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Aaron Carrara

Sunday Open Practice @DKR

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8/9 Practice Report

 

Holy... it was hot out there. I made the mistake of sitting on the West side during the beginning to focus mainly on the QBs and WRs. Yall saw my vine videos up top (Give those some retweets). But let me get right into my thoughts.

 

My Stuffs

 

  • We started off in the bull ring with Breckyn Hager demolishing Chris Warren. What a way to start practice. That got everyone pumped
  • QBs
    • I think Swoopes is just better than Heard. Heard is not getting any first team reps. Swoopes made some bone head plays like double pumping before throwing it and fumbling the ball on another, but his pass is just a thing of beauty when he gets it off.
    • Heard made some good decisions but his passing ability just isnt there.
    • Kai Locksley was killing it vs the 3rd stringers. He wasn't doing so well during the QB drills but once he got on the field he flipped a switch.
    • Matthew Merrick needs a redshirt.
  • WRs
    • Oh my lord! Armanti Foreman was killing it out there as you saw in my videos above. He was climbing ladders to pull balls away from our best CBs
    • Marcus Johnson did pretty well today. Nothing jaw dropping but he was consistent. He caught the balls he needed to.
      • actually I lied. He made like one or two great plays. His route running is a lot better
    • Daje Johnson > Ryan Newsome no doubt about it
      • Daje looked good today. Ran good routes and he and Ryan were used in reverses during the scrimmage. Daje broke his off for 15 yards. Ryan got caught in the backfield (OL's fault)
    • Ryan Newsome and Dorian Leonard are very inconsistent. Ryan more than Leonard. Ryan made some good catches at times and dropped a few deep balls. Dorian may have cinderblock hands or feather hands? I can't tell at times. You can't tell whether he'll make a catch or not on a simple play.
    • John Burt will be very good. He runs clean routes, he's got good hands, but he didn't get very many targets. The one target he did get Swoopes double clutched and Antwaun Davis(maybe?) jumped the ball.
    • Lorenzo Joe hurt his ankle twice. First time after losing an interception to Duke Thomas (not his fault) and the second time after making a good play on a pass from Heard
    • DeAndre McNeal is an instant mismatch. Faster than LBs and bigger than CBs. Didn't get many targets.
    • Foreman, Burt and McNeal are my instant favorites for the WRs. They were always in the middle of everything and making things interesting
    • Daje got a lot of targets. They are trying to get the ball in his hands whenever wherever
  • RB/LB
    • Malik and Jonathan Gray are all that and more.
      • ​They went up against eachother on one vs one and it was a tie. HUGE HIT though. That was a highlight of practice. I wanted that on film sooooo badly.
      • I take that back Malik looked human during the scrimmage. Jonathan Gray looked like Superman
    • Cecil Cherry took a step backwards today, but he's still pretty good
    • Deonta Foreman was 2nd team reps and he just ran over our LBs like they were CBs. He made our LBs look like CB in size too.
    • Warren is a beast of a man. He or Foreman will be your third and short guys.
    • I love Kirk Johnson after today. He's flashy and fast and just torched our LBs
  • OL/DL
    • Tank Jackson was taking second team reps again today. I don't know why. He was doing pretty well against first team in drills
    • Hassan Ridgeway was MIA
    • Shiro Davis looked decent today
    • Tristan Nickelson is ginormous!!!!!! But he moves like a giant too (slow). He got beat on the reg
    • Our first team line looks pretty good! but if one of them falls and we have to fill in the gaps with 2nd team well... it wont be pretty.
      • hopefully Wick cleans that up
      • Maybe it is that we just have a lot of depth in our DL
    • Flowers and Doyle were killing it out there.
    • Connor Williams looks skinny! But he held his own against our first team DE, but he got beat by Shiro...
  • DBs
    • Duke Thomas looked really really good at times and mediocre on others (mainly against Foreman)
      • Not only is he the leader by example he was yelling the entire time. He's now my brothers favorite player because of the amount of times he was chirping at Swoopes to "don't do it again" meaning don't pass it to my player again (who was Marcus Johnson).
    • I mean our DBs were pretty damn solid. Swoopes was having a lot of trouble trying to find any one open at times. He often times (when he has to throw it b/c its a drill) had to throw it to a guy who was getting drapped or double teamed b/c they were the most wide open.
    • Kris Boyd and Davante Davis needs some tune ups but they're still pretty good.
    • John Bonney will be our best CB with Duke Thomas when we play ND. I guarantee it.
    • Where in the world is Holton Hill?

All in all good energy, good progress, good all around.

If you have any questions on any players or anything at all just ask me!

 

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Made a vow to try to be positive the rest of the pre-season,  not going to say anything, so just going to SMH with the news about QB performance thus far. Haven't seen practice, and after years of practice reports from fans and coaches don't take stock in anything I don't see.

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Great report, thank you!

 

Sounds like the hype I heard from a friend of mine was true about Burt.

 

Great news about Foreman and McNeal. Love it.

 

Not real encouraged by what I hear about Heard. Agree, he needs first team snaps if he's ever expected to play. And you can't make a true judgement until then anyway.

 

A tad concerned with the size issue with Connor Williams. 

 

They need to attach an electro-shock device to Swoopes with all the pumping. Every time he pumps, zap. lol

 

Can you expand on your comments regarding Boyd and Davis? Are they a little rusty or is the pace something they are needing to adapt to?

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I spent most of the practice watching the QBs. There is a clear separation between Swoopes and the other QBs. Which is what should happen, because he is older and played almost an entire season.

 

He was consistently more accurate in drills and in half field work and 7-on-7s. In drills he had a lot less hesitation. He got the ball out of his hands over half a second faster than Heard on most every route, especially the outside quick screens.

 

There were some bad plays once the pressure turned on. In the scrimmage, he missed three open receivers because 1) he didn't look off the safety, 2)then he didn't recognize the coverage so he wasted time on a deep route and the pocket collapsed, and last 3)he stepped up in the pocket and got stripped when he ran for it (just poor awareness and bad luck). He also had another inexplicable sack outside the pocket when he refused to run it or throw it away. He just did his little shuffle until the defense came up and touched him. 

 

He had some really good throws on deep routes. He does have a cannon. When he knows where to throw the ball, he gets it out quickly and on target. He looks way ahead in these cases. When he has to think about it, he comes back to the pack. His upside is pretty high once he gets comfortable with the new offense.

 

On the new offense. Not a single snap was taken under center. They tried to keep the tempo up, running plays at about a 20 second clip. There were some issues with receivers getting the signals confused.

 

It was the third day. It was okay.

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Everyone needs to relax on heard from what everyone says he is more of a game player than practice player so let's wait and see what he brings vs ND

 

 

Agree there. And Swoopes has always been a great practice player. Its when the lights turn on against a decent opponent that he runs into some sort of voodoo.

 

Thats why when I hear "Swoopes looked great" I'm like "where have I heard that before?" No disrespect to the guys bringing in the practice info, mind you. Your reports are invaluable here.

 

Hard to improvise in structured practice work. Thats where Heard excels. Unfortunately for him, he'll be judged by what he does in practice. He better step it up.

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Everyone needs to relax on heard from what everyone says he is more of a game player than practice player so let's wait and see what he brings vs ND

 

That, my friend, is wisdom if ever I heard wisdom.

 

In real time... on skiis, flying a plane... anything... the real situation is a discovery how one acts and reacts.

Cannot be mimicked in practice.

 

That is what separated VY from everyone.

 

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That, my friend, is wisdom if ever I heard wisdom.

 

In real time... on skiis, flying a plane... anything... the real situation is a discovery how one acts and reacts.

Cannot be mimicked in practice.

 

That is what separated VY from everyone.

 

 

I've seen VY play - Heard is no VY.

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Great report, thank you!

 

Sounds like the hype I heard from a friend of mine was true about Burt.

 

Great news about Foreman and McNeal. Love it.

 

Not real encouraged by what I hear about Heard. Agree, he needs first team snaps if he's ever expected to play. And you can't make a true judgement until then anyway.

 

A tad concerned with the size issue with Connor Williams. 

 

They need to attach an electro-shock device to Swoopes with all the pumping. Every time he pumps, zap. lol

 

Can you expand on your comments regarding Boyd and Davis? Are they a little rusty or is the pace something they are needing to adapt to?

 

I did in our podcast tonight (which should be out tomorrow) but Boyd makes boneheaded plays occasionally and Davis just wasn't super impressive

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I've seen VY play - Heard is no VY.

 

 

You saw VY play at this same stage. And he was nothing to call home about at the time. 

 

Vince used to look awful in practice at times, especially in his frosh and soph years. His delivery was something we all had to get used to and he had to perfect.

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