just not there all around from start to finish of practice. Maybe it’s an adjustment to the time change of practice (morning vs evening of the first three practices). The only part of the team that seemed to be focused this morning was the Special Teams unit during their drills. The timing between QB and the receivers was off all morning with all the guys. There were way too many dropped passes again, and interceptions off of poor throws rather than good defensive plays. Even first week phenom Jadeveon Clowney wasn’t near as dominant this morning as he was in the other two practices the fans were able to watch.
The good news is that first year coach John Butler continues to show some major improvement with the Special Teams, especially with the Kickoff and Punt teams. Coach Butler, instead of letting his kickers and long snappers stretch and work out on their own prior to practice, gets the entire kicking and return teams together for walk throughs and half speed kickoffs and returns, and stops the plays and instructs when he sees something not being done correctly. This has been done by him all week, and the kick return team already seems far ahead of those units from previous seasons. This kind of work has never been done by coaches Ron Cooper, Ray Rychlewski, or Shane Beamer. The extra 15-20 minutes of this prior to the start of practice along with the work he does with the S/T teams during practice is going to pay off big for the Gamecocks this season. Yes, I will go out on a limb now and say that Coach Butler’s addition to this team is directly going to win games for us this season. Either by scoring TDs from that unit (which I feel very strongly will happen), and/or by the improved average field position his teams give the Offense, and/or by defending Field Goals or Punts. If this team does make it to Atlanta again this year and win the SEC Title, you can thank Coach Shawn Elliott, Coach Craig Fitzgerald AND Coach John Butler for that, because it will be the already noticed improvements by those two units (special teams and O/Line) along with the speed and strength improvements of all the players.
As for the Special Teams, right now it appears the Field Goal duties will be given to Jay Wooten. He was up again today doing the field goals, and except for one wide kick from the 35, he was drilling everything from the 20 to the 45 with distance to spare. I can also tell you based on the kickoff practice, Kenny Miles and DJ Swearington are being used as first unit kick returners. There has been a concerted effort to get Demiere Byrd and Bruce Ellington ready to return Kickoffs and Punts, but as of this morning both were still struggling to catch the balls, or make the correct decisions with the kicks. Stephon Gilmore looks like he will continue at this time to be our primary Punt return specialist, with Ellington being the number two guy at least for now.

NOW, for the bad news:
Drills seemed to run pretty sharply for all the units today, and at the start of practice it appeared that the team was going to close strong for the week, however things really tapered off when the teams got up for one on ones and it never really got on track from there on. It started out with both Connor Shaw and Stephen Garicia hitting open targets, but dropped balls on the first 6 or 7 reps (most of them on target throws), to guys like Jason Barnes, DL Moore, DeAngelo Smith, and Bruce Ellington really was frustrating for the fans to watch, and I’m sure not real pleasing to the coaches. When the WRs seemed to settle in, and a few catches were made, then the QBs started over throwing and underthrowing open targets by YARDS and it just made for some very uncomfortable viewing. Stephen Garcia had sure TDs on two deep post routes when D Byrd and D Smith got by the defenders, but the passes said way over their heads, and on two plays during the one on ones, DL Moore broke open on a straight fly route only to see Shaw’s pass fall about 5 yards behind him, and on another underthrown ball by Shaw a few plays later, Stephon Gilmore turned to make an easy interception of the pass, where he had been beaten by a couple of steps, by Shamire Jeffery. There were a couple of really nice throws by each of the starting QBs during the one on ones. Connor threw his first of three long completions of the night finally hitting Jason Barnes who recovered after another poor start, and had a pretty good showing today. The pass was on a deep corner route where he got good separation as Connor threw the pass, and he caught the ball just in bounds on the right sideline for a nice 25+ yard gain. However, his one or two good plays didn’t make up for the several off target throws or those that were thrown well, and passes dropped. Stephen’s bright spot of the one on ones came when he and Lamar Scruggs hooked up on a nice long out and up route. The ball was thrown high, but Scruggs got a hell of a lot of room when he faked Jimmy Legree out of his socks and was 8 yards behind him when Garcia threw the pass. Scruggs had to stretch out to bring it in off his fingertips, but did so and was off to the races.
This was kind of the tone for the whole practice, as the off timing and poor throws continued over to the Skels. Stephen Garcia was intercepted early in the 7 on 7 basically on a poor read. Shon Carson came out of the backfield was wide open down the sideline, but Stephen threw to spot about 5 yards behind him, and Gilmore read it and stepped up to take the easy pick (his second of the day). Shaw didn’t have an int. here, but there were about 3 passes where the WRs were open deep, and even though the passes were completed, the WRs had to wait on the ball to get to them, or stop and turn around to catch the pass. The best thrown balls of the Skels actually came from Dylan Thompson and Tanner McEvoy. Mc was picked once, but he connected on two or three nicely thrown deep balls to Lamar Scruggs and Ace Sanders. It was during the Skels that the WRs seemed to get out of the “funk” and started making some nice catches off of poorly thrown passes to save the workout. Dylan Thompson threw what might have been his best pass of the week, hooking up with DeAngelo Smith on a 40+ yard bomb that had to be thrown perfectly in order for it to be completed as Vic Hampton had good position on him. Thompson dropped the ball just over the coverage and to D Smith’s outside shoulder for the completion.

The team lined up for 11 on 11, and even though there were some good plays turned in here, the deeper passes and the timing routes still did not click. The best pass of this portion of the practice was one deep fly route from Shaw to Alshon Jeffery who made four or five nice grabs today. This one again, was thrown off target, high and behind A Jeff, but he was able to make the adjustment and sky for the ball to make the completion. Garcia attempted one long pass play to Demiere Byrd early in the 11 on 11, but Vic Hamton picked him off when Garcia hung one up for grabs. Again the third and fourth unit guys ended up getting some reps and managed to make some nice completions, but McEvoy got in one the pick show, when he really threw one behind his intended target (Drew Owens) and had it picked by a defender (# I didn’t see there).

During the 11 on 11, there were a few reps when Brandon Shell was lined up at Left Tackle, matched against Jadeveon Clowney for the first time this week. Those plays turned out to be running plays, but there will be a time coming soon when the two of these guys are going to see some clashing. Shell has said that he can not wait until he and JC are working against each other on the practice field, because he felt like he will benefit from the time working against the best of the best. It appears that time is drawing closer. Shell is still wearing the Yellow Jersey but he is taking reps now in the team drills, so he should be seeing some light hitting next week. It would appear the first day in pads will be Monday night, and usually on that first day in pads, they run the Oklahoma Drill. I can’t wait to see that.

That about does it for today, I wish I had better news for you all, but hopefully this was a glitch and the guys will get back to the upbeat practice routine starting Monday night.

Later.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

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Originally Posted by Spurticus View Post
COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

Yes, I will go out on a limb now and say that Coach Huntís addition to this team is directly going to win games for us this season.
Never again. Please.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

That's kind of disheartening to read. I'll chalk it up to having night practice yesterday and having to recover quickly for the first morning practice of the fall. Here's to hoping for better next week.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

Great news about the special teams, spurt. Except for the bit about Byrd and Ellington having trouble catching. I am looking forward to watching what the s/t does this year, and so far I am impressed with Coach Butler.

I wouldn't worry too much about a bad practice from the rest of the guys until it happens a couple times in a row. For right now, lets just call this a fluke, and expect the guys to be back in form next practice.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

Having Clowney and Shell work against each other, with the talent both of them have, is going to be extremely beneficial for both of them. Can't wait to see them battle it out for the next few years.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

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Never again. Please.
DAMN !! ...... The bad practice spread to the report.



Fixed

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Old 08-06-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

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Originally Posted by sandstorm2001 View Post
That's kind of disheartening to read. I'll chalk it up to having night practice yesterday and having to recover quickly for the first morning practice of the fall. Here's to hoping for better next week.
I really think that's what it was myself. Even told some guy I was standing
with at practice that this was the first time the guys were practicing with
only a few hours rest, so I think it was just fatique. They were looking
too good this week to just say they weren't trying, or they were just
running off emotions the first couple of days. I think a day off will do them
a lot of good before the get after it again Monday.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamecock4life709 View Post
Having Clowney and Shell work against each other, with the talent both of them have, is going to be extremely beneficial for both of them. Can't wait to see them battle it out for the next few years.
I agree, practicing against great players will help tremendously in games.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shep View Post
Great news about the special teams, spurt. Except for the bit about Byrd and Ellington having trouble catching. I am looking forward to watching what the s/t does this year, and so far I am impressed with Coach Butler.

I wouldn't worry too much about a bad practice from the rest of the guys until it happens a couple times in a row. For right now, lets just call this a fluke, and expect the guys to be back in form next practice.
Not saying they won't be the return guys this year, They have about three
weeks to work out the issues, but all week long, those two, along with
Sheldon Royster and Shamire Jeffery were dropping punts and Kickoffs
they should have been catching. They were letting punts drop in front of
them that they should have been stepping up and taking, and trying to
catch kickoffs inside the 5 yard line when they should let them go into
the endzone for the touchbacks. Today was when Coach Butler got the
entire Kickoff unit up for some extended workouts using two complete
units (first and second teams). When he called for the "1s" DJ
Swearinger (who hasn't dropped a single kickoff yet) and Kenny Miles
got up with that unit. First unit punt returner was Stephon.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamecock4life709 View Post
Having Clowney and Shell work against each other, with the talent both of them have, is going to be extremely beneficial for both of them. Can't wait to see them battle it out for the next few years.
I know man. . . . . Shell actually said this summer he was looking forward
to it. That is why Shell was my favorite incoming Freshman. That guy was
all Gamecock from the time he committed, and signed, and has been
very benifical to our recruiting efforts this season. . . . He WANTS IT !!
He has Marcus Lattimores Attitude about his game. I hope that spreads
throughout the entire team this year.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

Remember boys & girls...this is why we practice. To get the kinks out before we play the games. Better to have these things happen now than at Charlotte or Athens. One practice does not make a season.

Personally, I'd like to see HBC close the rest of the fall drills to the public. Not to knock Spurt's reports (I do enjoy them...and GREAT JOB!). But we as fans seem to push the panic button every time we receive a less-than-perfect practice performance report.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

As long as you're getting the errors out in practice, Spurticus, you'll be in good form for the fall! Lol.

Did you see Shell get taken by ambulance?
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

Thanks again...bet the morning after the evening practice had something to do with the crap performances. Build 'em up, tear 'em down, build 'em up.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

hopefully it will improve...going at it last night then turning around and going at it this morning in the heat i'm sure is the reason in the lacklusterness (is that a word...lol) anyway, thanks for the report Spurt.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

I know punt returning is probably a lot harder than it looks, but I still can't believe guys who are supposed to be elite athletes struggle with it so much. I think they should leave the decision making out of it and do all they can to catch every ball kicked for the time being and then later work on the decision making.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

a morning practice after a late night practice.......to me is pretty normal to see mistakes/less spirited practice. These kids don't sit around and do nothing all day Friday before that night practice, their whole day is occupied with football related activities. Then comes an early wake up and back on the field Saturday morning.

Now with a late Sunday practice, the practice should look a lot cleaner.
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Old 08-06-2011, 04:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

If this becomes a consistent thing I'll start getting worried. It was a morning practice after a night practice. Out of roughly 30 practices, I'm sure every team is going to have at least one bad practice. They'll get back out there and be just fine.

Also, good to hear Brandon Shell is fine. Hopefully he gets back out there tomorrow and can practice well, and I'm sure he will.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:20 PM   #18
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:59 PM   #19
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

Someone's been pumping some iron....nice guns.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:02 PM   #20
EveryThingGreen
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Default Re: COCKYTALK PRACTICE REPORT: 8/6/11

we're going to be a lot better at LB then a lot of people think
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