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Old 04-03-2014, 10:04 PM   #1
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Default COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

Spring Practice 4/3/14 (Practice #10)

The coaches had Dylan Thompson “wired” for video today. Thompson had a small digital camera mounted to the front of his helmet for (I’m guessin) the coaches to evaluate Dylan’s view and his ability to go through progressions and his decisions under pressure.
Devin Washington was back in full uniform today working with the D/line during drills. He was wearing one of those helmet caps designed to reduce trauma that could cause concussions. He was the only player on the field wearing that particular piece of equipment. Other than Devin, none of the other players who were in the safety gear / yellow jerseys, were back in action.
Today’s workout was much better for the defense even though the offense managed to get the ball into the endzone a couple of times. The Skells and Full team drills were again, run as a light scrimmage and with down and distance markers out. Overall the defense got the better of the offense by a slight margin In My Opinion.

Quarterbacks:
Dylan had an “off” day today but not so much that there was any cause for concern. He connected on a few really nice looking plays and was able to move the offense well during Skells when he got the first series of reps. The defense made it a little tougher for him today as he was almost picked twice in his first set of reps, and later on during the full team drills, after Connor Mitch moved the offense down into the red zone, he was nearly picked a third time which would have been a long yardage pick 6 had the DB held on to the ball. He also had to pull the ball down a few times and either run, or had the play blown dead because there were no open receivers. Even with that, Dylan had some nice throws and made two really good runs out of a straight Read Option. He and Shaq Roland connected three or four times for some nice yardage. He also had a good looking throw on a skinny post route to Buster Anderson to pick up a third and long situation.
Connor Mitch had his best practice of the spring this evening. Started out looking sharp during the one on ones, and continued to build on that strong start by moving the offense down for a TD during Skels with his reps, and moved the offense into the redzone and turned the offense over to Dylan at that point. Mitch is running third set of reps for the second practice in a row, but this day he was the best QB of the four getting reps during game situation dirlls. Perry Orth and a “decent” practice. There were spots where he was throwing the ball well, but unlike the work he’s turned in so far this spring, he was off target more than usual. He and Nosovitch (now running the fourth set of reps) didn’t really “Shine” today. Orth did have one pass that was dropped in the end zone from a nicely thrown pass, and Noso threw one a little behind Darius Paulk who caught the pass and turned toward the endzone, but dropped the ball just as he crossed the goal line. Those two plays had they been made would have saved an otherwise lax outing by them overall.

Running Backs:
For the first time this spring practices (that I’ve seen), Mike Davis got to carry the ball several times during the Skells and full team drills. Mike got about 4 touches each, in both those drills, and broke off two runs of over 15 yards twice. Mikes work was limited to early carries to start the first series in each of the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11, before sitting out the rest of those drills. Even with the short number of touches, you can tell Mike is still the Alpha Male of the Runningback unit. Shon Carson and Brandon Wilds also saw a light amount of reps as the majority of the carries were by the younger guys, and less used backs on the roster. Rod Talley and Darius Paulk saw a lot of action in the Game Drills today. Brandon Wilds did throw one pass on a lateral from Dylan. The pass was a little high to a wide open Jarrell Adams who went up and got the ball, but his feet came down on the back line of the endzone. Nice looking play but the high pass cost the offense six there.

Wide Outs / Tight Ends:
Good day for the receivers today. There’s a couple of guys who still has a bad case of the drops, but other than one or two drops today, the receivers looked better today than the previous week’s workout. Shaq Roland was the standout of the group. Didn’t see anything hit the ground that was thrown near him. Pharoh Cooper only had two passes thrown to him in the game drills but he came down with both. Buster Anderson had two really good pass receptions tonight, and both Jacob August and Jody Fuller caught TD throws from Connor Mitch and Dylan Thompson on goal line plays.
Shamier Jeffery had one of the drops (Thrown by Perry Orth), and Noso threw a slightly high pass in the endzone to Brandon Wilds who had to stretch out get to the ball, but it was a catchable TD that should have been made. With the exception of those two miscues, everything else look solid form our Receiver group tonight.

In The Trenches:
The starting five on the O/line is apparently set, as the unit that is up first with Dylan has remaind the same going into the second week of practice sine Coach Elliott set his first unit line. Cody Waldrop is our starting center, AJ Cann and Mike Matulis are the starting Guards and Corey Robinson and Brandon Shell are the Tackles. On the other side of the line (at least tonight), they are still experimenting with the D/Line starters. The linebackers look set behind them with Skai Moore, Kaiwan Lewis and Sharrod Golightly are getting the majority of reps with the first unit. Up front tonight, Darius English at Strong Side End, and JT Surratt are the two definite starters, Gerald Dixon and Ced Cooper switch in and out with the first unit for the other end, and Abu Lamin and Gerald Dixon Jr flip flop at the other inside spot. Both Dixon boys got the first few reps with the first unit tonight, but were replaced after about 5-6 players into the opening drive of the full team drill.

Secondary:
Good work by the back guys on the defense today, making up for an “off” workout by them Tuesday night. Jamari Smith and Brison Williams both started out as the starting Corners today. First time I’ve seen them on the field together as corners this spring. Brison had a good practice batting down two passes, and the near Pick Six from a Dylan Thompson pass. The other Outstanding performer today was Chris Moody who had two near picks of Thompson passes of his own. One would have been a great play had he been able to hang onto it, but the other was an interception that was just plain dropped. Both were made on good reads by Moody who broke on the passes as soon as Dylan turned to look at the receiver. My opinion here only, but I think the Camera mounted on the front of Dylan’s helmet was almost like a beacon for the DBs to lock on. It was easily visible from a long distance, and made Thompson’s head movement more visible. I remember reading an interview by Al Harris when he was with the Green Bay Packers who said he had honed his DBs skills to such, that he was able to read a QBs head by the stripes on the helmets. I think something like a camera that could be clearly seen by fans on the sidelines from nearly 70 yards away, could be something the DBs were picking up on as well.

Specialists:
Right now, it looks like Landon Ard is our Kick off guy by default. No one else is even up practicing deep kicks. He has gotten some height on his kickoffs, but his consistency and distance is still sorely lacking. If we don’t find a kicker by the fall, I’m concerned with our Special teams play this year. Our Punting (also very inconsistent) and our field goal kicking should be “OK”, but our cover guys are going to live a hard life if we can’t get the ball inside the 10 on kickoffs.

More Tomorrow
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

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Old 04-03-2014, 10:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

Nice report. Thanks Spurt!
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

Thanks for these, they make my day.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

thanks spurt. who would you say is the best looking "bob" when we run that package? also, have you heard anything about why sos went with orth as the number two, when mitch's numbers were actually better? i'm still wondering about that one.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

Great report. Many thanks!
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

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Originally Posted by snoopcockycock View Post
thanks spurt. who would you say is the best looking "bob" when we run that package? also, have you heard anything about why sos went with orth as the number two, when mitch's numbers were actually better? i'm still wondering about that one.
Best BOB ? ... hard to say right now based on just the open Practices I see.
I haven't gotten to go to a scrimmage yet (going to get out there to see
the scrimmage Saturday Morning if no emergencies come up at the last
minute). ... All the open practices so far have been in shells, so the
blocking up front and tackles are light contact only. Personal choice if you
like watching the trenches, would be Surratt on AJ Cann. JT is the strong
side DT, and of the switch at the other DT spot, it would be either
Gerald Dixon or Abu Lamin going against Cody in the middle or Matulis
at Right Guard (according to which defensive Technique the down linemen
are in on that particular play). Abu would have the size advantage, but
he is still working on his footwork and agility so it would be just a play
to play call as to who wins those individual "battles".

As for Orth....... Spurrier put him at #2 last week because he earned the
spot the week before. Perry is a good looking QB who was out performing
both Noso and Mitch during practice. The reason for the stats difference
(I would assume) would simply be from numbers out of the scrimmages, but
during those, I'm sure coach Spurrier takes into consideration that Orth
is working against the first and second unit defense seeing as how
he runs second unit offense, and Dylan is limited in the number of reps
he's taking in scrimmage. Orth would then be under center With Unit 1 when Dylan
drops out after one or two series. Noso, and Connor would be running
against the third unit defenses later in the scrimmages (may get some
work in against the second unit D early on).
As for their work with the offense, and against the defenses though, Perry
has done a really good job during the practices. Connor has the tools
to be a VERY GOOD QB, and once he starts "getting" the total offense
down, I really think he could push Dylan for the starring job. Right now,
and I'm sure during the season, Thompson is going to be polishing his
game as well, so I don't see anyone on the roster who'll take the One
spot from him this year as long as he stays healthy, but Perry Orth is
the solid #2 guy based on his total body of work thus far this spring.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

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Nice report. Thanks Spurt!
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Thanks for these, they make my day.
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Great report. Many thanks!
You're welcome
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

I remember a couple of days ago it was pointed out that Deke was doing a lot of work with Lamin on his technique and footwork. Does it look like he's catching on?

Is Rainey still working with the TE's? Seems like a talented athlete that's lost in the position struggle.

Someone said a week or so ago that English was up to 248 lbs. Is that true?

How does the 2nd team OL look? Sounds like the 1st team will be fairly solid, hopefully our depth will allow us to survive the nicks and bruises O Linemen always get.

Thanks again for your reports....
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

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I remember a couple of days ago it was pointed out that Deke was doing a lot of work with Lamin on his technique and footwork. Does it look like he's catching on?

Is Rainey still working with the TE's? Seems like a talented athlete that's lost in the position struggle.

Someone said a week or so ago that English was up to 248 lbs. Is that true?

How does the 2nd team OL look? Sounds like the 1st team will be fairly solid, hopefully our depth will allow us to survive the nicks and bruises O Linemen always get.

Thanks again for your reports....
It may be that Lamin is having a tough time with position drills at this
level, but it's nothing drastically bad. Just Deke Adams spending a lot of
time having Lamin Re-run his drills because of poor footwork or technique.
On the field though, Lamin seems to hold his own and has gotten into
the backfield and made plays. I think he'll be good to go, and a solid #2
guy if not a starter by Gameday.

Too me, it's hard to tell if Darius in "bigger". I can tell you he is a better
overall DE than he was last year, and one of the two definite starters on
the Line right now. His "technique" is better than Clowney's, but He
doesn't have the speed to the backfield that JD had. .... That not saying
he's slower. It may be that Adams is developing him as more a True DE
and wants him to be an anchor for the end of the line, rather than just
be a designated pass rusher, or "disrupter" like JD was used during most
of his career. JD wasn't what you'd call a "Polished" DE. With his speed,
our coaches (Lawing and Adams) basically had JD to get into the back
field and create havoc. Either get the QB or RB with the ball, or make
the backfield rush things up because hell was coming. ... A True DE is
a guy who fights off blocks, worries about containment (turns wide plays
back inside), and seals off the edges incase of back side / misdirection
plays, and on passing downs, he then becomes a rush to the QB guy.
English is getting to the point of being a True DE for us.

IMO, the second unit line does really well. We don't have a true /full
second unit, because most of the time the "second unit line" will have
at least one, maybe two of the first unit guys with them, often in other
positions. They do a good job right now with Orth and Mitch behind them.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:31 AM   #11
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

Quote:
Specialists:
Right now, it looks like Landon Ard is our Kick off guy by default. No one else is even up practicing deep kicks. He has gotten some height on his kickoffs, but his consistency and distance is still sorely lacking. If we don’t find a kicker by the fall, I’m concerned with our Special teams play this year. Our Punting (also very inconsistent) and our field goal kicking should be “OK”, but our cover guys are going to live a hard life if we can’t get the ball inside the 10 on kickoffs.
ughh.....2 years ago, we had decent Spec Teams, last year we were hot garbage on Spec Teams (except for Fry). Nothing has really changed, Hull's leg isn't getting any stronger and by the sound of it, neither is Ard's. If we can't bring on any walk-ons who will be better (and I bet we won't) we need to get a Consultant/Specialist in here to work with Hull and Ard from now until the season. There has to be a training regimen that is proven to quickly build leg strength. Whatever we're currently doing with them isn't working.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:37 AM   #12
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

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If we don’t find a kicker by the fall, I’m concerned with our Special teams play this year. Our Punting (also very inconsistent) and our field goal kicking should be “OK”, but our cover guys are going to live a hard life if we can’t get the ball inside the 10 on kickoffs.
Do you just save this text on your computer so you can copy and paste it every year?
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

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Do you just save this text on your computer so you can copy and paste it every year?
Until we find some consistent Punters / and Kick Off specialists......YES.
Adam Yates started out below average last year, but got better as
the season went on. Hope we either find a Kickoff guy to come in and dominate,
or that Ard grows into it the way Yates did. If not there's going to be a lot
of cussing and foul language going on in the game threads again this season
aimed at our kicking game, and our ST Coach.
We'll be fine at FG as long as Fry stays healthy, but the rest of the kicking
game is well below average at best
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:10 AM   #14
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

Spurt thanks so much for being the eyes of Gamecock fans around the country!

You have an uncanny ability over the years of taking these practices and turning them into a great predictor of what we will see from individuals during the regular season.

Based on what you've seen thus far on talent, athleticism, and ability, how do we stack up against our past teams?
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:17 AM   #15
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

Yates hasn't been on the team since the 2012 season. I thought Ard was ok last year with kickoffs - that is, when the ball didn't go out of bounds as it did seemingly every third kick.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

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Originally Posted by scfanohio View Post
Spurt thanks so much for being the eyes of Gamecock fans around the country!

You have an uncanny ability over the years of taking these practices and turning them into a great predictor of what we will see from individuals during the regular season.

Based on what you've seen thus far on talent, athleticism, and ability, how do we stack up against our past teams?
My opinion only here:
I think we'll be solid up front on offense, and use the run game much more
this coming season than we have in years past (wish we had used Mike
more in the first half of our games this past season). Wilds (since being
back with the team off injury) has looked REALLY GOOD. David Williams
was doing a good job as well before he tweeked the hamstring. Dylan has
proven what he can do as a starter and he's got the confidence now to run
the offense as good as Shaw did.

Defensively.... I said it last year based on practice, that I thought our young
quys would shock the opponents and do real good out of the gates...I was
wrong. The inexperience put too much pressure on our front, and the lack of
tackling skills made us look bad in the first 4-5 games. It got MUCH better
from mid point on, and we were a solid team defensively down the stretch.
This year (at the risk of blowing it again), I'm going to say that our Defensive
play will be MUCH Improved. You can't replace guys like Clowney and
Quarles with guys of equal talent, BUT you can (and I think we have done so)
replace them with players of solid technique and basic fundamental play, and
allow them to grow into their roles. English and Surratt have looked really
good so far this spring. I feel like Lamin will start on the other inside spot, but
if not, he'll get a lot of reps along with Gerald Dixon who is also doing a good
solid job. Our linebackers who finished strong last year will have the size
and experience to come out strong this fall. ... What's really surprising is the
DBs. Didn't think with the lack of experience and depth that we'd look good
back there at all this spring, but right now they are doing a great job of
filling the spots, and making plays. There's been some position changes to fill
spots, and the Flexibility of multiple roles is making the entire backfield
very strong. With the additions of Smith, Green and Harris this summer, I
think our secondary is going to be a strength of the defense, rather than
a big question mark filled with freshman starters. (that's what it was looking
like going into the spring)
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

Question...does USC send its kickers to kicking camps in the off season? I don't even know if there is such a thing or not.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

I was pretty impressed last year with moody during the tennessee game I think he's gonna be even better this year.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:09 PM   #19
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

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Originally Posted by bobbycock View Post
Question...does USC send its kickers to kicking camps in the off season? I don't even know if there is such a thing or not.
I would imagine that they do work with coaches / trainers even when they're
not working with coach Robinson. I know Spencer Lanning told me once at
practice that he and a couple of the FG Kickers worked with personal trainers in the
stadium on the weekends even during the season.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:11 PM   #20
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Default Re: COCKYTALK SPRING PRACTICE REPORT: 4/3/14

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Originally Posted by bhs04 View Post
I was pretty impressed last year with moody during the tennessee game I think he's gonna be even better this year.
Moody has really been good this spring. Solid the first couple of weeks, but
the past two days this week, he's been around the ball A LOT and made some
nice defensive plays from the Free Safety position.
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