With the annual G-Day festivities behind us, it's time to take a look at what (little) we can learn from Saturday's activities. In no particular order . . .
Logan Gray looked really good. Not so much his running(which wouldn't be a surprise), but his footwork and mechanics in the pocket. Logan has what I would term very "quiet" feet. That is, he gets back into his drops and doesn't unnecessarily chop and shuffle his feet. The deep throw that Izzy Troupe dropped in the first half was about as on the money as that throw gets, and he delivered the ball with good power.
Speaking of Troupe, Zack Mettenberger almost decapitated him on a 7 yard in route. Because throwing 95 mph fastballs on short routes is pretty much what freshman quarterbacks do. Matthew Stafford elevated it into an artform at one point. Aaron Murray is way ahead of Mettenberger in the pocket at this point, and I have to think Mettenberger is the more likely of the two to redshirt.
What dropped passes? I must have been in the restroom when that happened . . .whistling past the graveyard . . . nothing to see here . . .move along . . .
Kirk Herbstreit summed up Joe Cox's game in one sentence during the second quarter: "When Joe Cox is in rhythm he can put the ball exactly where you want him to put it." The Senator opines that Cox may not be JT3, but he's not D.J. Shockley either.
For my part I suspect early April may be a tad too soon to make such an assessment. Let's not forget that D.J. Shockley (inconsistent, oft-injured backup) wasn't really D.J. Shockley (insert hushed reverence here) either until he won an S.E.C. Championship (or at least until he dismantled Boise State like they were Dan Hawkins' Intramural All-Stars). The Senator is dead right however that Cox doesn't have great arm strength either. But then again, now is as good a time as any to come to the realization that we may never again see a quarterback in Athens with the kind of shoulder cannon Matthew Stafford hauled around. That particular genetic lottery ball drops about three times a decade, and the odds are good that the lucky kid with that gift is going to matriculate somewhere else.
While it's not David Greene level, I noticed Joe Cox has a pretty decent play action fake. I'm betting that gets put to use early and often this season, since the Ginger Assassin is not going to be using his superhuman arm strength to thread the needle. He'll need other ways to create the necessary separation downfield, a la that other #14.
I really miss seeing Knowshon bounce up after every play. I'll miss that more than the high flying antics, and I'm betting our offense will too. While Caleb King was workmanlike, he just doesn't have that burst that Knowshon Rockwell Moreno did. Carlton Thomas is jitterbug quick, but just doesn't have the lower body strength and balance at this point to stay on his feet after the second and third hits. He's too explosive not to get on the field, however. Herbstreit says there won't be a significant dropoff at tailback. Right now, I simply cannot agree with him. But until Richard Samuel returns and the offensive line reaches some level of consistency, meaningful comparison will be impossible.
Matt Stinchcomb would be way better than Thom
Thumb Brennamen as either a play-by-play or color guy. Or hotdog vendor. Or vascular surgeon. I almost died when I heard him say that last year we were playing "musical meatheads" on the offensive line, and that when he was Murray and Mettenberger's age his biggest decision was "vest or cummerbund". Again, the fact that Matt Stinchcomb is not making scads of cash in broadcasting while Thom Brennamen remains employed and loose on the streets is further proof that the distribution of labor is, at any given moment, horribly inefficient.
Justin Houston has to have some help. Maybe it will be Rod Battle, or Montez Robinson, or Darryl Gamble. But if we can just find one more consistent DE we'll improve a lot on that side of the ball.
Bryan Evans looks very good at safety. His closing speed is going to be a huge asset at that position. Likewise, Sanders Commings's size will be a huge help at corner. I saw at least one pass that he batted away with a finger tip simply because, at 6'2, his finger tips are farther out than the average corner's. I also think he'll be important on the goalline, and would pay money just to sit there in practice and watch A.J. Green and Marlon Brown try to catch the patented Mike Bobo endzone fade route against him.
Now if Coaches Ball and Lilly can get the receivers and tight ends to hold onto the ball, we'll be in business. I'd look at the dropped passes as something to work on, something which we might not have known about otherwise. The opportunity to ferrett out this type of glitch is one reason you have a spring game in the first place.
At the end of the day, it's still a glorified practice with a stripped down gameplan and trick plays you'll likely never see on a fall Saturday. And that's before we consider the significant list of injured nonparticipants. But the good news is that we didn't injure anyone else and a lot of guys who needed livefire snaps got them. Mission accomplished on those fronts.
Anybody else have any thoughts on the day that was in Sanford Stadium?