Sunday, August 12, 2007

Scrimmage Notes

Fall practice is now well underway, and the first major hurdle has been cleared. On Saturday, the Crimson Tide conducted its first scrimmage.

A few general scrimmage notes:
  • We threw the football, a lot. By my count there were 63 passes to 29 runs. Now don't go crazy, we won't do that in the regular season, but it's an interesting note. And, moreover, it was pretty successful for the offense. On 63 passes, we threw for -- again, by my count -- a whopping 528 yards. We averaged around nine yards per attempt, over thirteen yards per completion, and a completion percentage of around sixty per cent.
  • Terry Grant continues to look like the starting tailback. On Saturday, he had 15 carries for 110 yards, and a touchdown. The touchdown came off of a 22-yard run. Glen Coffee got only 4 carries. Again, as mentioned earlier, it seems that as long as Grant stays healthy, he will be our starting tailback.
  • Jimmy Johns, as I noted earlier, will be used quite a bit in this offense. This is not going to be a situation like we had with Le'Ron McClain where he is a blocker and not much else; we will attempt to use Johns in a Jacob Hester-esque fashion. Saturday's scrimmage showed that quite nicely. All told, Johns had 10 carries for 39 yards and 3 catches for 26 yards. He's just too talented to be just a blocker. He's going to get a lot of touches this year, get ready for it.
  • John Parker Wilson had another nice day, going 13-22 for 231 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. From everything we have seen in camp, he could have a very good year.
  • Roy Upchurch did not play. He is still in the black jersey due to some off-season shoulder surgery. There is no indication whatsoever as to when he'll return.
  • The defense is not playing well. Generally speaking, the defense usually plays better than the offense early in camp, but not so with the Crimson Tide this year. The quarterbacks have a field day of throwing the football, and we couldn't stop Terry Grant either. We've apparently got some major improvement to make on that front.
  • We seem to be doing pretty well in terms of place-kicking. On the day, we were four of five in field goal attempts. Christensen hit from 42 and 21 before missing from 31. Tiffin made a 21-yarder before connecting from 51. Sounds good.
  • P.J. Fitzgerald is showing some promise, and he has a nice upside. But he still needs to improve. On eight punts in the scrimmage, he averaged only about 37 yards per punt, which is about what he did last year. Unless he dramatically improved hang time from over a year ago, that needs to improve.
  • Thankfully, we got out of the scrimmage relatively free from injury. Of course, injuries hurt whenever they happen, but there is nothing worse than when you see a rash of injuries during practice. We have the potential to have a very good year if things come together, but we do not have anywhere near the quality depth needed to have a good year in spite of some poor injury luck.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If we do not find a punter that can bang it for around a 40 yd average, we will eventually pay for it. You have to have a punter that can hit one 50-55 yards when you need it. The hang time thing is overated at times. A punt from your own 10, with 37 yard hang time and not return, simply puts the other team at mid field.