Owls Don Full Pads: Practice Observations for 08-05-14
Today marked the first time during Preseason Camp that the Owls practiced in full pads as they begin to gear up for the 2014 Football season. The offense shined all day in the sweltering heat, and the defense looked tired at times as they transition with a new staff.
New defensive coordinator Roc Bellantoni has his hands full implementing new schemes as well as having to replace defensive ends Martin Wright and Cory Henry, and linebackers Adarius Glanton and Randell Johnson - who are currently on the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills respectively. Fittingly, the defense was less than crisp.
"We still have an opportunity to see where they're at fundamentally, see where their initial steps and footwork and what their knowledge is and they came in a good place," said coach Partridge. "But today was the first day we got a chance to tackle so some of those things got exposed but I'm glad we went live because now we get a chance to see that on film."
The lines on both sides of the ball look bigger than in years past, but Partridge expressed concern over his defensive line's (photo above) conditioning.
"Brandin Bryant came in weighing 292 pounds, Trevon Coley was 305. That's just two examples of guys working their way into game shape," explained coach Partridge.
The offensive line opened holes for running backs Jay Warren and Tony Moore throughout the day and was able to keep the pass rush at bay all practice.
"The offense won today," said linebacker Andrae Kirk. "It wasn't a physical thing, just the installs," said Kirk, referring to the new schemes Bellantoni has implemented. "We just gotta study more. We'll bounce back."
The quarterback play continues to be a strength for the Owls as both Jaquez Johnson and Greg Hankerson both looked great during the scrimmage and passing drills. Johnson, who looks much trimmer and toned, moved the offense with ease down the field throughout the practice.
"I'm excited where Quez is right now," said Partridge. "If we we're to play a game tomorrow Quez would be the starter. He's moving the offense, which at the end of the day you need an offense that can move the chains and execute.
Hankerson displayed nice touch on a deep pass to William Dukes during a passing drill but on the next play almost threw a sure handed interception only to be dropped by a linebacker. However, Hankerson also led the offense down the field with big plays to Dukes.
"Greg Hankerson continues to improve and press Quez but Quez is answering the call," said coach Partridge.
Jeff Driskel looked erratic throughout the most of the day, before throwing a deep ball to Alex Deleon for a touchdown. The potential is there but expect a redshirt year for Driskel as there is a clear hierarchy of QB depth for the Owls this year.
One of the many highlights of the session was speedy wide receiver Lucky Whitehead taking a swing pass that looked like a sure three yard loss only to elude several tacklers and break it for a 30 yard gain.
The practice session concluded with kicker Greg Joseph being mobbed by his teammates after making a 33 yard field goal. A good sign as the Owls struggled last year in the place kicking department.
"Joseph had a good spring and has elevated his kicking skills," said coach Partridge.
Incoming freshman kicker Landon Scheer was held out of today's practice by coach Partridge for precautionary reasons.
Cyrus saidI think you're taking Partridge's comments about the d-lineman out of context. He was simply just talking about a few players who were not in game shape and it showed with their play. Throughout the practice their was no indication of over work or anything of that nature.
Posted On: Aug 6th 2014, 12:33 AM
I think he took the comment in the context that you reported. You wrote two players were working into shape. What context are we to take that comment as. What did you leave out in your reporting that would make the context more clear? The context I interpreted was that we had two d-lineman on a thin line who didn't work to hard during the summer.
For any other questions regarding the session feel free to ask?
Cyrus saidA thin line is a bit of stretch. These two players are going to be anchoring our d line. The context I intended was Partridge wants Bryant and Cooley to bring their weight down a little bit and the practices in the coming weeks will do just that. No one is on a short leash or in the dog house. At least that was the vibe Partridge gave to the reporters on the scene. Besides I feel its the norm for lineman to make the adjustment of getting back into game shape. Bryant and Cooley were by no means hollering to be subbed out after every play during the practice. I apologize if the quote got another point across and will do my best to clarify going forward.
For any other questions regarding the session feel free to ask?Posted On: Aug 6th 2014, 10:13 AM
Is Coley really over 300 lbs? Wasn't he the DT that was weighing in at 225 last year?
Yes walty12. I couldn't believe it either when Partridge mentioned his weight.