The rain ruined Monday's practice and the football team didn't resume practice until yesterday afternoon. The team practiced in full pads. I watched only the first hour and half, which was mostly warm ups, position drills, and a little 11 on 11 action. I mainly looked at the defensive backs and a special team drill simulating punt coverage, that was very hard-hitting.
Damon Jenkins practiced yesterday, there seemed to be no ill effects of his injury that occurred last Saturday. I was asked a question early this week concerning the defensive backs and why not move a safety over to cover the depth problem at cornerback. Safety is not too experienced either, but has more talented depth. In my opinion the top four DBs, regardless of position, are CB Marcus McCauley, S Vincent Mays, S Josh Sherley and S Moses Harris, with CB Damon Jenkins, S Marvin Haynes, CB Elgin Simmons, and S Jake Jorde the next best four. Not sure if it makes any difference but the top four that I mentioned were practicing together in drills. The talent behind those 8 drops off tremendously. As well, McCauley is a very good corner, but Jenkins and Simmons are just ok, maybe the safeties will have to pick up the slack?
The punt coverage drill was the most entertaining part of practice that I witnessed. Two drills alternated after each other. Each drill had three players, one punt coverage, one punter return blocker, and a punt returner. A combination of offensive and defensive players, mostly RBs, DBs, LBs, WRs, and TEs, participated in the drill. Since Clifton Smith and Joe Fernandez are sitting out of spring practice, a bunch of new guys were returning the punts and not practicing in punt coverage hitting. Marcus McCauley and Shannon Dorsey looked the most impressive returning kicks, didn't drop any punts. Youngsters Seyi Ajurotutu, Jason Crawley, Marlin Moore, Andrew Jones, and a few others alternated as punt returners, too.
Players paired up and switched between blocking and punt coverage. MLB Dwayne Andrews and FB Frank Padilla had some good hits against each other, as did FB Roshon Vercher and TE/FB Isaac Kinter. Soph. TE Drew Lubinsky looked great containing senior LB Alan Goodwin. DEs Tyler Clutts and Ikenna Ike were the only "lineman" practicing punt coverage that I noticed.
I will focus again on the defensive backs on Friday, and report on the development of the quarterbacks, too. Brandstater, in my opinion, is starting to pull away from the pack, but it is still way too early.