First note, if anybody thinks Chase Hansen is going to find a new position other than QB, I think you may be wrong. I believe strongly that after spring camp Cox and/ or Manning will transfer.
Today's practice was mostly position drills working on specific skills. I spent the entire time watching the offensive line and the QBs. A few guys stood out to me in the offensive line drills. Asiata54 is the beast of all beasts. Aiono is as solid as it gets. Litui doesn't fall far behind. The surprise for me on the OBlock is JJ Dielman. He has developed into a superb lineman with great feet and strong hands. He has great posture and moves sideways very well. Jackson Barton is pushing for a starting job at right tackle. He looks more like an NFL frame than anybody on the team. His body reminds me of a young Jordan gross. Once Barton puts on some man meat, about 20 lbs of muscle, the sky will be the limit to him. He is still learning footwork. He was matched up against Kylie Fitts during most of the live action and held his own. I believe Kylie Fittts is going to be a gamer. I would give the starting 5 offensive line a solid B+. There is a definatel drop when it comes to the second string.
I spent time watching the QB drills. THe set up was easy to follow. 4 Qbs threw to four differnt receivers. Escher receiver ran a different route. After each pass, a new QB would rotate in and make his 4 throws. And rotate out. Each QB threw a screen, an out, a mid slant, and a post. I thought Kendall Thompson threw the most catchable ball. Perfect technique, great spiral, and very accurate. I'd give TW the nod for 2 nd best. Cox, Manning, and Isom looked okay, but nothing awesome. I focused on Chase Hansen most of the time. He still has a mission arm. His timing is great, his vision is good, his pocket poise looks adequate. I noted 4-5 deep balls that were thrown short, thus the mission arm. They were right on target, just short.
As scrimmage began, TW took the field with the 1s, playing against the 1 defense. TW did not pass much, there were several running plays. Whenever Moeai lines up on the left side at tight end with JJ and A54, there's enough beef on that side to plow a trench 3 foot deep for 15 yards. 3 rd down and 2 will not be an issue. The tight end position has come a long long way. Moeai, Fakailoatonga, Gonzalez and Handley all bring something different. Moeai looks as big as d-lineman.
McCormick saw a lot of the field. He's tiny, but elusive. The first tackler always missed him.
Manning came in next with the 2s offense. The 2s defense did not allow manning to do anything. The 2's DL would start at most schools in the PAC.
Hansen took the majority of the snaps in the live scrimmage. There were 3 different plays where he scrambled that he did not look like a QB. He looked more like a rangey tail back. The kid can flat out run. He was live and did not mind running into the middle line backers and safeties. He has come a lot farther than most have expected. My only knock on him today was his overall arm strength. Over the next 4 months, that will change. I belive whole heartedly he will pass Cox and Manning on the depth chart and force their hand. TW and KT are seniors, Hansen has a chance to take a job next year. Isom did not get many if any reps. Cox got a few, but nothing special or outstanding.
Receivers are still my biggest question. Kscott sat out. Singleton had a trainer working on his shoulder. McCormick made the most plays. I just hope this group pushes each other and by fall camp, we have someone special.
Boobie Hobbs got in Gonzalezs face after a play. He's a full helmet smaller than gonzie. Gonzie stiff armed his helmet and held his helmet and Hobbs was grabbing at air trying to get to gonzie. It was hilarious. The coaches broke it up before it escalated to far. The very next play, gonzie lined up in the slot and had to block for a run coming his way. He went straight for Hobbs, hobbs did not make the tackle. Hobbs left him alone after that. I do like the toughness of Hobbs. Being tough and mean can make up for a lot of things.
Special teams drills showed Hackett may win the Ray guy award a second time. He has hit the weights and has definately added 5-7 lbs. You don't even have to be watching him when he punts to know its him. When he strikes the ball, there is a definate thud, different from every punter on the team. I watched him kick off a tee from the kick off hash and he made it into the endzone.
Andy Phillips did not have his best day, he missed 2-3 out of 10 or so. You could easily mistake him for a d tackle. His arms are as bigger than ever linebacker. He does have better power with a higher trajectory. I think he is still nursing a soccer injury on his foot. As this clears over the summer, he's going to keep us in a lot of games. I think his hang time will be much better.
I look forward to the first scrimmage to see more of the offensive playbook. As for now, the defense, as always, is ahead of the offense. If the younger kids on the oblock can bulk up, pay attention in drills, learn their assignments, and take the film room serious, this group will be fine. The 2's and 3s on the oblock need work. It will come with experience and time.
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