Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

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Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by BWahlberg » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:52 pm

Missed going to the spring game but had it on the SWX app and was able to follow along with most of it. From what I could see and from the commentary and some posts on here and twitter it sounded like the day was a little better than I expected it to be. I was expecting this to be more like the 2nd scrimmage. More focused on seeing if individuals can step up to certain challenges than really working on scoring points/moving up and down the field/etc. It seemed to me that today they worked to open things up a bit more and treat it slightly more like a real game situation. I couldn't tell much on the defensive side based on what I could see. Good stuff today offensively from Akem, Flowers, Roberts, Knight, and Humphries.

Looking at where this team is coming out of spring camp, here's some thoughts at each position - and as I see it as we now move into the summer for this team.

Quarterback - Obviously Sneed's our guy. What I liked best was how Humphrey finished out the spring. I was nervous about our depth but he had a good scrimmage today and has given me some boosted confidence in this spot. Graves and Harris pretty young/choppy. Still not sure Graves is an FCS-level QB, but is for sure an FCS-level athlete.

Running Back - For as murky as this position has been most of the spring, it looked ok today. We say Knight stretching some runs and both Eastwood and Turner diving in some short yardage TDs. I'm not convinced this position is locked in, I still want to see Graves here. I don't know if there's great team speed/athleticism for what we need at this spot just yet. It feels like the starting job is wide open still and no on, based on the body of work through the spring, grabbed it. It's a young group and outside of Eastwood pretty inexperienced. I think if Knight and Eastwood can keep improving we could have a fun 1-2 punch, but... it's a long road ahead to get there.

Wide Receiver - This is by far the most talented and deep position on the roster. Akem will dominate the Big Sky this season, he can do it all. I was talking to someone about him the other day and it reminds me of watching Tru when he was a junior. At that point you could tell in practice that he was just a different level of athlete and player than most, I get a similar-ish read on Sammy. Toure & JLM are dudes we know and can rely on. Roberts and Flowers have had really strong camps.

Tight End - Maybe one of the best transformations of a group in just a year. 1 WR (Bingham) and 2 DEs (Rensvold & Deming) are a reliable group that can block and catch. For all of the positions that needed a longer-term build, I think Bobby and company really lucked out that these guys adapted so fast. I don't really see an over-the-top freak pass catcher that can chop up defenses in this group, but I don't think they really "need" that here.

Offensive Line - We're seeing some signs creep in that they're going in the right direction. The interior group added Pillans, Sirmon moved to center, and Martin is keeping other interior youngsters at bay. The tackles remain Beaver and Keintz. The 2s/3s looked way more rough, which is a common trend year-in and year-out. I don't think this group needs any more transfers/outside help this season, they have the bodies, they have the size. What remains to be seen is if they can put it all together and avoid what we saw last year all too often. OL and DL remain my biggest concern, but I feel this group is trending upward.

Defensive Line - I know this group lost some beef with Shaw and it's vocal guy with Tilleman. I'm not really sure where these guys are at, honestly. Seems like Gubner and Alford will be the big body guys, Sims we know is a stud - but hasn't flashed much in terms of stats. The buck/edge is a black hole, IMO. Nagler and Nelson - last years main guys at the spot haven't practiced much, if at all. Grossman started with the 1s and is clearly one hell of an athlete that looks the part, but I need to see much more of him to play the part, seems to still be something he's figuring out. Vika... maybe? He seems to be a good fit, but I want to see him make plays against the 1st team OL before I can figure out if he can be someone that could make a splash this fall.

Linebacker - Lewis didn't play in the 2nd scrimmage and I think that was him I saw with the big club on his hand today, that could explain it. Obviously I think we're fine with Olson and Lewis as the main guys. Depth wise I feel we've got good guys here, Welnel, O'Connell, Matthews, Flink. My concern here is that I'm not sure if the depth guys are ready to step up, if needed, to start multiple games just yet. I think ST will be a strength for many of these guys based on their skill, speed, and strength.

Corner back - This spring we saw Egbo and Hemphill rise up and give me some hope that this spot has a group of guys that can play. Nash is probably the best well-rounded guy in this group, Calhoun a more quiet spring. This position, in my opinion, still lacks a guy that we can place on a #1 WR and stay with him, that will be their weakness this year as I think they'll still have major issues with the top tier WRs in this conference.

Safety - I feel... ok about this group. We didn't see Robertson this spring much at all, I think in some sort of recovery protocol. That gave McGinnis and Nash Fouch some time to play and they did OK, Gavin Crow did well too. This should translate well to not only defense but to special teams. I liked the progression of the depth in this group.

K/P Purdy had a very good spring overall. I think it was mostly Wilson punting, saw he smashed a few today, he's a little more up/down.

------------

Overall what I liked about this spring was that you could go to a practice or a scrimmage and see what this staff is working on, building towards, and trying to do. Last spring it felt like they had the "kid gloves" on a bit to ease into working with this group, not this year. The intensity and expectations are way up, as they should be.

I've said this before but in the prior years we saw spring camps that were 60% - 70% running full 11 on 11 with the hopes/expectations that with enough reps, every player would have worked through most in-game situations. However we saw Saturdays that many times wasn't the case. Now it's such a precise focus on individual execution given all sorts of moments. So many more individual or by position drills.

This team isn't supposed to look flashy in the spring by design, and it didn't. However what I saw this spring was the layering of depth and talent, plus more of the formation of a total team. I feel better about just about every position save possibly D-line and maybe running back than I did before spring ball started. In prior years I felt there were giant gaps and concerns all over. This spring it feels a little more precise in certain areas, and not across the board. I still don't think we've got an elite team here, but I think they're building on something that could grow into a dominant squad in the years ahead.

It was a good spring, maybe one of the better springs I've seen from a Griz team in a long time.

Go Griz!
Last edited by BWahlberg on Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by grizfromhel » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:09 pm

As always Brint---- good stuff. Thanks for sharing your analysis.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by mtgrizrule » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:11 pm

No mention of Calhoun at CB?

As for the OL, I thought each QB had more consistent time to pass. Other than a few struggles early in the scrimmage, I thought the OL looked much better. Pass protection has improved a lot.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by BWahlberg » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:21 pm

mtgrizrule wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:11 pm
No mention of Calhoun at CB?

As for the OL, I thought each QB had more consistent time to pass. Other than a few struggles early in the scrimmage, I thought the OL looked much better. Pass protection has improved a lot.
Calhoun had a quiet spring, posted that. I think we all know he can be good, we need consistency from him this year.

Agreed on the OL... only thing I'd counter with is that they've been facing a DL that's very young and inexperienced. Tough to tell if they're really getting better, or just facing marginal skill.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by Buttegrizzle » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:34 pm

We definitely saw a lot from 2s and 3s today. Hard to assess the actual starting lineups. I like the RS Freshman / true Sophs group. Lots of talent there.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by Paytonlives » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:27 pm

This Scrimmage WAS WAY more fluid then the last 3 years
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by mtgrizfankb » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:29 pm

The major difference for this team right now is the fact they know what they are doing and are progressing on skill rather than progressing on the system. 2/3 Stitt years and BH last year the team just looked like they were trying to be in the right call. Now they are in the right call and working on the skills. Freshman year is for learning the system...after that...skills should develop dramatically.

Akem is gonna be a problem...nobody in the BSC should stop this kid. He runs routes well... has burst..gets separation and catches the ball/goes and gets it.

Sneed is our only legit QB. Cam is improving but still lots of throws off path that WRs are going to get but that’s not gonna cut it in live games

RB is fine and we are gonna see special sets for Graves. Expect some multiple passer/runner wildcat plays this fall.

WR- The best group bar non. Don’t worry about them.

OL a solid rotation of 5-7 guys but that’s about it. Injuries will rule our ability to run the ball

RB- were good here. There is a trio here that will get reps, not to mention Sulser and JLM a few carries too. Speed and power are there but again..OL depth will be a factor

D secondary....hit or miss. Expect to give up big plays again. Also expect some awesome plays at times. It’s gonna be a wild ride back there.

LB good to go. Depth is there but hope we don’t need them a ton with Olson and Lewis running the ship

DL it’s gonna be sloppy at times and missed gaps are gonna be and issue but I think we will see better upfield rush than we saw last year.

Overall this team is better than last year. They are not a championship team but they should be fun to watch and painful to watch a little too. This team is gonna be on the cusp of winning big games but aren’t quite there yet
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by PlayerRep » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:12 pm

mtgrizrule wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:11 pm
No mention of Calhoun at CB?

As for the OL, I thought each QB had more consistent time to pass. Other than a few struggles early in the scrimmage, I thought the OL looked much better. Pass protection has improved a lot.
Calhoun played receiver at end. Think he got screwed by ref who called a long reception out of bounds.

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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by signedbewildered » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:37 pm

mtgrizfankb wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:29 pm
The major difference for this team right now is the fact they know what they are doing and are progressing on skill rather than progressing on the system. 2/3 Stitt years and BH last year the team just looked like they were trying to be in the right call. Now they are in the right call and working on the skills. Freshman year is for learning the system...after that...skills should develop dramatically.

Akem is gonna be a problem...nobody in the BSC should stop this kid. He runs routes well... has burst..gets separation and catches the ball/goes and gets it.

Sneed is our only legit QB. Cam is improving but still lots of throws off path that WRs are going to get but that’s not gonna cut it in live games

RB is fine and we are gonna see special sets for Graves. Expect some multiple passer/runner wildcat plays this fall.

WR- The best group bar non. Don’t worry about them.

OL a solid rotation of 5-7 guys but that’s about it. Injuries will rule our ability to run the ball

RB- were good here. There is a trio here that will get reps, not to mention Sulser and JLM a few carries too. Speed and power are there but again..OL depth will be a factor

D secondary....hit or miss. Expect to give up big plays again. Also expect some awesome plays at times. It’s gonna be a wild ride back there.

LB good to go. Depth is there but hope we don’t need them a ton with Olson and Lewis running the ship

DL it’s gonna be sloppy at times and missed gaps are gonna be and issue but I think we will see better upfield rush than we saw last year.

Overall this team is better than last year. They are not a championship team but they should be fun to watch and painful to watch a little too. This team is gonna be on the cusp of winning big games but aren’t quite there yet
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by dayday » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:02 pm

I think DL is the big concern. RB too could be a concern but I really liked what I saw from Knight. All other positions I think we are solid to looking good although as BW mentioned OL might be fools gold.

We are likely adding at least one DE transfer for summer is the word. I’d like to see us get one more interior DT and another RB that would be real nice. Definitely feels like we are more ahead in a lot of areas than at least the past couple years and it seems like more depth than last year.

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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by mtgrizfankb » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:05 am

dayday wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:02 pm
I think DL is the big concern. RB too could be a concern but I really liked what I saw from Knight. All other positions I think we are solid to looking good although as BW mentioned OL might be fools gold.

We are likely adding at least one DE transfer for summer is the word. I’d like to see us get one more interior DT and another RB that would be real nice. Definitely feels like we are more ahead in a lot of areas than at least the past couple years and it seems like more depth than last year.
Correct, there are multiple spots that this staff is looking for a transfer this summer. They wanted to see what we have for the spring and then cut some kids loose and grab a guy or two if they are there. RB was originally one of those but I don’t think it is now. DL for sure is a spot we’re looking for talent. CB maybe not anymore as we saw some depth develop there. OL they will still look but is almost impossible to find as a late year transfer. Then they might look just for some leadership depth guys. Some Reid Miller type dudes.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by AZGrizFan » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:07 pm

mtgrizfankb wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:29 pm

Overall this team is better than last year. They are not a championship team but they should be fun to watch and painful to watch a little too. This team is gonna be on the cusp of winning big games but aren’t quite there yet
Isn’t that where we were last year? We led 10/11 games at the end of the 3rd quarter, including all the big ones.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by mtgrizfankb » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:46 pm

AZGrizFan wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:07 pm
mtgrizfankb wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:29 pm

Overall this team is better than last year. They are not a championship team but they should be fun to watch and painful to watch a little too. This team is gonna be on the cusp of winning big games but aren’t quite there yet
Isn’t that where we were last year? We led 10/11 games at the end of the 3rd quarter, including all the big ones.
No not really. UC Davis took us to the woodshed. And we didn’t have any other big games. MSU I guess you can count because it was the reason we missed the playoffs but really me made lots of mistakes in that game to give it up. This year our team is TESTED. Big games vs a EWU, WSU, UCD and MSU.

We lost to 4 teams we were better than last year. I think we lose 3-4 games big games this year and I don’t think we lose to teams that are below us like we have been. Progress even if the record ends similar.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by krammer » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:00 pm

thanks b/w for your insight.....how is the Wheeler Harris kid in practice ? i know he is new to the system and learning, but looks like a gamer at least in the spring game.......maybe he is our third qb and Graves can go to running back or linebacker......not sure Graves is the answer at qb in future...your thoughts.

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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by mtgrizrule » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:14 pm

krammer wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:00 pm
thanks b/w for your insight.....how is the Wheeler Harris kid in practice ? i know he is new to the system and learning, but looks like a gamer at least in the spring game.......maybe he is our third qb and Graves can go to running back or linebacker......not sure Graves is the answer at qb in future...your thoughts.
If Harris can become consistently reliable, he can be the man in 2020. I love his potential and upside.

As for Graves, got to admit, I'm enamored by his leadership and athleticism. I just don't see him as a great QB. Use his leadership at Safety, LB, rover, or hb, preferably on defense.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by mtgrizfankb » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:55 pm

krammer wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:00 pm
thanks b/w for your insight.....how is the Wheeler Harris kid in practice ? i know he is new to the system and learning, but looks like a gamer at least in the spring game.......maybe he is our third qb and Graves can go to running back or linebacker......not sure Graves is the answer at qb in future...your thoughts.
Harris is our 3rd and Graves will not be a QB in the end. However at this point if we lost two qbs...Graves would probably play over Harris and we would run a bobcat offense style that we saw last year.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by AZGrizFan » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:24 pm

mtgrizfankb wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:46 pm
AZGrizFan wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:07 pm
mtgrizfankb wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:29 pm

Overall this team is better than last year. They are not a championship team but they should be fun to watch and painful to watch a little too. This team is gonna be on the cusp of winning big games but aren’t quite there yet
Isn’t that where we were last year? We led 10/11 games at the end of the 3rd quarter, including all the big ones.
No not really. UC Davis took us to the woodshed. And we didn’t have any other big games. MSU I guess you can count because it was the reason we missed the playoffs but really me made lots of mistakes in that game to give it up. This year our team is TESTED. Big games vs a EWU, WSU, UCD and MSU.

We lost to 4 teams we were better than last year. I think we lose 3-4 games big games this year and I don’t think we lose to teams that are below us like we have been. Progress even if the record ends similar.
Uh....we led UCD 21-13 at the end of the 3rd quarter. The ONLY team we didn’t lead at the end of the 3rd quarter was UND (edit: we were actually TIED with Suck State 31-31, so technically we were 9-1-1 at the end of the 3rd quarter and ended up 6-5 and WON the game we were tied...)
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by go96griz » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:10 am

BWahlberg wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:52 pm

Wide Receiver - This is by far the most talented and deep position on the roster. Akem will dominate the Big Sky this season, he can do it all. I was talking to someone about him the other day and it reminds me of watching Tru when he was a junior. At that point you could tell in practice that he was just a different level of athlete and player than most, I get a similar-ish read on Sammy. Toure & JLM are dudes we know and can rely on. Roberts and Flowers have had really strong camps.

Tight End - Maybe one of the best transformations of a group in just a year. 1 WR (Bingham) and 2 DEs (Rensvold & Deming) are a reliable group that can block and catch. For all of the positions that needed a longer-term build, I think Bobby and company really lucked out that these guys adapted so fast. I don't really see an over-the-top freak pass catcher that can chop up defenses in this group, but I don't think they really "need" that here.
A couple of points.

In the WR group you didn't even mention Sulser. With Akem, JLM, Toure and the emergence of Flowers and Roberts along with Sulser, this is an unbelievably talented WR position. I have never seen anywhere near this talent for the Griz and I would argue there won't be a better receiving corp in the nation at the FCS level.

In the TE group you mention the transformation. However, the TE Deming was formerly the big position receiver in Stitt's offense just as Bingham was - not a DE as you mention. His brother has always been a DE. Regardless, this is a position of strength with Bingham, Deming and Rensvold.

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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by BWahlberg » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:16 am

go96griz wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:10 am
BWahlberg wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:52 pm

Wide Receiver - This is by far the most talented and deep position on the roster. Akem will dominate the Big Sky this season, he can do it all. I was talking to someone about him the other day and it reminds me of watching Tru when he was a junior. At that point you could tell in practice that he was just a different level of athlete and player than most, I get a similar-ish read on Sammy. Toure & JLM are dudes we know and can rely on. Roberts and Flowers have had really strong camps.

Tight End - Maybe one of the best transformations of a group in just a year. 1 WR (Bingham) and 2 DEs (Rensvold & Deming) are a reliable group that can block and catch. For all of the positions that needed a longer-term build, I think Bobby and company really lucked out that these guys adapted so fast. I don't really see an over-the-top freak pass catcher that can chop up defenses in this group, but I don't think they really "need" that here.
A couple of points.

In the WR group you didn't even mention Sulser. With Akem, JLM, Toure and the emergence of Flowers and Roberts along with Sulser, this is an unbelievably talented WR position. I have never seen anywhere near this talent for the Griz and I would argue there won't be a better receiving corp in the nation at the FCS level.

In the TE group you mention the transformation. However, the TE Deming was formerly the big position receiver in Stitt's offense just as Bingham was - not a DE as you mention. His brother has always been a DE. Regardless, this is a position of strength with Bingham, Deming and Rensvold.
Good points on both - I was thinking that I left a WR out... and it's maybe one of the fastest in the whole group, haha. And then on Deming, for some reason I thought both brothers were coming in here on the D-line, good catch there.
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Re: Spring Camp Wrap-up - by position

Post by PlayerRep » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:22 am

BWahlberg wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:16 am
go96griz wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:10 am
BWahlberg wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:52 pm

Wide Receiver - This is by far the most talented and deep position on the roster. Akem will dominate the Big Sky this season, he can do it all. I was talking to someone about him the other day and it reminds me of watching Tru when he was a junior. At that point you could tell in practice that he was just a different level of athlete and player than most, I get a similar-ish read on Sammy. Toure & JLM are dudes we know and can rely on. Roberts and Flowers have had really strong camps.

Tight End - Maybe one of the best transformations of a group in just a year. 1 WR (Bingham) and 2 DEs (Rensvold & Deming) are a reliable group that can block and catch. For all of the positions that needed a longer-term build, I think Bobby and company really lucked out that these guys adapted so fast. I don't really see an over-the-top freak pass catcher that can chop up defenses in this group, but I don't think they really "need" that here.
A couple of points.

In the WR group you didn't even mention Sulser. With Akem, JLM, Toure and the emergence of Flowers and Roberts along with Sulser, this is an unbelievably talented WR position. I have never seen anywhere near this talent for the Griz and I would argue there won't be a better receiving corp in the nation at the FCS level.

In the TE group you mention the transformation. However, the TE Deming was formerly the big position receiver in Stitt's offense just as Bingham was - not a DE as you mention. His brother has always been a DE. Regardless, this is a position of strength with Bingham, Deming and Rensvold.
Good points on both - I was thinking that I left a WR out... and it's maybe one of the fastest in the whole group, haha. And then on Deming, for some reason I thought both brothers were coming in here on the D-line, good catch there.
I agree that there is a lot of talent at receiver. I assume Calhoun will stay at corner, but he could obviously play receiver. Thought that it was interesting that he got at least one rep at receiver at end of scrimmage. Note that Bingham now weighs 245. He looks big.

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