Open practice no. 2

Probably a lot of people have thoughts from the 2nd day of practice. Here are mine:


Quarterback: Colt looks really good and particularly comfortable with the Quan and Ship, which you would expect. John Chiles the quarterback wasn't especially impressive. He got picked off twice and a lot of his throws looked like they lacked strength. Maybe his adjustments to his footwork are taking time to show dividends and are throwing him off? I remember him having better arm strength. Sherrod Harris is a better looking passer but not by leaps and bounds.

Running back: It's really hard to tell at this point because of the lack of real tackling. McGee looks pretty good and has very quick acceleration. Fozzy looks explosive as well. Ogbonnaya coughed up the ball after an awesome hit by Beasley. He shouldn't run the ball much this year. Cody Johnson really impressed me.

We showed a lot of wrinkles in the running game. We ran some triple option with the McCoy/Chiles package and when Chiles took the field as QB another receiver would motion to the backfield to present a pitch man for the same play. Cody Johnson looked like a quick and powerful runner. I was pretty confident in the running game already but the wrinkles we've added give me a lot of hope. Triple option plays, involving multiple running threats, the younger lineman are blowing guys off the line and Fozzy and McGee are both looking great.

Receivers: Certainly there's a lot of talent here but it hasn't been developed to the poin where it can beat our Secondary. Quan looks as good as ever and Ship looks fantastic. Brandon Collins showed some nice open field running on short passes and Ship took one deep off a short slant. Malcolm Williams looks pretty solid as well. I would expect one of those 2 to emerge as the 3rd receiver but it's not particularly clear.

Defense: I learned a lot about our schemes today and the depth chart looks like it's shaping up to be the following: Orakpo, Houston, Miller, Melton.

Sam Acho is a great looking back-up. He drew ire from the Quan for his insistence on coming in on every play and trying to bust it up. He stripped Chiles on a run after the whistle and made some hits. He flies all over the field tirelessly.

Kindle is a first team linebacker now along with Bobino and Muck. I didn't see anything from Bobino that would change my opinion of him (not great). Hopefully Norton develops in understanding to the point where Muschamp starts him.

We ran a lot of nickel with Earl Thomas as the guy covering the slot on the first team. When we ran nickel we took Sergio off the field and had Palmer and Beasley as corners with Scott and Wells as safeties and Thomas on the slot as the Rover/WS whatever you want to call it. Thomas is clearly going to be on the field this year. Wells and Scott I had less of a read on. Blake Gideon is fairly impressive and gets involved in plays well.

Curtis Brown had a pick on a toss-up by Chiles to Buckner. If he can supplant Palmer we'll be extremely good in the secondary. As it is, I worry little about the safeties because our corners look really good and our pressure comes fast.

We ran mostly cover-1 with man coverage and then a safety back deep. We threw some interesting blitzes in and used some blitzing where Orakpo or another end would move around and attack gaps. Aaron Lewis was a 2nd team DT. In the nickel defense for the 2nd team Palmer covered the slot.

At this point I would project Ben Wells and Earl Thomas as the safeties in the 4-3 and Thomas-Wells and ? in the 4-2-5. Without much deep passing it was hard to evaluate Scott and Wells who stayed deep mostly. Keep an eye out for Blake Gideon. Ishie Oduegwu seems behind for now.

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