Today was another solid practice for the entire team. A bit of good news I saw from the get go was that Tim Patrick was participating in warmups and position drills, although he didn't see any action in 7 v 7 or 11 v 11. Tyler Cooperwood was also out of the pit today. After warmups and the circle drill, Demari Simpkins got a shoutout from Coach Holliday in front of the entire team for how well he's been doing in practice so far, which was really cool. Simpkins has earned his drum and feather, by the way. The defense won the day today again, IMO, but by a much narrower margin than they did on Friday. The offense has improved quite a bit. All that being said, here are the observations I had about each position group.
*A quick note, I recorded stats for the QBs in 7 v 7 and 11 v 11 work, but all other positions were only recorded in 11 v 11 work.*
Troy Williams: Troy didn't participate in 7 v 7 or 11 v 11 work today, but he did do position drills and throw in no defense and one on ones.
7 v 7: 8-12, 3 TDs, 0 INTs. 1 completion of <10 yards, 6 completions of 10-20 yards, 1 completion of 20+ yards
In 7 on 7 work, Cox looked really good. He was throwing well and accurately, for the most part, and threw three touchdowns: a 35 yard catch and run to Monte Seabrook, a 10 yard completion to Cory Butler-Byrd, and a 10 yarder to Gage Cook (I think).
11 v 11: 13-29, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 TD rushing. 4 completions of <10 yards, 9 completions of 10-20 yards
Things were a bit tougher for Cox once the D line came in, although to his credit, he drove the team down the field against the first team D and scored the only touchdown of 11 v 11 work, a 1 yard run which came on a QB sneak. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Cox rushed 3 times overall for 7 yards and a TD.
7 v 7: 7-12, 2 TDs, 0 INTs. 2 completions of <10 yards, 4 completions of 10-20 yards, 1 completion of 20+ yards.
Huntley got to see a few reps against the first team defense today with Williams sitting out, and he impressed by making good plays and not making any silly mistakes. He threw two touchdowns in 7 v 7 work, one to Butler-Byrd for 45 yards, and one to Repp form 10 yards out.
11 v 11: 10-19, 0 TDs, 0 INTs. 6 completions of <10 yards, 3 completions of 10-20 yards, one completion of 20+ yards.
Huntley looked pretty good in 11 v 11 work, he was the most accurate passer of the day, but had some trouble sustaining drives and moving the chains. On the last drive of the day, the D got a stop but the coaches gave the O a restart and Huntley took advantage of that to drive the team down to the 33 where Phillips then kicked a field goal to finish off the drive. He did get some reps against the first team D today, and he struggled a bit but looked much better against the second team and had a solid day overall. He also rushed 3 times for 15 yards.
Joe Williams: 7 carries, 55 yards, 0 TDs. 3 catches, 14 yards
Once again, Williams had the best day of the RB group. He had a couple of electrifying runs where he wove his way through the defense, including a 22 yarder which he broke off from the offense's own 2 yard line on third down to get the O out of trouble. Williams was responsible for the lone turnover of the day, as he fumbled a pitch in 7 v 7 work which Kylie Fitts recovered. He had some troubles in the passing game as he dropped one pass and was tackled for a loss on another catch, although that was more due to good play by the DBs to fight off their blockers.
Marcel Manalo: 4 carries, 15 yards, 0 TDs. 1 catch, 10 yards
Manalo had a quiet day, and didn't get a lot of touches, as the practice was pretty pass heavy. (48 passing plays to only 26 rushing plays in 11 v 11 work) He did have a nice 8 yard run where he was hit after about 5 and pushed the pile for an addition 3 yards, and also had a nice catch where he fought through some defenders for 10 yards and a first down.
Troy McCormick: 3 carries, 3 yards, 0 TDs. 1 catch, 10 yards
McCormick was quiet today as well. He has struggled against this defense as he hasn't been able to find much running room between the tackles, which is largely due to the fact that he's running behind the second team O line on most of his reps, and the second team D line is way ahead of the second team OL.
Neither Leha'Uli or Gray did much today, they both only had one carry, for 0 and -1 yards, respectively.
As a group, the wide receivers had quite a few drops today. Some of them were on difficult catches, but there were also a few drops on wide open looks where they had no reason not to come down with it. However, the group did also have a few highlight plays.
Tyrone Smith: 3 catches, 41 yards, 3 drops
Smith had a hot-and-cold performance today. He had a few nice grabs on short-intermediate routes where he made a move and gained some nice yards after the catch, but he also had 3 drops, two of which should've been easy catches. I'm not concerned about him overall, as he's been one of the more sure-handed receivers so far, and I'm guessing he just had an off day.
Kyle Fulks: 2 catches, 15 yards, 1 rush, 4 yards
Fulks had a quiet day today, he didn't get thrown to deep at all. He did, however, have a great catch where he got blown up by Brian Allen and managed to hang on to the ball. One thing that was cool to see was the return of the WR fly sweep, which was run several times, and Fulks was the recipient of one of those.
Caleb Repp: 4 catches, 62 yards, 1 drop
Repp had the best performance of the receivers today, he had the highlight catch of the day, a beautiful 40 yard reception down the east sideline. He caught it about 30 yards from the L.O.S. and fought his way for about another 10 yards after the catch.
Siaosi Wilson: 2 catches, 14 yards, 0 drops
Wilson had two nice short grabs, but didn't make a lot of noise today.
Kenric Young: 1 catch, 14 yards, 1 drop
Young was quiet today as well, he had one nice grab but dropped his other look on a tough diving attempt. One other thing to mention was that he had a highlight reel catch over Brian Allen in 7 v 7 work at about the two yard line for about 35 yards. This provided one of the funnier moments of practice as they immediately started jawing at each other and Allen said something along the lines of "That was your first catch in two weeks, shut up!"
Tyler Cooperwood: 3 catches, 40 yards, 2 carries, 15 yards
Cooperwood had another solid practice, showing why he should be in contention for playing time this fall. He has some of the best hands on the team and is fast and shifty enough that he can cause problems for defenses over the top or closer to the line of scrimmage after the catch.
Harrison Handley: 2 catches, 27 yards
Handley had an extremely impressive deep catch for about 19 yards that he had to extend to come down with. He's showing that he should continue to get playing time this year at the position even when Moeai and Fakailoatonga are healthy.
Ken Hampel: 1 catch, 6 yards
Hampel recorded the only other catch of the tight end group today, a short completion where he was quickly met by Cody Barton.
The defense continued to look nasty today and was highlighted by continued excellent plays from the line and the secondary. The defense recorded four sacks today, which was thanks to an improved effort from the offensive line, but the sacks were recorded by Pita Taumoepenu (3) and Filipo Mokofisi. Taumoepenu also had a tackle for loss. Another defensive line highlight, which was perhaps the most impressive defensive play of the day, came from Chris Hart, who stopped Joe Williams at the goal line as Williams tried to get around the edge, preventing a touchdown. Hart also recorded a pass breakup. The linebackers were unremarkable again, of the group, Cody Barton continues to look the best.
The secondary had a nice day as well, and although they didn't have any interceptions in 7 v 7 or 11 v 11 work, Marcus Williams snagged an INT in one on one work against Wallace Gonzalez. There were some nice pass breakups, notably from Brian Allen, Boobie Hobbs, and Justin Thomas. Allen used physical play to prevent completions, whereas Thomas used great technique to break up a long attempt. Hobbs had 3 or 4 breakups of his own. He has looked much improved this spring. Probably the most impressive breakup of the day came from Mackay Dunn, who broke up a fade attempt on the last play of 7 v 7 work and very nearly came down with the INT, but unfortunately fell out of bounds before he could secure the ball.
Wishnowsky looked good again, displaying a great mix of power and accuracy on his punts. His highlight came when he booted the ball from his own 5 yard line and it hit and rolled down to the opposing 10. (Net of 70 yards) Phillips connected on all of his field goal attempts, but the drop off after him is pretty steep at kicker. All the other kickers shanked their attempts and struggled with distance as well.
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