Ah. What a sight. Football. Full Pads. Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium. You would think the players had not touched a football in years. Everyone was angry. The Offense Ran Angry. The Defense Ran Angry. Defense more so because they were not able to tackle at full speed. If today set a precedent for the upcoming season it was that the Bears are hungry for football, hungry for victory, and will most likely unleash all this pent up adrenaline on poor Grambling State.
TO THE PRACTICE!
Starting Warm ups Notes:
- The Heli-cam in the video was on hand at practice. It was cool to see the camera taking video of the offense running plays like a spider cam. It maintained its view from behind the QB.
- Luke Rubenzer again practiced with the secondary but today, was the lone player in a red jersey. He played safety all practice but was with QBs, whenever there was a Special Teams segment of practice.
- Coach Ingram is working the receivers a lot. The physicality he taught the running backs last season has definitely transferred over to the wide receivers. Coach uses many Graduate Assistants to play the wide receivers and hit them using pads while they run their routes. He's also working on their blocking skill, and my guess is that its to make sure our bubble and WR screens are not blown up by missed blocks.
- Coach Franklin seemed to be working hard between trying to maintain QB practice but also RB practice. A lot was left to the Graduate Assistants, but he did walk back and forth between both to maintain a level of control. Jared becoming, basically, an upperclassman in that group and understanding the order of work and the routine looked to help Coach out as well.
- Everyone seemed to be excited about a Full Pad Day. The ambiance was very upbeat and the team looked like they could practice and play all day/night long.
- Coach Tommerdahl also made sure everyone got in Special Teams work. What looked like just special teams practice was broken up into 3 drills of stutter stepping & shedding defenders, changing speeds, and tackling.
- Bowers has a pretty dang accurate arm, but his arm strength cant match the guys who have been in college for 1+ years. Forrest looks like the back up.
- Jared. Oh Jared. Compared to the wiry frame he had coming into college, the kid has grown into his own. His posture, demeanor, and attitude in practice just oozes veteran and star talent. He wants to win. And makes sure that every pass, every play is perfect and if not went and talked to the players that were involved to make sure it didn't happen when they ran it back.
- Maurice Harris had one heck of an afternoon. Made amazing catches all over the field, including an over the shoulder fade route, which he caught AND tiptoed to stay in bounds.
- Jared threw 5+ TDs during drills with the WRs and DBs. Just clear cut pinpoint passes that gave receivers a clear view of the endzone.
- Did Lasco level up over the last few months? If this was NCAA Football 15. His rating just jumped about 5-7 levels. (Gamers Unite!) Really though. He explodes from his cuts, his acceleration is not human, and his cuts left and right is simply a work of beauty.
- James Looney is practicing like a man gone mad. I wasn't even close to the man but you could see that he just wanted to play football and was going to destroy some people the moment he was able to rush lineman. The O-Line and D-Line were practicing 1-1 drills and on one play he destroyed Dominic Granado. Just pushed him back, no contest. That led to Granado doing up-downs.
- DeVante Wilson looks like a legit beast. His motor is amazing, but to match his motor he has top notch speed and agility to not only break into the backfield but to recover and make open field tackles. Having him and Looney upfront is going to create so much havoc.
- Lonny Powell. Oh lawd. This man may seriously play his way into the rotation this upcoming year. He never stops fighting, plays through the whistle and the biggest part is that he doesn't stop moving his legs. Multiple times he dragged defenders getting yards after contact, or had the momentum to just flat out truck certain defenders.
- Davante Downs, is going to be our best linebacker for years to come. The kid has instincts, ball hawking skills, and a body/athleticism to match all he calculates in his mind. He almost had a pick on a sideline screen play, but the ball just barely bounced off his hands.
- Rubenzer played safety with the first stringers and was exploited on a few plays. But he didn't get too many passes thrown in his direction. He did have pretty fluid hips from what I could see, the only concern was his closing speed and ability to change speeds from back-peddling in a moments notice.
- Coach Franklin isn't just calling plays from the sideline they practice with all of the hand signalers making sure that even the little parts of the play-calling run smoothly.
- The first stringers played like we expect them to. Lawler had some spectacular catches marred by some easy drops where he was already thinking of his next move before he had made the catch. Goff threw amazing passes all over the field, only in places where his receivers could get to it.
- Chase Forrest threw some crazy long bombs today. His best one was an on target bomb to Ray Hudson who ran a seam route. Didn't see if the coverage was blown of if he just got away, but Forrest hit him in stride and there was no going back.
- Lonny Powell basically averaged about 6/7 yards a carry today. They were able to stop him but only after secondary defenders came over to help out. If I were estimate his distribution, Lonny gets about 4-6 yards based on his patient running of waiting for blocks and sliding into holes. The extra yards comes from his explosion and relentlessness in dragging defenders.
- Jack Austin was the surprise of the day. Kid had some amazing speed, and although he wasn't on the level of Trevor Davis or Khalfani, he definitely could burn some DB's running a streak down the sideline. That play ended with an amazing tip toe catch. I definitely will be keeping an eye on his development.
- Vic Enwere is just a monster. He's built like one, runs like one, and clears buildings like one. Wait What? Yes. Vic hurdled someone today during 11s. This and Jack Austin's grab were probably the two offensive highlights for me. Vic broke into the secondary and hurdled Derron Brown. Everything happened so quickly but in that moment the few people that were watching all jumped up and screamed like it was a real football game.
- Speaking of Derron Brown, the safety played pretty outstanding in my book. Now donning the #4 jersey, of the departed Avery Sebastian, Brown held his own and had great coverage movements. It was evident he played his coverage on how the defenders in front of him shifted to cover wider recievers. He was very keen of the space on either side of him.