Some of our interior defensive linemen taking a step up in quickness, speed, and size. We certainly haven’t recruited instant impact SEC nose tackles but maybe we could develop and/or grow one. Wouldn’t that be nice?!?!
Offensive tackles that fit the new system mentally far better than they did the old one. Now more athletic and lighter on their feet. Giving signs they might achieve the high rating some of them had when recruited.
Glowing reports about any of our old wide receivers thriving in the new system. So far, the only highlight comments about receivers have been the new guys. None of the old guys seem to be making great plays.
Reports of precision passing by our young QB’s. I know they are struggling to learn the new system, but passing is passing and it would be nice if somebody was showing an elite touch particularly on deep balls. So far, meh!
More glimmers of great play by our secondary. Pulley has made some plays, how about some of our returning or new from redshirting safeties? Anyone? Buehler?
T.J. Hammond making a great block in pass protection.
Field goal kicker successful and consistent on long field goals.
I know Coaches’ comments or lack thereof have to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes, they are just gigging a guy to do better with a negative comment to the press. Some guys who are doing better don’t thrive when they are bragged about to the press. Etc.
I think you see some things, but don’t see other things. One of the highlights I mentioned – and was mentioned by Chad Morris – was the play of LaMichael Pettway. He made catches and blocks in the major scrimmage that I saw. I reported that, then Chad Morris has mentioned Pettway in particular. So in your No. 3 paragraph, you missed both what I wrote here and what Chad Morris said after the scrimmage.
I believe there was mention of field goal kicker Connor Limpert going 5 of 5 on field goals in the same practice. I believe the longest was 49 yards. He hit two from that range. Generally, not all the focus is just on the long ones. He was moved around the field from all angles in that kicking period.
I do think Morris mentioned that Brian Wallace had been a pleasant surprise. No doubt, he’s quicker on his feet after losing from 340 to 315 (and lighter during one period when the flu got him).
I’m interested in seeing the way they line up next week. I figured – and coaches said – there would be some depth chart changes. The early practices were based more on seniority than anything else.
Thanks Clay. I did miss the Pettway comments. I worry that no mention of Jones, Martin, Nance, & Cornelius and lots of mentions of several new guys means our best returning receivers are not fitting well into Morris’ system. When I hear nothing positive about the interior defensive linemen and Morris saying we got to get bigger at some positions, it sounds like that “weak in the past” & critical position is not getting any better soon.
One other article I would like to read is how going from Ragnow to Hays is not going to be the huge step down I fear it will be. At possibly a first round draft choice, Ragnow leaves some big shoes to fill. I want some assurance we will be OK at that position.
OK, you missed that one, too. I wrote about Hays in my column after the scrimmage. However, I don’t think anyone is going to say that Hays is in the same category as Ragnow just yet. He’s new there. But Dustin Fry and Joe Craddock both like Hays a lot. Fry told me about watching Ragnow on tape when SMU was preparing for TCU the last two years. That meant watching Arkansas the week before. Ragnow jumped off the tape.
OK Clay. I had 8 positions that I wished for positive info on coming out of spring practice. You pointed out I missed some of those earlier and followed up on others to address comments 2, 3 (well you pointed out one positive report on Pettway, but nothing positive so far on Jones, Martin, Nance, or Cornelius), 7, & 8. On 8, your article about the two centers, Hays and Clary, was more informational than inspirational. They sound like nice fellows, but there is a huge vacuum on how they stack up compared to Ragnow or rushing defensive linemen.
So, I hear only crickets chirping when I listen for reassurance on:
a-the defensive line,
c-any returning receivers not name Pettway, (I couldn’t give you full credit on #3 above)
d-anyone in the secondary not named Pulley, and
e-T.J. Hammond showing he is not just a scatback ball carrier but can pass block too.
Didn’t see any interior defensive linemen making many plays (I guess Taylor’s scoop and score might count there) but Capps & Agim didn’t play. I worry we won’t know about our new centers until they face better defensive lines during the season. Ramsey made Jackson look bad a couple of times. I hope he is now an elite defensive end in the SEC because if he is not, we are still very weak at left tackle. Of the returning receivers, Pettway is the only one who stood out. There have been injuries, but some of our best receivers from last year, like Jones, seem to have been pushed down to the 3rd or 4th string by several new receivers like Morris and Wood. Field goal and kickoff kicking looked no better than last year, if that good.
Who is Michael Taylor?
Williams and Whaley looked good running the ball, but Hammond and Hayden looked tentative and never showed their speed.
Either our defensive secondary is a lot better or we don’t have a lot of speed in our receivers because they did not get open by much all game.
Did not see great passing, but liked the play of our tight ends. That is some intense competition for playing time there. Our best position by far.
Was that Jamario Bell causing the fumble for the scoop and score? Now, if he can have a great off-season in the weight room, we might have something there!
I thought Hayden ran the ball well. We really have three good RBs in Whaley, Hayden and M. Williams. They did not call the kind of plays today that would have put Hammonds in space with the ball, where he previously has done his best work, so I am not sure where he will fit in.