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 4/12/08 Scrimmage Report

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IrishE
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PostSubject: 4/12/08 Scrimmage Report   Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:01 pm

From Jerry the Jacket:

I enjoyed attending practice yesterday. On the way up to the Stadium it
started raining like crazy and I thought for sure it was going to be a
wet day and not such an enjoyable experience. But just as I started
walking toward the East stands to go in, it stopped raining and after a
few more minutes the weather kind of stabilized and there were even a
few moments of sunshine. The weather was cool and a little windy so it
felt like football weather. The usual suspects were in attendance
although the crowd seemed a bit smaller than what I have observed at
other practices. Maybe the threat of rain kept a few away. There were a
lot of prospects on the sidelines and it is evident that our recruiting
efforts are in high gear.

The guys went through a few drills and then the scrimmage started.
The first play was a B Back dive
into the line featuring Dwyer. He was rudely met by D. Richard and JD
had to sit out the next 15 minutes or so. Man that was a real
collision. Booker was leading what appeared to be the number ones on
offense but had little success against the D. He was sacked
unmercifully by, Walker, MJ, Jefferson, Barnes and Cedric Griffin. He
made a few good reads and pitched the ball OK when he could get rid of
it. It was evident the middle of our offensive line struggles to
protect the QB and open holes. They had their moments but for the most
part the day belonged to the D. I have to say that in my opinion, Brice
Dykes took a major step forward yesterday. In fact as the practice
progressed it was Dykes and not Booker that was running the plays with
the first group. Dykes is a tough little dude and he actually executes
the triple option better than Booker. Nesbitt was held out of live
contact as I think that groin injury is still bothering him.

Dykes was the star of the offense in my opinion.
He made several nifty plays including some tough
runs, one of which he had his helmet knocked off but continued to grind
forward and fight for yardage. He also broke wide open and made a 60
yard or so run for a touchdown. He is not lightning fast but he has
enough speed to get it done. The other standouts on offense were Dwyer
and Jones. JD was a man on a mission when he got back in there. He was
running down hill with authority and broke several nice runs. He
finished off a couple by punishing the tacklers. Anyone worried about
Dwyer can worry about something else, JD is the man. Cox made some good
tough runs and Kelly did not get as many opportunities. Roddy Jones
showed he can break off some nice toss sweeps and get some tough yards
also. J. Evans looked better and was making some nice blocks as well as
some decent runs.

The receivers were not prominently featured though Earls and Cone made some nice grabs. Be Be
sat this one out with a tweaked hamstring. In the drills Nesbitt made
some really nice throws and Melton, Cone, Clyburn and Fisher all made
some nice grabs. Nesbitt appears to be a much better passer than I had
originally thought.

The offensive line is still learning the new blocking techniques and there really does not appear
to be a dominant offensive lineman emerging. Gardner even got beat by
MJ a couple of times. Michael Johnson is an imposing looking force out
there and he will make a lot of offensive tackles look bad this coming
season. I think the coaches are still very much evaluating who will
start on the offensive line and of course Cord has not been in there
and I think Sellers will get a good long look once he returns from
rehab.

Overall, the offense continues to be a work in progress. There is progress but there is
still a long way to go. You can definitely see the potential of this
offense to generate big yardage and it is so deceptive and there is so
much movement that as a fan you will be thoroughly entertained once it
gets cranked up and working.

On Defense the front 4 are a major strength of the team. We have a very good starting group and
our second team looks very capable as well. I would say we have the
potential to go 10 deep in this area by the start of the 2008 season. I
think the linebacking group looks good but I think the coaches are
still evaluating who the ones and twos are. Jefferson, Jackson and
Barnes seem to be ahead right now, but Griffin, Chambers, Braman and
Tongo are all getting a serious look as well plus with have Bowen
coming back this fall. Rocker and Tony Clark appear to be a bit behind
right now.

The secondary appears to be shaping up pretty nicely. Burnett is a tackling machine and when he
hits you, you go backwards. He made several impressive plays during the
scrimmage. Tarrant, Word Daniels and Butler appear to be very capable.
Reese is still out and a bit nicked up but has shown promise. Peterson,
Blackwood and of special note Troy Garside are showing they can play.
Garside was all over the field yesterday. He was in on several tackles
and was really laying the wood to some folks. I think we might have
found us a player in Mr. Garside. He is quick and has a nose for the
football. He kept showing up around the ball in a bad mood. I really
think Troy along with Dykes were the stars of this scrimmage.

Blair is the best kicker we have and he has a legitimate D1 college kicking leg. He may be the best
punter we have as well though Crosby has shown moments of brilliance.

In summation it was a good day overall. I think the defense is still a bit ahead of the offense
which is to be expected. We might have a better defense this year than
last year as a matter of fact. Our offense is a work in progress and we
really need for one of the QBs to step forward and take the job and be
the trigger man this offense requires. Our line is coming around but it
will be this fall and perhaps a bit into the season until we really
jell in that area. Special teams probably will not be as good as last
year unless we find a real threat to return kicks and our kickers equal
the level of performance of what we had last year. I continue to be
very impressed with the organization, execution and high energy level
that this coaching staff has set as the standard for the program. Coach
Johnson and his men have a plan and they are hard at work implementing
it.

Go Jackets!
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PoppaNovember
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PostSubject: Re: 4/12/08 Scrimmage Report   Sun Apr 13, 2008 3:41 pm

Thanks for posting this, Irish. And thanks to Jerry for the report.

I've been starved for details lately, although there are some good pics from the scrimmage posted over at The Hive. Nice to hear that Dykes is surprising folks. The real question is can he throw? The fact that Booker seems to be dropping off is worrysome. I had hoped that he would be a good QB-2, change of pace from Nesbitt, (assuming, as we all do, that JN is going to get the job).

I'm not at all surprised about the learning curve for the O-Line. The blocking assignments are so radically different in this offense, from what they'd been taught. Plus, they're having to learn this scheme while up against a stellar D-Line.

PN
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ahsoisee
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PostSubject: Reply To Irish & Jerry   Sun Apr 13, 2008 4:52 pm

Thanks for the report Jerry.

It is appreciated.

Father Time
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Coach B
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PostSubject: Re: 4/12/08 Scrimmage Report   Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:30 pm

Thanks for the report. How's David Brown? I saw that he seemed to be a bit nicked up on Wednesday's practice.
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techneek1
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PostSubject: thanks PNovember....   Mon Apr 14, 2008 1:06 am

those were some awesome pics, huh ? ('lol!')
lol!
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PostSubject: Walkons   Mon Apr 14, 2008 8:52 am

Looking at the roster I see that out of the roughly 90-95 players on the team 35-40 are walkons. Is this the normal ratio? And how many are likely to get playing time and a scholarship?
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vamosjackets
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PostSubject: Re: 4/12/08 Scrimmage Report   Mon Apr 14, 2008 6:50 pm

Dykes reminds me of the type of QB CPJ would have at Navy. That's the caliber player he is. He doesn't throw well, but with this offense the receivers are open enough that it elevates his throwing ability to adequate. He's smart enough, brave enough, and just barely fast enough to move the ball some. If Booker is in there, we better improve our pass protection. He was getting killed yesterday. He could be effective if he had time to pick the defense apart. That will make him more effective in the option game. If he started tomorrow, the way we protected him yesterday, we'd be in trouble (good for the defense though). Right now, Dykes is more effective in the option game and moving the offense as a whole. Lord, please heal Josh Nesbitt and send your angels to protect him from further injury .

Reveiving corps was just adequate imo. We need Bay Bay back, pretty badly. He's a weapon all the way around as a WR in this O. Earls seemed to be limping as well. Melton is a positive. The walkons can get the job done somewhat.

A lot of the players seemed to be banged up. Many were complaining of pain of some sort on the sideline and are playing through it. It's been a physical spring.

Fumbles, fumbles everwhere! Unbelievable how many fumbles. And, most weren't option related, they were QB/Center related. I guess that's what you get when you have all new QB's and all new Centers, but dang, we won't win a game if it continues at even half the pace it's at now.

Dwyer was fun to watch yesterday. When he gets fired up, you're glad he's on your side. Made some great runs and moves when he was a pitch man on a lead option once and once on a lead toss sweep. He'll bring some versatility to the Bee-back position and open up more opportunities to exploit/keep defenses off guard.

Defense looked good for the most part. We need Reese to get well or somebody to step up at the other safety spot.

1 field goal kicker looked good on both his kicks, and 1 punter looked good on both of his (I didn't catch who they were). Two others I watched didn't get it done. I guess all we need is one though.
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