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3/23 Scrimmage report

BWahlberg

Well-known member
DONOR
Well it was a mostly sunny day but rather cold out, maybe 36 degrees. Sure felt like playoff football weather than spring camp. Jordan Johnson was in sweats on the sideline, as earlier reported he pulled a hammy. I wouldn't be surprised if they rest him until after spring break (so he'll probably sit this next week as well).

So lets open with the good stuff I saw:

- TraVon Van is a shifty son of a gun. He made some serious yards up by changing fields and cutting back for some good gains. Reminds me of watching MSU's Orenzo Davis. The one thing I do notice is that as soon as the ball is in his hands he's shifting/juking - if the lane was/is open he's not hitting it at full speed. He's clearly the most comfortable changing direction and running like that. Good speed, tough for guys to get a clean tackle on him.

- Trent McKinney looks improved, his short/medium range passing was pretty good. It was all designed RB passes or shorter WR passes. Trent had one nice run also. He did get picked once on a deep ball, I think by Gamboa.

- Jordan Canada ran well, good vision, had the longest run of the day but did get caught from behind by Gamboa. Multiple catches, I'd guess the most receiving yards and rushing yards today of all the players on offense. There was a Missoulian article talking about him putting on some muscle - he looked a little bigger/powerful out there. Sure looks the part and played the part of a starting running back.

- Joey Counts a few good runs, gets to the edge real fast for a "bigger" running back, hopped out of one Sean Murray ankle-tackle attempt. Had the sole TD for the offense, a roll-out on a bootleg pass from McKinney.

- Jeremiah Kose, wow watch out for this guy. He's a HUGE hitter. Made quite a few nice plays on the ball, dropped a near pick, had 2 TFLs but did get flagged for a facemask.

- Caleb Kidder looks to have added some weight, he got reps with the 1st string and 2nd string and was unstoppable. He attacked the interior guards with a great burst out of his stance. With the 1s he beat the LG (Hines) a few times, got one touch sack. Then later went against the RG (Todd) and shoved him into the QB for a sack. Also shared a touch-sack with Rehm.

- Tyrone Holmes is bigger but just as quick and gets after the QB... wow. I tweeted that he beat Schmaing, I was wrong, it was Kistler he blew past for an early sack, also had a pressure that lead to the shared sack by Kidder and Rehm.

- Ryan Burke had maybe the best catch of the day, a back-shoulder pass from Gustafson that was hotly contested, pulled it in for a 15 yard gain.

- Zach Peevey got into a groove later in the scrimmage, a QB pressure and a batted pass.

- Stephen Shaw will prove to be a great asset for this team, he doesn't just mash his punts but he places them very well along the sidelines.

- Josh Dennard, Stephen Rominger, Herbert Gamboa, and Chief Goodwin all had some nice tackles. Hit the carrier in the chest, drove him back, wrapped him up. Refreshing to see that. Van Ackeren had a few real hard hits as well, he's a disruptive force.

OK - lets take a look at some of the issues I noticed:

- More to follow but this offense has not been tweaked - if this is what is in store, it's been overhauled. I'm guessing that we (as fans) today were given just a small glimpse of what the full offense is. Today the offense featured 4 basic plays with some minor variation. A trap or delay handoff, a bootleg check-down, a 5 to 10 yard shoulder fade sideline route, or a deep fade (on the sideline). That's a simplified statement however it's the most of what I saw, very little imagination. However I'll say that at this point, 1 week in, it's probably that way b/c they're trying to get everyone on the same page with it.

- Every QB had issues with under-center snaps. They'd bobble the ball once it came back to them, one occurance led to a pick when SSH was late in a pass and JP picked him off. The offense probably ran 90% of their plays today under center and the other 10% were in the Pistol.

- Interior O-line had a bad day. Hines, Detrich, and Todd all had reps in and out with the 1st string. Todd did ok in run block but not well in pass block. Detrich gave up multiple sacks. Hines was pushed back constantly by Takai and Bienemann.

- Shay Smithwick and Brady Gustafson were not on target today. Both were picked off once. Brady gunned a few way over his targets heads (like 10 feet over their heads). Then on some of the deeper routes they'd throw on the back shoulder a lot. Which would work well but it seemed the WRs were never ready for it. Neither looked comfortable in a lot of the designed roll-out plays.

- Fieldgoal kicking was a hot mess. The short-snapper is Tonga Takai, the holder is Cam Warren. Chris Lider missed his first 3 attempts (20 yards, 25 yards, 30 yards) but I think was more to the bad snaps and awkward holds than anything. The snaps would bounce or get hiked high. Warren isn't nearly as quick and crisp as Gratton was these last few years. Hopefully that improves - or else fieldgoals will be a nightmare this whole season. Greenberg had a few chances and went 1-3 I think. Lider, if I could guess, went 4-8 or maybe 5-9. They hit the longer ones a little better.

- Ellis Henderson dropped a fair-catch punt, fortunately he got it back.

- The design of the offense right now had our main WRs get zero production today. I don't think Henderson, Saylor, or Haynes even had a ball thrown to them - let alone making a catch. Walcott caught maybe 1 or 2. Warren had a few, some of the newer guys pulled a few short ones down as well like Harper and Herrera who I wrongly called Dellaserra on twitter.

- Even worse in the passing game for looks were the TEs. I think they had maybe 2 or 3 passes thrown their way the whole day. Don't recall seeing White play at all.

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

Generally speaking the offense looked super basic. There were just a few set plays they ran and built off of those. This is just from my observations, maybe there were more plays and they just blended together. There was no deep threat to the plays ran today, there was little to no mis-direction outside of Van and Counts cutting back on a play - but not by design. Lots of play-fakes, wound up not fooling the D at all. Now I know JJ is out, but that isn't an excuse - injuries can happen at anytime and the team can't hang its hat on just 1 guy being able to do more. Trent looked the most comfortable out there and really seemed like the only other QB that would be marginally serviceable at this point to run this offense.

The defense looked pretty good, they were pumped up and hitting hard. They attacked the middle of the O-line very well and efficiently, they tackled good. They had issues with the bootleg plays the offense kept running and containing check-down passes. Also on the cut-backs they'd over-pursue and left the back-end a little too open. I saw what looked like some improved defensive fronts, a strong-side 4-3 where the OLB was almost a 5th d-lineman and a nickel package defense where Dennard would play the slot WR. As would be expected the defense is way ahead of the offense.

The new coaches are pretty subdued and quiet guys - or at least they were today. I could hear Delaney, Kfense, Gregorak, and Legi getting after players and that was about it.
 
Also players that I did not see practicing today, and I know some are out for the spring: Hermanson, Wagenmann, & Poehls. Obviously Jordan Johnson as well, but that was just for today.
 
Fuck delaney and his offense. Get rid of the whole fucking staff if they are going under center more than 4 plays a game...
 
stubbins said:
f*** delaney and his offense. Get rid of the whole f***[*] staff if they are going under center more than 4 plays a game...

I'd say give it time stubby - I have a feeling the closed practices are showing much more of a dynamic offense while the scrimmages are just working on the base stuff... call it a hunch. If not though, this team will be under center probably 80% - 90% of the time.
 
BWahlberg said:
- More to follow but this offense has not been tweaked - if this is what is in store, it's been overhauled. I'm guessing that we (as fans) today were given just a small glimpse of what the full offense is. Today the offense featured 4 basic plays with some minor variation. A trap or delay handoff, a bootleg check-down, a 5 to 10 yard shoulder fade sideline route, or a deep fade (on the sideline). That's a simplified statement however it's the most of what I saw, very little imagination. However I'll say that at this point, 1 week in, it's probably that way b/c they're trying to get everyone on the same page with it.

BW, can we borrow about 25-30 Realtor for sale signs? As soon as he sobers up, Stubbins will swing by to pick them up.

Milt, you know what to do!
 
BWahlberg said:
stubbins said:
f*** delaney and his offense. Get rid of the whole f***[*] staff if they are going under center more than 4 plays a game...

I'd say give it time stubby - I have a feeling the closed practices are showing much more of a dynamic offense while the scrimmages are just working on the base stuff... call it a hunch. If not though, this team will be under center probably 80% - 90% of the time.
Hope you're right...
 
BWahlberg said:
stubbins said:
f*** delaney and his offense. Get rid of the whole f***[*] staff if they are going under center more than 4 plays a game...

I'd say give it time stubby - I have a feeling the closed practices are showing much more of a dynamic offense while the scrimmages are just working on the base stuff... call it a hunch. If not though, this team will be under center probably 80% - 90% of the time.
I hope you are right Brint. Being under center and running the plays they ran today will basically take away JJ as a weapon on offense with the exception of the bootlegs with a run/pass option. On the other hand, given the O-lines lack of pass blocking it will be handy to have a qb that can run, cause unless the O-line improves greatly they will be running a lot.
 
The offense we saw today is not what we will see this fall. They were running just the most basic sets and plays from under center to get guys comfortable with it again. We will see a lot more variation of sets and plays under center and a lot more pistol than we saw today. Stubby and co, relax and enjoy spring ball. Give the coaches an players time to figure this offense out. We will be in good shape come fall. This combo of pistol and power sets will give the offense much more variation than we saw (and complained about at length) last fall and will be better suited to our personnel. Our offense will be much improved next fall over last fall.
 
I think some of you realize in this day and age of social media, many coaches keep the public scrimmages to the basics. Good to hear the defense looked good, and better to hear, Trent was the better of the QB's playing today.

I am sure the more advanced parts of the offense and defense will be done in private practices. I cannot blame any coach just showing the basics in this day and age. I would do the same thing. The less information out to the public the better.

I am hoping JJ gets completely healthy soon. I so want him to be the starting qb this year. I expect the coaches to keep things close to the vest and keep to the basics until the 1st game. Get the bitching and whining out the way now.
 
firmgriz said:
The offense we saw today is not what we will see this fall. They were running just the most basic sets and plays from under center to get guys comfortable with it again. We will see a lot more variation of sets and plays under center and a lot more pistol than we saw today. Stubby and co, relax and enjoy spring ball. Give the coaches an players time to figure this offense out. We will be in good shape come fall. This combo of pistol and power sets will give the offense much more variation than we saw (and complained about at length) last fall and will be better suited to our personnel. Our offense will be much improved next fall over last fall.
This is what I am hoping!
 
On a side note I sat with a couple of recruits (Johnny Weeks & Caleb Lyons from Lakes and Josh Lewis & Micheal Mack from Steilacoom) and they all absolutely loved the what they had seen the last couple of days and the scrimmage.
 
What I observed today, was, that the new offense should mirror last years ST.

If you think Phenocie was ripped on this board unfairly, our co-OC's will make Phenocie look like Paul Chryst.

Then again they are only a week into spring drills, there can only be an improvement from what has been observed today.

I would doubt that J. Johnson can enhance this mess, and I believe it will take longer than till Sept to get it together, and then it wouldn't be very much.
 
You guys that are bitching and moaning are absolutely clueless. Have you ever heard of phasing in an offense? Or patience for that matter. Why don't you offensive geniuses get out of the stands and go coach, it sounds like you are wasting your talent.
 
firmgriz said:
You guys that are bitching and moaning are absolutely clueless. Have you ever heard of phasing in an offense? Or patience for that matter. Why don't you offensive geniuses get out of the stands and go coach, it sounds like you are wasting your talent.


Look at it as prepping for observations and criticism of what is coming up. It's not bitching and moaning yet, although clueless, perhaps, but then again if this is what is in the playbook, that just might be clueless.
 
firmgriz said:
You guys that are bitching and moaning are absolutely clueless. Have you ever heard of phasing in an offense? Or patience for that matter. Why don't you offensive geniuses get out of the stands and go coach, it sounds like you are wasting your talent.
How'd that "phasing in" work for Pflu? You think MD will survive another year of mediocrity?

My personal feeling is that you and Brint are right and this is not the offense we will see this fall, but if you are incorrect, well time will tell.
 
Ursa Major said:
BWahlberg said:
- More to follow but this offense has not been tweaked - if this is what is in store, it's been overhauled. I'm guessing that we (as fans) today were given just a small glimpse of what the full offense is. Today the offense featured 4 basic plays with some minor variation. A trap or delay handoff, a bootleg check-down, a 5 to 10 yard shoulder fade sideline route, or a deep fade (on the sideline). That's a simplified statement however it's the most of what I saw, very little imagination. However I'll say that at this point, 1 week in, it's probably that way b/c they're trying to get everyone on the same page with it.

BW, can we borrow about 25-30 Realtor for sale signs? As soon as he sobers up, Stubbins will swing by to pick them up.

Milt, you know what to do!
I'm on it....
 

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