Man was it great to see some Buffs football. Traffic sucked so I didn't get there right at four but I saw plenty. Unfortunately they didn't allow phones or camera's, but here are my thoughts about the day.
I'm not paying attention a whole lot as it had just broken that Cutler wants out of Denver for sure and I'm sure that irish will get a review up before I'm able to post this but here are my thoughts of the day
OL->Not sure whether we were lucky or not but the OL was next to us all practice. They looked REALLY good to me doing the agility drills and damn I have never been that close to Miller and Solder at 6'7 and 6'8 respectively. The were quicker than the other OL off the ball on most of the drills that I saw. Also a plus, one practice down, 0 OL out for the year.
Aric Goodman->Ya I'm still a homer for this guy and even though that practice was never a problem, this guy was flat out BOMBING the few kicks he did. All I saw was about 4-5 in between the drills and the dude was probably 30-40 yards out and hitting the bubble. We are talking middle of the uprights and 30 feet above the top of the goal post. I think that Grossnickle(sorry if that is a misspell too lazy to look it up right now) will just add to competition and competition is never a bad thing.
Markques Simas->This was the first time that I have seen him and I was very impressed. He caught all but one ball that I saw and he looks like he has playmaking ability like Josh Smith that you get the ball in his hand and he will make plays. I can't wait to see him more if I am able to get up there and hopefully see more of the offense throwing the ball
All the RB's-> Obviously the day was set up for them to look good with no one even touching them in the drills when they ran towards where everyone was standing but man, I can't wait to see this year and how this shakes out. Rodney Stewart looked sexy with the #5 rocking and Darrell Scott looked tiny with all the "Freshman 15" that he came to camp last year with off. In the drills that I saw I was also very impressed with Brian Lockridge looking almost as fast as Stewart with great cuts. I didn't see much of Demetrius Sumler but he didn't look bad, looks to invite more contact and use less cuts than the other guys, but still very early.
Riar Geer: I think for this offense to go to the next level the most important factor is Geer. The TE needs to be a spot that with the playmakers on the edge our QB whoever that maybe be can check down for the 5-6 yard gains and keep moving the chains. He made one really nice catch even if a OL and a FB was guarding him, lol.
Not willing to say bad since its early:
The QB's: Although I didn't get to see the camera's in action until the very end, I did see a lot of QB drills which was helpful, but doesn't make me feel so hot. Here's how I break it down after what I saw
Cody Hawkins: As much as I hated Hawkins by the end of the year right now I think the job is by far his to lose. His balls were much crisper tighter spirals and he moved much quicker when they were doing the pocket drills. When doing the short passes/screen drills over the goal post I thought he looked the most refined and threw the best balls which he should. I loved to see that they did practice by throwing over the goal post to simulate passes getting deflected, all the QB's I saw hit once or twice, Cody's passes were on the line to the ball boy a lot more though. When they were scrimmaging at the other end Cody has a beautiful scramble left jump and throw and a nice grab in the endzone by one of the TE i believe. (kinda hard to see 100 yards away)
Tyler Hansen: I didn't like Hansen much last year because I had a semi man crush on the pro style 6'4 QB that's behind him. I think the staff used him horribly last year but as a true freshmen maybe he wasn't ready to handle that. In the pocket drills he looked a little rattled trying to move quickly but he really impressed me. He doesn't look a whole lot taller than Hawkins but his balls were right on the money and seemed to have quite a bit more zip than Hawkins balls. He didn't have as tight of spiral as Hawkins did, but we didn't even get to see him scramble which we learned last year is such a big part of the game.
Matt Ballenger: I posted on some story of the board that I was hopping on the Ballenger bandwagon for QB this year. I will respectfully step off before it begins. He looked very raw but I think next year he is our QB depending on what happens to Evans. He is still very small, him being 6'4 doesn't help, but he looks like a stick figure out there. His passes weren't as online as either of the other 2 or as nice of spirals. Tough to tell without the DL standing there but it didn't look like his release point was that much higher than Hawkins with him being 5 or 6 inches taller than him. The few deep balls that I saw him throw looked awesome but didn't look comfortable at all during the short passes. I think he has the most upside out of our QB's right now but he still needs a year of developing in the weight room and just getting more comfortable and refining his delivery. I really hope he can prove me wrong this year and compete for the starting job.
It was a nice practice all together, just great to see the buffs out there. I would love to see more screen passes this year than we saw last and the QB's worked for a section on it. I think that Stewart/Scott/anyone would be deadly on screen passes the way our OL looked and their ability to get out in space.
Alright thats enough for now, lol. Probably won't get another chance with work to get back up there but man, it was great to see some Buff football.
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