Posted: 7:56 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 2013
Logan Thomas was far better today than in the first scrimmage on Monday. On Monday, he was not helped out by receivers dropping balls, and occasionally overthrew or underthrew receivers. Today, he was remarkable, and very precise. His footwork, his body positioning and reads were all there. He threw two long passes to Knowles, one going for a touchdown, and he didn't seem to miss much. It also appears the receivers, Joel Caleb, Joshua Stanford, D.J. Coles, and Knowles were all on the same page as him, something that is big considering they will possibly be the top-4 going forward.
Unfortunately, the glaring problem today was the tight ends. Aside from Zack McCray hauling in a touchdown pass from Mark Leal, the tight ends dropped so many passes I was beginning to wonder if Bryan Stinespring cared enough to chew them out. I did not see Stinespring riding them the same way Aaron Moorehead holds the receivers accountable for dropped passes.
In fact, one such play, D.J. Coles dropped a sure pass from Logan Thomas, and he promptly went to the sideline and did push-ups. D.J. Coles, the senior, being returned from a knee injury and expected to be a leader, made himself an example by doing that.
Jeff Grimes got so flustered by the 1st team offensive line, he made them do a bunch of up and downs in their own end zone while the 2nd team offense were on the field. Grimes were very animated today, getting into linemen's faces and holding them accountable.
Scott Loeffler was just as flustered. Reports were coming out that he was upset with red zone and goal line situational work, where Bud Foster's defense, as usual, shut the offense down. Logan Thomas did badly overthrow Ryan Malleck on one play. However, Michael Holmes did score a touchdown from the 5-yard line after Thomas connected to Charley Meyer who got leveled by Der'woun Greene.
Aside from the tight ends productivity being worrisome, another troubling trend also emerged today, and that revolves around the running backs. None of the tailbacks truly separated himself today. Michael Holmes had one explosive run for 20 yards from the shadow of his own end zone, but aside from that, the defensive 1st, 2nd, and 3rd teams were taking away running lanes in a hurry. J.C. Coleman appeared to have tweaked his ankle at some point during the scrimmage and wasn't on the field much, giving reps to players such as Trey Edmunds, Chris Magnus, and others.
At this point, I have doubts that Shane Beamer is ever going to settle on a featured back, and I also beginning to wonder if Beamer is the wrong coach to be coaching the running backs. I know from looking at Beamer's bio, he has coached a lot on the defensive side of the ball, but only once did he coach the running backs.
Special teams today were somewhat average. Cody Journell missed on two long field goal attempts, another pattern that continues to plague him, but on short field goal attempts, he nailed the tries.
With the annual Maroon-White game on deck next weekend, it is clear that the offense, while making strides, still needs to continue to get better (especially on run blocking plays) tight ends need to step up their game and makes catches, and a feature back needs to emerge.
On the injury front today, Jack Tyler did appear to get shaken up, but a tweet from his account appears to suggest the injury might not be as serious as it appeared. However, there were no serious injuries to report today as of yet
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