It was a dreary Thursday for football practice and the skies opened up around 5:30, clearing out most of the observers.
Here are my observations from today's practice:
Did the usual stretching before they separated into position drills and stations.
Quarterbacks worked more on pitching and tossing in the backfield with each other and continued to run the drills they have been doing to work on this.
Lee Malchow was in uniform but without pads. He was doing independent work on a side field with a tackle dummy and cones. Not sure what his current status is.
Quan Rucker and Kenny Okoro were not in pads again. Neither appeared to be injured.
It is becoming increasingly clearer as to what the direction of our offense will be next year. Most of the time on offense was spent on tosses, draws, misdirections and short throws with the quarterbacks.
Ted Stachitas took a hit early in practice that forced him to go inside and get looked at. He came back out without pads on and a slight limp. The injury did not appear to be too serious and was likely just precautionary that he did not return. I believe it was his lower right leg that was being favored.
With Stachitas out, Cross got the majority of the throws and looked about the same as he did on Tuesday. He continued to be a little off on the crossing routes, but was pretty good in the longer throws and the out routes. He can put the ball where he wants to in longer throws but appears to struggle with short passes.
The offensive line continued to impress on the option drills and there were plenty of holes to run through all day. They swung out well and were able to lead block for the pitches. The option offense is likely a strength of the offensive lineman we have because of their smaller size and quick feet.
Tommy Bohanon played very well and is deceptively fast in the open field. He delivered a dirty stiff arm to Cyhl Quarles at the end of a run. He could be very good for us as a blocker and a runner because of how difficult he is to bring down in space.
Nikita Whitlock is pretty small (5'10), but he extremely strong and quick off the line. He beat the offensive line in trench drills several times and got the praise of Lobotzke who was overlooking the activity.
Once again Brad Lambert was extremely active with his voice and continues to get after the guys on defense. He has a great mix of yelling and also getting close with the guys to tell them that they are doing well and what they can fix. The cornerbacks worked on jamming for a good 5-10 minutes and they were instructed on the finer points of the art.
Dominique Tate was around practice and shared a lengthy conversation with Grobe.
Steed Lobotzke was working with the offensive line rather than the quarterbacks and wide receivers when they were doing their skeleton drills. I found this a little interesting.
The quarterbacks tore up the defense during the skeleton drills and the receivers were making pretty good catches as well. It looks like our defense has a ways to go in the secondary. This makes sense because of the uncertainties of the past couple of weeks, but they are going to have to get better
It was a good day all around for the offense, with Cross getting most of the throws with the starting receivers. I am pretty impressed with the offensive line and the decision making of the quarterbacks with the option offense. I'm a little nervous about our defense because we appear to not be strong in the secondary as we rely on the zone defense. I hope we continue to work on jamming at the line and our press coverages because that would alleviate the pressure put on our safeties tremendously.