The team scrimmaged for a couple of hours at BB&T Field on Sunday afternoon. The following are notes and observations from the scrimmage:
- Kevin Sousa started the scrimmage with the first team, but quickly made way for John Wolford after the first "possession". Guessing a little smoke and mirrors since it was open to the public.
- The defense looked very good early on, compiling several "sacks" (getting to the QB constitutes a sack at this juncture). Brandon Chubb alone had three of them in the first ten plays.
- Due to the number of sacks and penalties, the offensive line is possibly a cause for concern. At the very least, the defensive front 7 is pretty far ahead of the offensive line right now. Zach Allen and Tylor Harris continued to do a good job of applying pressure up front.
- Marquel Lee and Brandon Chubb are going to be a tough tandem to deal with for opposing offenses this year. I watched a good bit of them, and they are both doing a pretty good job adapting to the new 4-2-5 defensee, which seems to be oriented around those two reading the offense pre-snap.
- RS Fr. TE Cam Serigne was probably the most impressive player at the pratice, as he caught two long balls from Wolford. On one of them he broke a tackle and ran 15 more yards. I think the TE position will be utilized a lot more than it has in years past. A lot of sets involve him on the field.
- Out of all the quarterbacks, Wolford looked the most impressive. He had a few nice intermediate throws, as well as a great TD run on a zone read that he pulled back and ran past a couple of defenders from 20 yards out. He threw one deep ball into double coverage that was intercepted, but negated by defensive pass interference.
- Tyler Cameron also looked good in spurts, including a deep ball to Brandon Terry (negated by a hold) that he threw perfectly about 40 yards. His biggest concern now is forcing balls when he doesn't need to. A few of his passes were deflected when he just tried to do too much instead of throwing it away, or tucking it under.
- Travis Smith only saw one possession, and it was with the other freshmen and walk-ons. I would stand by the assessment that it is certainly down to Wolford and Cameron, and it seems to be Wolford's to loseHe has looked the best at nearly every practice, and he has a really strong arm to get it into tight spaces.
- It cannot be stressed enough how bad the team was overall at drawing penalties. The offensive line was especially egregious at this. There were false starts galore, illegal shifts, trying to draw a neutral zone infraction by pointing at the guy who jumped, holds, clips, and more. There are stil 2 1/2 weeks until the first game of the year, but this is a pretty big concern in my opinion.
- On special teams a couple of guys stood out. Adam Centers (true freshman) nailed a 50 yard FG that dinked over the crossbar. Chad Hedlund (was the first team kicker) missed a 49 yarder left, but had at least 5-7 more yards worth of distance to go. This will be an interesting battle to watch, but I stilll expect Hedlund to start @ ULM.
- E.J. Scott continued to look good at the wide receiver position. There are a lack of other consistent options right now at WR, but Scott gets into space well, makes himself available, and has good hands. He will catch a lot of balls this year.
- I think everybody on the team got a turn at running back today. Orville Reynolds appears to still be the starter, and he had a couple of really good runs. Dez Wortham got a few carries as well. A guy that really impressed was true freshman Tyler Henderson. He is extremely patient for a young player and is also difficult to bring down. If I had to guess now, I would say that he is the third string back over Isaiah Robinson.
- Needless to say, the #KinalKount is alive and well, and should get a third year of good numbers to it.
- Overall it was a reasonable scrimmage. The defense is ahead of the offense, and at times it was hard to tell what the offense was doing because of self-inflicted penaltites and the blitzes of the defense.
- Kevin Johnson was a full participant. Allen Ramsey remained sidelined with a concussion sustained earlier in the week. Johnny Armstrong appeared to be in a boot (left leg), but no word on what that is.
Any comments or questions are welcome, especially if you were in attendance!