2024 Spring Practice Thread

Crazy Balki

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O line is super concerning. Wish we could buy a front line left tackle in the transfer window and bump Jagusah into left guard and go from passable to good O line. That could be the difference between playoffs or not or winning a playoff game or not. How O line U ended up in this situation when most of the recruits were highly rated is beyond me.
II's reports don't seem to add up with what ISD was reporting.

ISD reported that the OL was relatively solid. Good in run blocking, but the tackles did struggle a bit in pass protection. Most of the struggles came from the 2's and 3's.

It's not great, but I don't think it's anywhere near "super concerning".

Still wouldn't shock me to see them hit the portal. I think if ND can nab an upgrade over what they have at tackle with Wagner or Baker, then do it.
 

IrishLion

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No one should be overreacting to defense being ahead of offense in the spring, especially in the trenches. New OC and two new tackles. Take a deep breath and no panic until we have 18 yards rushing against the Aggies in week one.

Best I can do is deleting the website after our first three-and-out
 

IA4irish

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I know it’s early, but the offensive line will continue to worry me up until the first game. I really think this team could win multiple playoff games in the new format. We are loaded at almost every other position (wide receiver has talent and bodies, I’m still wait and see with them). It’s going be a fun season
 

Dizzyphil

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Is it just me or does the Irish seem to have more injuries in the Spring more than any other team??? Seems every feed on my FB and other subscribed feeds are injury laden???
 

IrishLion

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The more impressive highlight (imo) was when he was instructing Williams to come back to the sideline for a ball as he scrambled out.

I know it was 3’s vs 3’s or whatever, but I’m hoping that it’s a sign that he’s already feeling comfortable and that the game is slowing down for him.
 

Irish4life

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The more impressive highlight (imo) was when he was instructing Williams to come back to the sideline for a ball as he scrambled out.

I know it was 3’s vs 3’s or whatever, but I’m hoping that it’s a sign that he’s already feeling comfortable and that the game is slowing down for him.
FWIW he did face the 2nd team defense as well...and that unit has guys that play in actual games all over it. I think we can say at worst that it's an extremely encouraging Spring from Carr.
 

Crazy Balki

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No one should be overreacting to defense being ahead of offense in the spring, especially in the trenches. New OC and two new tackles. Take a deep breath and no panic until we have 18 yards rushing against the Aggies in week one.
Matt at ISD mentioned that by this point in the spring, the defense pretty much knows the offensive checks, because that's all they are practicing.

So basically, the defense is working with Connor Stallions level intel at this point.
 

Irishdawg

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Matt at ISD mentioned that by this point in the spring, the defense pretty much knows the offensive checks, because that's all they are practicing.

So basically, the defense is working with Connor Stallions level intel at this point.
Post of the spring… LMFAO!!
So basically, the defense is working with Connor Stallions level intel at this point.
 

CoachB

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Matt at ISD mentioned that by this point in the spring, the defense pretty much knows the offensive checks, because that's all they are practicing.

So basically, the defense is working with Connor Stallions level intel at this point.
This is a great point. It was way harder to block our own guys in practice than other teams in games because our D knows all our line calls.
 

Rocketman84

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You do realize that since we are playing against our own team, then it means our ends dominated? Spring practice truly is a fascinating case study for a human beings mind.
Not necessarily, new starters and it's the biggest concern on offense.
 

PutuporShutup

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Not necessarily, new starters and it's the biggest concern on offense.
The spring game isn't a perfect barometer but we'll have a better idea on the individual abilities of our tackles there. They are going to be put in a lot of one on one situations. Our oline looked good in the spring game behind hartman who got them in the right checks, vs looked terrible under buchner who screwed the oline shifts up a number of times, same thing happened when hartman started the bowl game. He was getting smashed because he didn't check into the right protection.

If Junior is whipping our tackles I will be the first one to significantly lower expectations on the season unless we get a transfer tackle.
 

rtrn2glory

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Sorry for the delay. With the fatigue from the trip getting back Saturday late and then watching 10 hours of Masters coverage yesterday, I wasn't able to get on the computer to type up my thoughts from Saturday's practice. As always, it will likely be lengthy so please accept my apologies from the get go. I'll try to post in multiple posts that way if you get bored and realize I'm just a dumb ass trying to relive his brief major in broadcast journalism, you can just move on.

Offense:

QB's - By far the best QB room we've had in a decade. I would love to think they'll all stay, but it is unrealistic in this day in age. Leonard looked decent moving around and I really liked how he was standing in the back of every single rep and going through the checks and footwork as if he was actually playing, I thought this was a great idea. Physically, Angeli is the smallest of the bunch. Carr actually was bigger than I thought he'd be for a kid that should be a Senior in high school. Hard not to be excited about him. Ball explodes out of his hand and is just a natural thrower. Anybody that tries to change his throwing motion should be fired on the spot. The group had highs and lows during the scrimmage part. 3 interceptions overall, I would consider the lows. All of them on quick throws, mind you all 3 were by the starting defense. I think the media videos showed the highs, but I would add that I really liked the goal-line package that Denbrock has in play. A lot of misdirection and RPO for the QB. Before I rant too much, I would add that from what I saw I think Angeli is trying too hard to win the job and not just playing ball. What stands out in this was there was a 2nd and 1 situation on the 5 yard line and he adamantly checked to a pass play to try to get the ball in the end zone and instead got his protection F'd up and ended up taking a 10 yard sack. So we went from 2nd and 1 from the five to 3rd and long at the 15. It reminded me of Tommy Rees play calling trying to be the smartest guy on the field and not just keeping it simple, especially on the GL.

RB's: Another room on offense that is stacked. It's actually quite impressive to see how they are able to rotate and get 4-5 guys decent touches in the offense. Physcially the first 3 RB's look great. Price gave me Estime vibes, but obviously not that extreme. Love is a freaking dude, I know I'm not breaking any news there. He absolutely BULLIED Adon Shuler in the red zone on a run that got the entire sideline juiced. The group in general struggled to get yards on the defense, but as the scrimmage went on they found a little more success. All of the first 3 are reliable in the passing game and I was pleased with how they picked up the blitz and stunt game as the scrimmage progressed (it took a few series for that to happen). IDK how they keep such a stacked room in the portal age, but I have little worries about this group and foresee them being a strength of the offense again.

WR's: For the first time in the last 3 years since I've been attending practices, we actually have a WR that looks like a big time college football program. I was impressed again with how the incoming freshmen looked physically, specifically Gilbert and Williams. Thomas didn't play and I would imagine he will line up in the boundary to start. We really need this position to be more consistent as it was in the Boykin/Claypool years. I'm hoping with Thomas and/or Beaux Collins that will be something to lean on. Speaking of Collins, he was in attendance again and was very involved coaching up the young guys between series, which I thought was great. The two freshmen were targeted quite a bit (Carr seemed to have an eye on Williams a bunch). One wrinkle I liked by the offense was getting the ball on the wide perimeter quickly on stop routes and making the corners tackle. Mitchell did this one time and bullied Mickey for a sizable gain. I'm a big fan of easy plays like that netting big yards, something Tommy and Porker were immune to at times. Overall, I'm very happy with the development of this room and hope that it continues to develop into a strength with the return of Denbrock.

TE's: Didn't get a great look at the group from where I was. Flanigan was running with the 1's and seemed to get a majority of the targets during the scrimmage. I really wish Holden Staes was still around, simply to the fact that once you remove Evans the bodies overall weren't impressive. Very small and didn't get a ton of movement in-line blocking as a result. It's going to be very interesting to see how this group is used moving forward. Already, there were a lot more H-back looks with the TE off the ball and flexed out rather than hand in the dirt in-line. GL sets still were used with 3 TE's so I would expect to see this more on the GL, but just seeing the walk-thru, there seemed to be a much more creative use of the TE's through the use of play action and leaking him to the flats in RPO action.

OL: I think it has been stated that things did not start well at all for this group, but they seemed to settle in over the course of the scrimmage. Hate to be debby downer, but I got vibes of early 2021 when we were struggling early on (Wisconsin game comes to mind). The tackles early on looked like their feet were in quick-sand and our edge players took advantage. Again, as the scrimmage progressed the whole unit seemed to improve. We started to do much better cleaning up the pocket in pass protection as the day went on and started to get some push in the run game as well. The defense was bringing some nice stunts as well, which only made this more difficult for the big boys as well. Nevertheless, I left feeling like this unit is the key to the entire success of the season. The faster they gel and/or adjust to the speed of the game will predicate how successful the season is early on. Shotgun snaps were also sloppy on a fairly routine basis, but I wasn't able to see exactly who was struggling. I don't want to hate too much without seeing the tape obviously, but it is no secret that this unit has work to do and fast.
 

rtrn2glory

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Alright now for the good news. The defense looked GREAT!! All levels seemed to be making plays and looked very fast, especially early on. Crazy to see how the defense has developed over the last 3 years schematically and it's nice to see some carry over from the past few seasons as well. Our nickel blitz/stunt packages are going to be a problem for any offense to simulated and/or have success on. Corners looked solid defending the deep ball and were pretty sticky at times underneath. The day started with the #2 defense on the #1 offense and #2 offense on #1 defense. Defense dominated both sets early on. A lot of penetration and negative plays to start and defense rode that momentum for most of the practice. I was pleased with the LB play from my view for the most part, but a few struggled disengaging and making plays in the inside run game, but not sure how much the interior DL was to blame for those instances without watching the tape.

DL: Our edge players should be a strength of the defense depth wise. I wouldn't hate seeing the 3 deep in there at any given moment and the way they were subbed in led me to believe the staff has similar feelings. Boubacar looks fantastic and should be ready for a breakout season. Don't want to base it on too much, but Oben was sort of underwhelming, especially defending the run. I specifically remember a play where he got bitched out for a poor fit. Bryce Young is absolutely HUGE. I have a hard time believing he's an incoming freshman. He had spurts of good flashes, but also looked like a freshman at times too. Hopefully, the light goes off b/c physically he's a mismatch every week no doubt in my mind. Our interior DL didn't necessarily standout outside of the first two. Might be the most important win of the offseason keeping Mills and Cross. They dominate when they're in, but depth needs to be developed on the interior, it's essential and I left without having a change of heart.

LB's: As I mentioned I was happy with this group, maybe due to the fact that this was a position group that I had questions on entering the day. They are playing very fast and didn't seem to have too many busts, without watching tape. Individual wise, Sneed is a heat seeking missile. I love watching him play. He flies all over and is a problem. It seems very obvious too that from an athletic standpoint, the staff seems to want to get these dudes on the field in some capacity. They're starting to slowly remind me of an SEC type of body, where what they lack in size they make up for in speed and athleticism. Probably the play of the day from my standpoint was Kahuna Kia, reading and reacting on RB checkdown and closing and absolutely blowing it up drawing a roar from the defensive sidelines.

CB's: Another position that is night and day from the last few years depth wise. I thought they played the pass game quite well and over the top looked pretty sound 1 on 1. All this obviously without the best CB on the team, possibly country, not even playing Saturday from what I remember. Mickey has great instincts in the pass game and plays with tremendous swagger overall, but to be mild, he is not a tackler at all. Any 1 on 1 situation if he gets him on the ground, call it a win. I can't say it will end up well in a game where we play pass heavy teams with studs all over (ala Clemson 2018), but I have much more confidence. Clark looked good at the nickel. Blitzing wise and beating blocks gave me similar vibes to Harper from last year so I see no reason to think that as long as he stays healthy we can't expect similar results and production from that position.

S: Not a ton to report here, but outside of a few no shocks like Watts made a bunch of plays when he was in and I was pleased that I didn't notice a ton of busts. One thing I will mention is Talich looks like he's 6'6" on the field. He rotated down into the box a few times to blitz off the edge and made a few plays in the run game. IDK why, but I just liked seeing him on the field. Not sure what he has to do to close the gap on Shuler to break in with the 1's, but also wouldn't shock me to see him get a lot of PT if he can become reliable and more complete overall.
 

rtrn2glory

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Not going to bore too much with special teams. I thought Jeter looked the best in the kicking game obviously (ball sounded the best coming off his foot), although he did miss the only field goal attempt during the scrimmage (banged off left upright from about 35 yards).

Didn't get to see too much recruit wise so nothing exciting to report sorry.

Sat 3 rows behind Ryan Clark and his wife watching the scrimmage so I guess that's cool even though I don't like him since he tried to talk shit with my GOLDEN boy Brady Quinn.

There was also an annoying dad of a player who sat behind me who I can tell loved to hear the sound of his own voice. I won't go into details on the board, but if anyone is super interested I'll DM them just let me know.

Super sorry again about the long spleels, but hope some get a hoot out of it. If you have any specific questions that you're curious about DM and I'll give them my best shot.

Thanks and Go IRISH!!
 

Rocketman84

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The spring game isn't a perfect barometer but we'll have a better idea on the individual abilities of our tackles there. They are going to be put in a lot of one on one situations. Our oline looked good in the spring game behind hartman who got them in the right checks, vs looked terrible under buchner who screwed the oline shifts up a number of times, same thing happened when hartman started the bowl game. He was getting smashed because he didn't check into the right protection.

If Junior is whipping our tackles I will be the first one to significantly lower expectations on the season unless we get a transfer tackle.
Agreed
 

Some Irish Bloke

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Not going to bore too much with special teams. I thought Jeter looked the best in the kicking game obviously (ball sounded the best coming off his foot), although he did miss the only field goal attempt during the scrimmage (banged off left upright from about 35 yards).

Didn't get to see too much recruit wise so nothing exciting to report sorry.

Sat 3 rows behind Ryan Clark and his wife watching the scrimmage so I guess that's cool even though I don't like him since he tried to talk shit with my GOLDEN boy Brady Quinn.

There was also an annoying dad of a player who sat behind me who I can tell loved to hear the sound of his own voice. I won't go into details on the board, but if anyone is super interested I'll DM them just let me know.

Super sorry again about the long spleels, but hope some get a hoot out of it. If you have any specific questions that you're curious about DM and I'll give them my best shot.

Thanks and Go IRISH!!
No need to apologize thanks for the scoop! Especially in the long, dreary offseason, it's awesome to get this level of detail. Thanks for reporting back! Go Irish!
 

ulukinatme

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@rtrn2glory Excellent work, take my reps!

giphy.gif
 

Jimmy3Putt

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Sorry for the delay. With the fatigue from the trip getting back Saturday late and then watching 10 hours of Masters coverage yesterday, I wasn't able to get on the computer to type up my thoughts from Saturday's practice. As always, it will likely be lengthy so please accept my apologies from the get go. I'll try to post in multiple posts that way if you get bored and realize I'm just a dumb ass trying to relive his brief major in broadcast journalism, you can just move on.

Offense:

QB's - By far the best QB room we've had in a decade. I would love to think they'll all stay, but it is unrealistic in this day in age. Leonard looked decent moving around and I really liked how he was standing in the back of every single rep and going through the checks and footwork as if he was actually playing, I thought this was a great idea. Physically, Angeli is the smallest of the bunch. Carr actually was bigger than I thought he'd be for a kid that should be a Senior in high school. Hard not to be excited about him. Ball explodes out of his hand and is just a natural thrower. Anybody that tries to change his throwing motion should be fired on the spot. The group had highs and lows during the scrimmage part. 3 interceptions overall, I would consider the lows. All of them on quick throws, mind you all 3 were by the starting defense. I think the media videos showed the highs, but I would add that I really liked the goal-line package that Denbrock has in play. A lot of misdirection and RPO for the QB. Before I rant too much, I would add that from what I saw I think Angeli is trying too hard to win the job and not just playing ball. What stands out in this was there was a 2nd and 1 situation on the 5 yard line and he adamantly checked to a pass play to try to get the ball in the end zone and instead got his protection F'd up and ended up taking a 10 yard sack. So we went from 2nd and 1 from the five to 3rd and long at the 15. It reminded me of Tommy Rees play calling trying to be the smartest guy on the field and not just keeping it simple, especially on the GL.

RB's: Another room on offense that is stacked. It's actually quite impressive to see how they are able to rotate and get 4-5 guys decent touches in the offense. Physcially the first 3 RB's look great. Price gave me Estime vibes, but obviously not that extreme. Love is a freaking dude, I know I'm not breaking any news there. He absolutely BULLIED Adon Shuler in the red zone on a run that got the entire sideline juiced. The group in general struggled to get yards on the defense, but as the scrimmage went on they found a little more success. All of the first 3 are reliable in the passing game and I was pleased with how they picked up the blitz and stunt game as the scrimmage progressed (it took a few series for that to happen). IDK how they keep such a stacked room in the portal age, but I have little worries about this group and foresee them being a strength of the offense again.

WR's: For the first time in the last 3 years since I've been attending practices, we actually have a WR that looks like a big time college football program. I was impressed again with how the incoming freshmen looked physically, specifically Gilbert and Williams. Thomas didn't play and I would imagine he will line up in the boundary to start. We really need this position to be more consistent as it was in the Boykin/Claypool years. I'm hoping with Thomas and/or Beaux Collins that will be something to lean on. Speaking of Collins, he was in attendance again and was very involved coaching up the young guys between series, which I thought was great. The two freshmen were targeted quite a bit (Carr seemed to have an eye on Williams a bunch). One wrinkle I liked by the offense was getting the ball on the wide perimeter quickly on stop routes and making the corners tackle. Mitchell did this one time and bullied Mickey for a sizable gain. I'm a big fan of easy plays like that netting big yards, something Tommy and Porker were immune to at times. Overall, I'm very happy with the development of this room and hope that it continues to develop into a strength with the return of Denbrock.

TE's: Didn't get a great look at the group from where I was. Flanigan was running with the 1's and seemed to get a majority of the targets during the scrimmage. I really wish Holden Staes was still around, simply to the fact that once you remove Evans the bodies overall weren't impressive. Very small and didn't get a ton of movement in-line blocking as a result. It's going to be very interesting to see how this group is used moving forward. Already, there were a lot more H-back looks with the TE off the ball and flexed out rather than hand in the dirt in-line. GL sets still were used with 3 TE's so I would expect to see this more on the GL, but just seeing the walk-thru, there seemed to be a much more creative use of the TE's through the use of play action and leaking him to the flats in RPO action.

OL: I think it has been stated that things did not start well at all for this group, but they seemed to settle in over the course of the scrimmage. Hate to be debby downer, but I got vibes of early 2021 when we were struggling early on (Wisconsin game comes to mind). The tackles early on looked like their feet were in quick-sand and our edge players took advantage. Again, as the scrimmage progressed the whole unit seemed to improve. We started to do much better cleaning up the pocket in pass protection as the day went on and started to get some push in the run game as well. The defense was bringing some nice stunts as well, which only made this more difficult for the big boys as well. Nevertheless, I left feeling like this unit is the key to the entire success of the season. The faster they gel and/or adjust to the speed of the game will predicate how successful the season is early on. Shotgun snaps were also sloppy on a fairly routine basis, but I wasn't able to see exactly who was struggling. I don't want to hate too much without seeing the tape obviously, but it is no secret that this unit has work to do and fast.


No video????







I kid.
 

GoIrish41

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Sorry for the delay. With the fatigue from the trip getting back Saturday late and then watching 10 hours of Masters coverage yesterday, I wasn't able to get on the computer to type up my thoughts from Saturday's practice. As always, it will likely be lengthy so please accept my apologies from the get go. I'll try to post in multiple posts that way if you get bored and realize I'm just a dumb ass trying to relive his brief major in broadcast journalism, you can just move on.

Offense:

QB's - By far the best QB room we've had in a decade. I would love to think they'll all stay, but it is unrealistic in this day in age. Leonard looked decent moving around and I really liked how he was standing in the back of every single rep and going through the checks and footwork as if he was actually playing, I thought this was a great idea. Physically, Angeli is the smallest of the bunch. Carr actually was bigger than I thought he'd be for a kid that should be a Senior in high school. Hard not to be excited about him. Ball explodes out of his hand and is just a natural thrower. Anybody that tries to change his throwing motion should be fired on the spot. The group had highs and lows during the scrimmage part. 3 interceptions overall, I would consider the lows. All of them on quick throws, mind you all 3 were by the starting defense. I think the media videos showed the highs, but I would add that I really liked the goal-line package that Denbrock has in play. A lot of misdirection and RPO for the QB. Before I rant too much, I would add that from what I saw I think Angeli is trying too hard to win the job and not just playing ball. What stands out in this was there was a 2nd and 1 situation on the 5 yard line and he adamantly checked to a pass play to try to get the ball in the end zone and instead got his protection F'd up and ended up taking a 10 yard sack. So we went from 2nd and 1 from the five to 3rd and long at the 15. It reminded me of Tommy Rees play calling trying to be the smartest guy on the field and not just keeping it simple, especially on the GL.

RB's: Another room on offense that is stacked. It's actually quite impressive to see how they are able to rotate and get 4-5 guys decent touches in the offense. Physcially the first 3 RB's look great. Price gave me Estime vibes, but obviously not that extreme. Love is a freaking dude, I know I'm not breaking any news there. He absolutely BULLIED Adon Shuler in the red zone on a run that got the entire sideline juiced. The group in general struggled to get yards on the defense, but as the scrimmage went on they found a little more success. All of the first 3 are reliable in the passing game and I was pleased with how they picked up the blitz and stunt game as the scrimmage progressed (it took a few series for that to happen). IDK how they keep such a stacked room in the portal age, but I have little worries about this group and foresee them being a strength of the offense again.

WR's: For the first time in the last 3 years since I've been attending practices, we actually have a WR that looks like a big time college football program. I was impressed again with how the incoming freshmen looked physically, specifically Gilbert and Williams. Thomas didn't play and I would imagine he will line up in the boundary to start. We really need this position to be more consistent as it was in the Boykin/Claypool years. I'm hoping with Thomas and/or Beaux Collins that will be something to lean on. Speaking of Collins, he was in attendance again and was very involved coaching up the young guys between series, which I thought was great. The two freshmen were targeted quite a bit (Carr seemed to have an eye on Williams a bunch). One wrinkle I liked by the offense was getting the ball on the wide perimeter quickly on stop routes and making the corners tackle. Mitchell did this one time and bullied Mickey for a sizable gain. I'm a big fan of easy plays like that netting big yards, something Tommy and Porker were immune to at times. Overall, I'm very happy with the development of this room and hope that it continues to develop into a strength with the return of Denbrock.

TE's: Didn't get a great look at the group from where I was. Flanigan was running with the 1's and seemed to get a majority of the targets during the scrimmage. I really wish Holden Staes was still around, simply to the fact that once you remove Evans the bodies overall weren't impressive. Very small and didn't get a ton of movement in-line blocking as a result. It's going to be very interesting to see how this group is used moving forward. Already, there were a lot more H-back looks with the TE off the ball and flexed out rather than hand in the dirt in-line. GL sets still were used with 3 TE's so I would expect to see this more on the GL, but just seeing the walk-thru, there seemed to be a much more creative use of the TE's through the use of play action and leaking him to the flats in RPO action.

OL: I think it has been stated that things did not start well at all for this group, but they seemed to settle in over the course of the scrimmage. Hate to be debby downer, but I got vibes of early 2021 when we were struggling early on (Wisconsin game comes to mind). The tackles early on looked like their feet were in quick-sand and our edge players took advantage. Again, as the scrimmage progressed the whole unit seemed to improve. We started to do much better cleaning up the pocket in pass protection as the day went on and started to get some push in the run game as well. The defense was bringing some nice stunts as well, which only made this more difficult for the big boys as well. Nevertheless, I left feeling like this unit is the key to the entire success of the season. The faster they gel and/or adjust to the speed of the game will predicate how successful the season is early on. Shotgun snaps were also sloppy on a fairly routine basis, but I wasn't able to see exactly who was struggling. I don't want to hate too much without seeing the tape obviously, but it is no secret that this unit has work to do and fast.
Thanks, bud. Excellent observations.
 

Irish#1

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Alright now for the good news. The defense looked GREAT!! All levels seemed to be making plays and looked very fast, especially early on. Crazy to see how the defense has developed over the last 3 years schematically and it's nice to see some carry over from the past few seasons as well. Our nickel blitz/stunt packages are going to be a problem for any offense to simulated and/or have success on. Corners looked solid defending the deep ball and were pretty sticky at times underneath. The day started with the #2 defense on the #1 offense and #2 offense on #1 defense. Defense dominated both sets early on. A lot of penetration and negative plays to start and defense rode that momentum for most of the practice. I was pleased with the LB play from my view for the most part, but a few struggled disengaging and making plays in the inside run game, but not sure how much the interior DL was to blame for those instances without watching the tape.

DL: Our edge players should be a strength of the defense depth wise. I wouldn't hate seeing the 3 deep in there at any given moment and the way they were subbed in led me to believe the staff has similar feelings. Boubacar looks fantastic and should be ready for a breakout season. Don't want to base it on too much, but Oben was sort of underwhelming, especially defending the run. I specifically remember a play where he got bitched out for a poor fit. Bryce Young is absolutely HUGE. I have a hard time believing he's an incoming freshman. He had spurts of good flashes, but also looked like a freshman at times too. Hopefully, the light goes off b/c physically he's a mismatch every week no doubt in my mind. Our interior DL didn't necessarily standout outside of the first two. Might be the most important win of the offseason keeping Mills and Cross. They dominate when they're in, but depth needs to be developed on the interior, it's essential and I left without having a change of heart.

LB's: As I mentioned I was happy with this group, maybe due to the fact that this was a position group that I had questions on entering the day. They are playing very fast and didn't seem to have too many busts, without watching tape. Individual wise, Sneed is a heat seeking missile. I love watching him play. He flies all over and is a problem. It seems very obvious too that from an athletic standpoint, the staff seems to want to get these dudes on the field in some capacity. They're starting to slowly remind me of an SEC type of body, where what they lack in size they make up for in speed and athleticism. Probably the play of the day from my standpoint was Kahuna Kia, reading and reacting on RB checkdown and closing and absolutely blowing it up drawing a roar from the defensive sidelines.

CB's: Another position that is night and day from the last few years depth wise. I thought they played the pass game quite well and over the top looked pretty sound 1 on 1. All this obviously without the best CB on the team, possibly country, not even playing Saturday from what I remember. Mickey has great instincts in the pass game and plays with tremendous swagger overall, but to be mild, he is not a tackler at all. Any 1 on 1 situation if he gets him on the ground, call it a win. I can't say it will end up well in a game where we play pass heavy teams with studs all over (ala Clemson 2018), but I have much more confidence. Clark looked good at the nickel. Blitzing wise and beating blocks gave me similar vibes to Harper from last year so I see no reason to think that as long as he stays healthy we can't expect similar results and production from that position.

S: Not a ton to report here, but outside of a few no shocks like Watts made a bunch of plays when he was in and I was pleased that I didn't notice a ton of busts. One thing I will mention is Talich looks like he's 6'6" on the field. He rotated down into the box a few times to blitz off the edge and made a few plays in the run game. IDK why, but I just liked seeing him on the field. Not sure what he has to do to close the gap on Shuler to break in with the 1's, but also wouldn't shock me to see him get a lot of PT if he can become reliable and more complete overall.
Appreciate the detail. Solid write up.

While the O-line had some struggles, we should remember that the defense they're facing is probably the best they will see all season.
 
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