The Bears held a light practice on Monday, wearing only shells and gym shorts. There wasn't a lot to look at but here are some of the highlights of practice.
- Austin Aaron was out of a red jersey. A great sign for his health and improvement going into the spring game.
- Worstell, Hawkins, Piatt were the only players in red jerseys.
- Darius Allensworth and Melquise Stovall were dressed in a shirt and shorts but, did not practice with the team.
- Practice began with a lot of walk-throughs and different personnel groups.
- Ross Bowers got the first reps at the QB spot followed by Luke Rubenzer, Chase Forrest, Zach Kline, and Max Gilliam, in that order. (Read that however as you may).
- The majority of practice was positional work. Running Backs worked on cuts, jukes and reading the right gap. Wide Receivers and Defensive Backs worked on the screen pass game. O-line/D-line had some one on one battles of their own.
- The QBs were either with Coach Spavital or rotated duties playing with the Running Backs and Wide Receivers.
- The offense worked through a 2 minute drill without the defense. Bowers got the first reps followed by Gilliam then Rubenzer.
- The offense then moved to 1-on-1's. WRs Vs DBs.
- No reception in the first 10 match ups.
- Jordan Duncan produced the first grab of the period catching one over Nwokocha.
- Jordan Veasy beat his defender and gets great separation on a post route, but Rubenzer severely under throws him. Veasy adjusted to make the catch, but was stopped short of the end zone.
- Max Gilliam threw a perfect fade to Bug Rivera who tip toed out of bounds and got the TD.
- Kline threw some great touch passes, that was unexpected.
- Kline also threw some hard fastballs, one in particular to Brandon Singleton who made a great adjustment to make the reception.
- Carlos Strickland had an amazing grab in the 1-on-1's. He jumped full extension and high pointed the ball over his defender who was between him and the ball. Throw was made to a spot only he could get to. Pass was thrown by Chase Forrest.
- Jaylinn Hawkins spent time catching punts. He had a redshirt on so wasn't returning them, but it's clear the coaches want some dynamic players in the return game.
- New equipment was out and about for the QBs. First was a Throwing Net with 3 Targets. Second was a huge net bucket to work on the fade throws. Gone are the trash cans of the Tony Franklin Era. Lastly, a designated GoPro-esqe camera meant to film the QBs throwing motion and movement.
Upgrade over the trashcan. pic.twitter.com/lHgI6bYfMJ— GoldenBlogs (@GoldenBlogs) April 5, 2016
- Dylan Klumph had some outstanding punts in special teams practice.
- Team split into Pass Game and Run Game once the entire team was on Kabam Field.
- Devante Downs started the session strong with an INT off a tipped pass. He covered about 5 yards in a couple of seconds and dived for the ball. Incredible reaction.
- Max Gilliam makes an outstanding thrown to Singleton running a streak on the outside. Threw it perfectly to Singleton in stride and into his hands that did not even need to stretch out.
- Ross Bowers made some great throws but still needs to add some velocity to his short to intermediate throws.
- Nwokocha also almost had an interception. Jumped a comeback route perfectly but the ball comes off his pads. It looked like he didn't think the pass would come out that fast.
- Kline also had one of his passes batted down...by a stationary object. You know...that QB camera we were talking about earlier. Shifted in the pocket to make the throw didn't realize the camera stand was in his way until after he made the throw.
- The entire WR corps did up-downs after the 1-on-1's and passing drills. Coach Dykes was clearly upset at the amount of dropped passes that had happened.
- Rubenzer also made great moves in the pocket. One instance in particular felt the pocket collapse from both edges, stepped up with his eyes downfield and in his passing stance, and took off as soon as he saw daylight.
- All the QBs seem to have a good rapport with Singleton. Chase Forrest threw his last catch with a perfect over the shoulder grab for about a 30 yard gain.
- During position drills the Coach Chachere worked on a cut-spinmove-stiffarm sequence with the backs and did that going in either direction. Billy McCrary III put what he practiced to good use and beat David Garner with it. That was a sight to see.
- Practice ended with Tracking drills on Kickoffs.
Practice Side Notes:
- Bryce Treggs was on hand to watch the team practice.
- Damariay Drew was injured in the waning moments of the final 1-on-1s. He was carted off the field.
Coach Dykes Post-Practice Interview: