No frills. Let's delve right into Saturday practice.
Rob's Practice Notebook:
- With the departure of both Carlos Strickland and Austin Aaron, the depth chart will need some reshuffling. Thankfully for the Bears, the staff has gotten great depth and talent at the WR position. Its now a matter of who steps up and plays.
- The first big play of the day was a HUGE streak TD to Demetris Robertson. He just ran past the DB who could not stay with him. He followed that display with another TD, this time beating Antoine Albert. He ended the day with a huge 40 yard receiving TD from Max Gilliam. A reliable and dynamic deep-threat has returned to Memorial Stadium.
- The DBs continued their march on creating turnovers. Marloshawn Franklin had 1 INT, Darius Allensworth added to his tally to make it 4 INTs this week, Ray Davison had a Pick-6 and Malik Psalms also had a Pick-6. David Garner also fired a fumble from Drew Kobayashi. We led the country in INT's for a few weeks last season and it seems like the defense has gotten more comfortable with making plays on the ball.
- Raymond Hudson and Chad Hansen are the undisputed safest receivers of the group. They aren't as athletic or dynamic as Melquise Stovall or Demetris Robertson, but are reliable pass catchers to make the smart play with the ball in their hands.
- Justin Dunn continued his rise as a receiver getting the first TD of the redzone 1-on-1 period.
- Raymond Hudson made a tip-toe grab in the redzone and kept one foot in to get the TD. Some of us did not think that he was capable to make those small-space plays, but he proved us wrong today.
- Jordan Veasy may very well be our biggest redzone threat. He scored another touchdown in the redzone 1-on-1s. His athleticism to make plays at the high point will be extremely valuable.
- Davis Webb went full gunslinger today. Practice started at 3, but it sure felt like it was high noon. (Overwatch players, I got you.) His first few plays were ridiculous. One to Patrick Worstell for 8, another to Brandon Singleton for 12, another to Stovall for 15. That’s a total of 35 yards on 3 plays. 3!!!
- The battle for back-up QB has been a two-horse race between Ross Bowers and Chase Forrest. One week of practice in, Bowers seems to be just slightly ahead in the race. Davis Webb has said Bowers has grown the most as a QB from the spring/summer to now and it is showing now.
- Zion Echols dons the #4 jersey. If he's trying to channel the last RB to wear the #4 he's doing a marvelous job. Zion might have Olympic speed, but his ability to make people miss is downright filthy. Echols juked Grace out of his shoes today. It had the entire Cal Media section doing a double take. I'm on the bandwagon.
- Brandon Singleton has continued his meteoric rise at WR. He showed his burst of speed out of his breaks today and that took a lot of DBs by surprise. The initial separation after the break gave him a comfortable area of catching.
- The Lines played well today with the pass rush and protection. The DL constantly put pressure on the OL and collapsed the pocket quickly on quite a few occasions. On the other side, the OL made the right adjustments and gave up some plays but also had some possessions where they gave the QB plenty of time to make a decision.
- Evan Rambo has been making big strides as a safety. He made some great plays in pass coverage yesterday and today he read the play well to come down into the box and stuff the short passing game. On one occasion he read the play going to Ray Hudson so he came down and smothered him after the catch. What could have been a 8-yard play was limited to just 2 yards.
- Marloshawn Franklin, a player whose name will be a fan favorite, struggled at the beginning of camp, but he has adjusted well and started to find his game and rhythm on defense. He had a great PBU in the end zone and also made some stout defensive plays.
- James Looney recorded a sack today. I think I am not the only that really believes he could be really good and needs to have a great year for our defense to alleviate some of the struggles from last season.
- Max Gilliam is one for the future, but man do we want that future to come fast. He connected with Demetris Robertson for a 40-yard TD and made a few plays with his legs to keep the play alive or gain some yards. A true Dual-Threat may be the next dimension this offense needs and Max Gilliam just may provide us with that in a few years.
- I don't think I mentioned today how good Melquise Stovall is when he has the ball in his hands. So here it is. Melquise Stovall is really good with the ball in his hands.
- Drew Kobayashi will force his way into the line-up very soon. His physical attributes and his knack for making plays on the ball will be fun to watch when he can get the consistency down. He almost made an Odell Beckham–esque reception over the middle of the field, but could not keep a hand on the ball.
- Jacob Anderson could play into the depth chart at safety. He has made quite a few plays this fall camp and on Saturday came up with a huge goal-line stop on a throw to the flat. He took the right angle and shouldered the receiver to stop him from extending over the goal line.
- Davis Webb and Jordan Veasy capped off the day with a long TD. Webb rang to him in the end zone for high fives and chest bumps. The camaraderie on the offense has not lost a step from last season.
Let's end the day with a segment I call "Nam Le is Hyped"
So this happened.
FCK IT— Nam Le (@AGuyNamedNam) August 7, 2016
WE'LL WIN 15 GAMES NO PROBLEM
OF THE UNIVERSE— Nam Le (@AGuyNamedNam) August 7, 2016
UNIVERSAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPS https://t.co/rQJla2LEaP
Anyone else this hyped?
"Bartender. I'll have the same."
Defensive end Evan Weaver
Coach Sonny Dykes
Quarterback Davis Webb