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Friday, August 9, 2013

Practice Review 8/8/2013

I told you guys that I would have a preview for you yesterday, but I was way too excited to finally welcome Nike into my home. He is adorable, and I hate going to work now because I have to leave him alone for a few hours of the day. He’s so like my little brother in the sense that he wants to sleep right under me. In a day, I’ve already taught him to sit! Yayyy! Now the potty training will be a challenging road to say the least.

ANYWAY, let’s talk football!

Again, I heard the blaring speakers from the Jones, and I thought the guys were practicing in the Jones so I rode my friend’s bike across the street to see if I could catch some practice time. Come to find out, they were doing sound checks in the Jones (by the way, THAT JUMBO TRON IS GOING TO BE SICK)! I was kind of riding around and I noticed I could see the full practice field by sitting on the side of the bubble where there is a hill. I watched until a staff member approached me and ask me who I was. When I told him who I was I suppose he went back to Kliff or somebody and they said it was okay for me watch their closed practice. Note: I will not be able to watch practice again because I work as a community assistant at University Pointe and we’re getting ready to renovate all of the apartments. Pray for me as this can be a trying time, but the money makes it worth it.

QB – I’ve always been one to say that the QB race is dead even. After watching one day of practice, I can honestly say the starter is evident, but the back-up race will be close. I think Brewer is of course the leader. His poise in the pocket when things break down along with his experience does make for the idea candidate. Brewer seems to be way more confident than in the spring. When I say confident, I mean he’s attempting the throws that he may have second guessed in the spring. That’s coach Kliff’s “no thinking, just play football mentality” in full effect and I love it. I think he knows he’s going to be the starter, and if that is true, the back-up QB battle (to me anyway) is going to be very tight if Brewer is the guy. You can red shirt Webb all season, but if Brewer goes down and Webb is the next man up, I think this staff will gladly take Webb’s redshirt.

WR’s – Dropped balls still seem to be a problem here with the rotation guys. I think our starters are going to be solid. Yes, I do believe Marquez has improved his route running skills from what I saw. Yes, Amaro can be the best TE in the country next year – we’ll see about his attitude during rough times next year. Honestly there is not much to report from these guys. I will say I do believe that Kliff has taken more from New England than people believe. This offense (to me) is a dink-and-dunk style offense implemented with the hurry up. That leads to tired DB’s – which in turn – leads to a big play down field because of lazy eyes and slow reads. That’s a simplified way to explain what New England does.

Offensive Line – I know that guys have gone on the record and said that this offense is going to surprise some people (Kerry Hyder), but I just don’t see it yet. I know I have not seen them progress from spring to now, but from what I saw at that practice, it seemed like Coach Wally’s attacking defense almost always got the upper hand on the line. On more plays than not, our QB’s were on the move or simply just Manziel’ed it for a nice gain because the pocket collapsed very quickly. This goes back to why I’m leaning on Brewer more than I was before. He seems like someone who can handle the break downs, whereas Webb panics a little. On a side note, I do believe this O-line will be okay for the season because I have not seen any other Big 12 schools’ defense look at complex as this one. Will it be picked up eventually, of course, but in the meantime, expect this defense to make some early conference noise. LET ME GO ON THE RECORD and say that I believe the season will be determined by these guys!
Defensive Line – This is one area where I am not an expert to be honest. I think these guys have a solid rotation for sure. I know these guys have some getting in shape to do, but that’s compared to (what we assume) will be the fastest offense in the country. I’ve heard nothing but good news from the coaches on these guys, so I think the defensive line will be a solid group.

Linebackers – I am still a little all over this place with the names for these LB positions. I had it down pact when I was helping one of my friends learn the playbook, but now I can’t remember. Anyway, I know our guys are undersized here, and that’s my real only concern. I know these guys say heart beats talent, but I would question: We’re they not playing with heart under coach Tuberville because they couldn’t stop the run to save their lives? I know most would say they improved under Coach Kaufman, and I would agree, but they fell apart in the end finishing 74th in the rush defense category. I’m not here to discuss the Tuberville era, so please save the comments for VTM. I like what coach Wally is having these guys doing anyway. I saw great blitze combinations that were hard for the offense to pick up at times. These guys fly around, and I do believe that though we don’t have the biggest guys, we have guys that have something to prove. This group will be fine.

Defensive Back – Since I am now writing while at work, I’ll make it quick. This group is doing well as it seems so far. We all hear the good news about Bruce. I think he’ll be a target down field against bigger and taller WR’s, and we’ll see if he man’s up to the challenge. This group as previous years would suggest can be very inconsistent, so again we’ll have to see. I saw quite a few times these guys get beat down field. (I was sorta further away and seeing the jersey numbers was slightly difficult) so I can say who was particularly doing what. They had refs during the practice, and we got a few pass interference calls when the ball was thrown deep so these guys will need to do better when finding the ball in the air.
Coach Haverty really gets after these guys! He pretty much was on the field with these guys (behind the safeties) yelling and coaching in between plays. I think he was yelling at our younger guys which is expected because they haven’t fully grasp the defense (all very normal). Both of our secondary coaches seem to still be coaching alignment. That is very important for us DB’s if you didn’t really know. Sometimes being too close or too far away in a particular play can lead to bad things (i.g touchdowns). Coaches also preach alignment sometimes to confuse QB’s into to making inaccurate checks at the line. 

Penalties - I mentioned we had refs at the practice, and I saw way too many penalties from both sides of the line of the ball. I know Kliff will fix that, but I did want to mention it because I know that was a problem for us last year. 

4 comments:

  1. Courtney, your puppy is ADORABLE! Excellent write-up, thanks! Based on what you saw at practice, what is your overall feeling going into the season? Are you optimistic? Do you think we'll have another one of our infamous "rebuilding" seasons? Thanks, Austin aka Danelle (So I don't always have to identify myself!) Cannot wait for the SMU game!

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    1. honestly Im pretty excited to see where this offensive line progresses along with how this is defense is going to change up it's Tampa 2 base defense.. I know kliff said this offense still isn't running up to speed - and I saw it myself- if they plan on catching people off guard they're going to have to be quicker and more explosive

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  2. Thanks! Interesting to hear that it's our offense that is going to have to be quicker and more explosive. Definitely glad to hear the offensive line is doing better, and it sounds like the defense is going to be worth watching - maybe we'll surprise some folks on that side of the ball like we did last season.

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  3. Courtney ... Houston Mom here ... Rose 7 on DTN or VTM ... Did I ever ask you if you knew the Jackson cousins ?? Rj and Marcus Jackson from Westside ... I think RJ went to LSU and PLAYED his senior year ... Marcus TCU, or Vise/Versus. How about Jonathan Townsend? He's years back, but his mom was PTO President forever ... his dad a big time Church worker.

    And, how are you doing ?? All A-s and E-s???

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