Ok so here is the deal. I wasn’t going to cover practice today. I had work to do, notecards and old papers to re-write, emails to send and all sorts of fun stuff. But as it turns out, there was a window seat in the library available and the football team just so happened to be practicing right outside. I couldnt resist. I watched from my perch and caught a good amount of the action, and here’s the proof.
Its been absolutely B-E-A-U-tiful on the Palouse the past few days and today was no exception. The guys were in full pads today and you could tell they (or at least the D) were begging for some contact.
Halliday and the offense are running the traditional 1st O v 3rd D drill to begin practice. The O-line from left to right is Eklund, Dahl, Bosch, Goetz and Forbes. There are only two WR and a RB with the drill at first, the rest of those positions are going through individual drills.
Apodaca comes in and his group of Lineman is Seydel, I couldnt get the left Guard but I assume it was Dahl based on previous practices, Brevick, Dotson, Middleton. Coach Yost is the main guy for this drill. Leach just stands off to the side and observes, but Yost is very hands on with the offense for this run-through. I’d also like to note the D plays very relaxed here as should be expected to begin practice. I actually dont think they are supposed to make plays, just go through the motions.
The D-line is stretching and just staring at the offense. I swear they are imagining devouring them in the drills to come. I get a sweat just looking at them. Maybe the heat in the Library is too high…
Apodaca had a couple communication issues on a few plays, he and #RickeyGalvinForHeisman had to go over when he was supposed to cross in motion.
Halliday comes back in and so does the original O-line. The rest of the WR’s are participating now too. Halliday has a hot hand today, he has already over shot a couple guys.
Robert Lewis sighting already and man he looks like he might be this years Gabe Marks. Well technically he is from last year… You know what I mean.
Logan Mayes is still on crutches. Chester Sua, Robert Barber, and Destiny Vaeao are all not in pads.
Bull in the ring has begun and I have a downright purdy view to watch the action.
As the ring is created the offense and defense gather on either side. The defense is led by Darryl Monroe who is dancing in the middle surrounded by other defenders breaking it down around him. I have decided he will now be called Darryl “So much swag” Monroe.
When linemen collide in this drill this is my reaction from my place in the library. Elliot Bosch and Zack Brevick lined up against each other for the first matchup I could see clearly. They were evenly matched. Next Darryl Paulo had the task of going up against Ione Gauta but surprisingly Paulo handled him well. So well they had a round 2 to decide a winner and I would give it to Paulo. Pole then took on Forbes in what was a formidable matchup. Pole got the best of Forbes in both of their rounds.
The whole team turns around to look at something and as I examine the field I see Theron West running onto the practice field. So naturally he is up next. As Bull in the Ring ends I figure my coverage would end as well. Typically the offense would leave and that would be that. BUT NOT TODAY BABY!
The team stays to get some special teams work with the field goal unit. I now realize this is the first time this spring I’ve seen such work being done. No kicks were blocked (take that UCLA) and Furney was money the whole drill. He even botched a kick from about 37 yards out and still got it to go. I found it odd that Mike Bowlin held the first couple kicks and then Austin Apodaca took over. Guess you always need a backup.
As the fieldgoals came to an end the offense ran to Martin. Damn. Well I’ll watch the defense for as long as I can I suppose.
First team D today consisted of CB: Damante Horton, Nolan Washington S: Taylor Taliulu, Casey Locker LB: Kache Palacio, Darryl Monroe, Eric Oertel, Justin Sagote D-line: Ione Gauta, Matthew Bock, Xavier Cooper
Rahmel Dockery and Tracy Clark got a lot of work with the 1′s and 2′s at CB. And if Deonne Bucannon was out there anywhere I didn’t see him.
The defense is playing against a makeshift offense that is Quarterbacked by none other than Mike Breske himself. The guy can actually throw it pretty good. He made a nice pass to reserve Safety Beau Glover and got some nice touch on a ball he threw just over a leaping Darryl Monroe. Monroe thought that was pretty funny and Breske shook his hand around like it was on fire afterwards.
The guys I’ve been paying the most attention to are the prospective BUCK LBs and let me tell you, Ivan McLennan might be a disruptor come game time. He doesn’t have the defense down mentally, finding himself often out of place, but he makes up for it with sheer strength and athleticism. He has literally forced coaches to keep him on the field.
His aggressiveness was especially noticeable to me today during drills.
In the above drill the Bucks had to rip past each dummy and then eventually put a hit on the last one to the right. The other LB’s made decent enough contact, but mostly shied away from putting too much into it. McLennan hit those things like a ton of bricks. I mean they freaking went all the way to the ground. Other guys made them sway maybe a foot. And when he went to hit the “Ball Carrier” he killed it. Now of course these are dummies in practice, not Pac-12 linemen, but I love the aggression. Leach says you play the way you practice. This guy practices mean.
The defense has gone into three stations with the players divided up by position. One has defenders running by a dummy to simulate a ball carrier and then just as they pass the dummy the tackler kills the dummy and lands on a jump mat. Its pretty entertaining to watch as linemen kill this thing. The other station has a tackler and two players standing in front of him to the right and left. The tackler must make contact with each and then switch with the guy on the left. A drill I remember from highschool which brought back all sorts of horrible memories.
Mostly ones of Austin Sefarian-Jenkins kneeing me in the helmet as I attempted to tackle him. I didnt know I was practicing with a future NFL tight end at the time. Wish someone woulda told me.
Anyways the defense ran off to Martin and I thought my coverage was over. Turns out it wasn’t. I looked up from making note cards to see the team circled up. Then they break for the end of practice 11v11 matchup. Luckily I have eagle eyes and was able to see Apodaca and Halliday’s drives from the library. Here is how they went.
Halliday had a decent outing. he was 7-12 with a pick. I couldn’t make out his offensive line, I assume it was the guys he worked with earlier. Here is a breakdown of his allotted plays.
Handoff left Teondray Caldwell
Incomplete over the middle for Dominique Williams
Complete middle to who I think was Dominique Williams again. He is wearing a grey long sleeve shirt so he is easier to see.
Handoff right to who I think is Teondray Caldwell.
Complete, checkdown right to Caldwell. almost threw into coverage, took the safety read
Complete, great catch right by #RickeyGalvinForHeisman, play breaking down, thrown across body while flushed left
Picked left by Jared Byers. I had a little trouble seeing the number but I’m pretty sure it was him. He stepped up and made a good catch. Halliday hit him in the numbers.
Handoff left to Robert Lewis. Motioned him across the line from the right, hiked and handed to him as he ran by
Incomplete deep right for who I assume was Gabe Marks. Whoever it was was double teamed
Handoff right to Caldwell who made some spectacular moves weaving through defenders, he ran to the right sideline and ended up back in the middle of the field
Complete over the middle to someone. He looked white so maybe Bartolone or Bontemps
Incomplete deep right. PA then ran right trying to find open guy. Either he meant to throw it away or that one got away from him on the overthrow
Handoff inside to Caldwell I think. Numbers are pretty blurry now as they get close to the East endzone.
Complete? If it was caught Robert Lewis made a hell of a diving catch. I can tell its him by the hair #HairRaid
Complete short right to Lewis
Complete short right to Caldwell who looks like he shimmy and shakes his way into the endzone.
Handoff inside Caldwell. cant tell how far he went.
Complete I think. Quick slant to Dominique Williams and a nice throw and catch
Just so you know how far away this is, here is my view as Halliday was in Redzone play.
Apodaca had a rough time today. He was 6-12 from what I could see.
First play cant see what happened but a O player got chipped and it comes to fisticuffs and a big scuffle in the middle. At least 20 players piled up, pretty entertaining to watch.
Complete middle to Bartolone. Pressure breaks down but good job moving right and looking downfield.
Sack. I dont think Apodaca got anything out, pressure came and he rolled left to meet the Dline.
Complete over the middle to who I think was Robert Lewis #HairRaid
Handoff right to Bartolone. I think he came over in motion and then Apodaca handed it off to him as he crossed
Incomplete. Motioned lewis right like Bartolone’s last play but then Apodaca rolled out left and had open guys, missed em.
Incomplete/sack. Instant pressure on Apodaca, rolls right but looks like play was called dead there. Apodaca threw it just to throw, no one caught it
Handoff middle to a RB I couldnt see.
Tricky handoff. Some misdirection on the snap with some guys reversing, I’ve never seen that before.
I zoned out. Oops. I think it was a handoff. Damn you Pandora.
Complete right to 34? screen pass
Incomplete left to Dominique Williams. It may have been complete, he made a great move on the ball, adjusting mid air, but he fell out of view
Incomplete left, couldnt see who it was intended for.
Complete left for Kristoff Williams
Complete right couldnt see the number.
Incomplete right, defender broke up the pass
Incomplete right for 84 looked like he got pushed down by the defender
Complete right for a td to #RickeyGalvinForHeisman and that will end the play for today.
Once again I think I am done with my coverage as I look away. However I look back out the window there is a last redzone stand happening with Halliday at the helm. They attempt to run the ball several times, and on the last play the RB was met behind the line of scrimmage and driven back 10 yards by a host of defenders. I dont think Coach Leach was too happy, as the entire offense began doing updowns.
That is all for my coverage of today. Hopefully I’ll actually be able to be on the field come Thursday. Thanks for reading and Go Cougs. Please comment here or at Cougcenter.com with any comments, feedback, questions, concerns or whatever else you’d like.