- Jul 25, 2017
Great write up. Not too long and hit all the main points with style. I'm going to be looking forward to more of these from you throughout the summer and fall.
Thanks Corey! Very well written and a very concise overview. Keep up the good work!Pads popping, coaches blowing a gasket, Hurricane legends walking the sideline and the perpetual beeping sounds from the construction of the IPF: spring practice on Greentree was exciting for all who love the canes, especially for the players. It is a time to get out all the pent up aggression from a disappointing finish and for the new faces to prove that they belong. It also seems like a time for fans and media to overreact about position battles and scrimmage stats. Most importantly, it is a time for coaches to “reset the standard”, which appears to be a common theme this spring. Spring practice means FOOTBALL IS BACK, and if you’re anything like me, I was going through withdrawals without any action on the gridiron. However, in my football life, spring practice holds little value in predicting performance in the upcoming fall. Rome wasn’t built over night and championships aren’t won the spring. Spring is about progression, competition and establishing discipline. It is difficult to draw definitive conclusions from this quick three week period with limited coverage. With that being said, there are things we can take away from this time. I am going to break down a few of my personal takeaways from practice as we roll into the Spring Game tomorrow.
Deejay Dallas’ progression
One of the more obvious storylines from spring practice is the improvement of Deejay Dallas in all facets. He has put on serious weight coming in at about 220 pounds now. He went from an athlete who was able to play running back to a bonafide every down back who looks the part. More importantly, much has been made of Dallas’ willingness to step in as a vocal leader, not only in a loaded running back room but the entire team. He has been a tone setter for the Canes this spring and has emerged as a pivotal piece to this offense. Dallas seemed to get better with every rep in 2017, and he hasn’t slowed down this spring. The sophomore has turned into a grown ass man, with braces.
Lack of continuity on the O-line
Coach Searels and the o-line have had their struggles finding a consistent starting group this spring. From the reports, it looks like Gregory Rousseau and company wreaked havoc in last Saturday’s scrimmage, but I wouldn’t make too much of that. Defense almost always has best of offense in the spring, especially in the trenches. Richt alluded to the o-line being a step slow off the snap, which a small portion of that can be attributed to the changing QB’s because they likely have slightly different cadences and voice inflection. Searels doesn’t want to hear any of that, and there’s no doubt that there’s a glaring question mark at right tackle. He even moved Donaldson to the spot earlier this week, and made it clear that it was a “serious” option. While I wouldn’t bet on that being the final answer, it is something we could see. Searels made it clear that he has 3 guys he trusts at this point (St. Louis, Gauthier and Donaldson). He also spoke very highly of Hayden Mahoney’s performance this spring. To quote coach, “it takes 5.” O-line is all about timing, unity and execution, and that won’t happen with a shuffling o-line. The QB competition has all the focus, but no matter who is playing QB, this offense won’t be able to take flight until we solidify the o-line.
QB battle is far from over
It’s the eve of the Spring Game, and it doesn’t seem we have come any closer to locking up the QB position. A lot of talk surrounded Perry’s less than stellar stat line in last Saturday’s scrimmage. Personally, you can miss me with the spring practice stat lines. While we all would have loved to see him tear it up, it was a situational scrimmage that most of us did not see. Not to mention, the d-line was in the QB’s face all day, so I wouldn’t try to draw many conclusions from the numbers. The more important takeaway regarding the battle is that neither guy seems to have the killer instinct and leadership ability to take the job by the horns at this point. I am sure both guys are great competitors. I would never question that. However, the coaches are still trying to get Rosier to be more of a leader, and in his 5th year, that’s quite underwhelming. For Perry, it sounds like he is thinking too much and too worried about trying to be great on every play, rather than going out and executing. There has been nothing to suggest that the team is rallying around one guy or the other. When we see that, we will find our starting QB. Saturday will give us a better look at the two, but I expect this battle to go on through the summer and into fall camp. Also, Jarren Williams doesn’t seem satisfied with a possible redshirt this year. He has come into spring on attack mode and played very well. While his youth will likely hold him back from being a viable option as the starter, his progression and undeniable talent should put even more pressure on Rosier and Perry.
New faces ready to make an impact right now
This group of freshman have made the most of their first months in Coral Gables, especially on defense. Gilbert Frierson and DJ Ivey have been standouts in the secondary. Both guys are long, athletic and have shown great ball skills. They have the bodies to be physical on the outside and look to seriously compete for the starting role. Gurvan Hall was making his mark early this spring and had an unfortunate setback with a knee injury, but he proved that he can make an impact on this defense. Gregory Rousseau, who looks like he was made in a lab, has been giving offensive tackles hell all spring. He has been a great boost for a d-line that had to replace a lot of production, and helped show Canes faithful that we will be just fine on the d-line. He has shown this spring that he has all the makings to be the next great d-line for the Canes. On the offensive side, Lorenzo Lingard is still trying to grasp the offense. Aside from his next level speed, coaches and players have spoken highly of Lingard’s football IQ and willingness to learn. It helps to be in a room with savvy players like Dallas and Homer who have taken him under their wing. Once Lingard wraps his head around the offense, he will be a huge part of this stable at running back. The early enrollee’s came in to prove themselves, and they’ve done just that. The future is now, and these guys are ready to show their worth. The best part is, there are more on the way this summer.
Let’s see how Coach Mark Richt and company puts this past three weeks of work together tomorrow at 6.
See you at Hard Rock.
He's got all summer.....I don't think William's youth is that big of a problem. If he is talented and steps up, why the heck not? Had he gotten here in the fall, yeah, that's a bug hurdle. Coming in this spring gives him plenty of time to do what he has to do to win the job.
Agreed. I remember Poppa Shaq saying that Cade probably is the most talented QB we have.I would really like to see Weldon make some moves. Seems like he gets in his own way a lot with off field decisions and then this eye infection has kept him out.
I agree. For the first time I actually think he wins the job. Let’s see what we see tomorrow.I don't think William's youth is that big of a problem. If he is talented and steps up, why the heck not? Had he gotten here in the fall, yeah, that's a bug hurdle. Coming in this spring gives him plenty of time to do what he has to do to win the job.
Agreed. I remember Poppa Shaq saying that Cade probably is the most talented QB we have.
Although it's nothing serious, getting popped pissing hot for weed wasn't a good look. Sht should be legal though.
The pink eye thing is goddamn hilarious. Cade is all about eating azz. At least homie is enjoying his college experience.
Homer would be the answer. Don't forget how he stepped in when all ACC rb went down and made it like we hardly missed him. Plus, when you are the starting RB and somehow end up with TWO TO chains, you can't be dismissed easily. All that said, if Deejay kept his speed and shake to go with that 220, boy howdie!!!! It was common to have 3 NFL backs on the team in the glory days, and we just might have had that last year --- this year TOO. Whoever starts, expect the second string guy to be rippng 10 yards a carry when he comes in.Deejay Dallas at 220 pounds is a serious weapon. Good grief, you guys realize he was 182 coming out of high school? 220 is more than Kenyan Drake, more than Alvin Kamara, more than Dalvin Cook, etc. If homie kept his speed, which all reports are that he has, I honestly don't see why he doesn't start for us.