After Monday’s practice, Rebel Coach Hugh Freeze said he didn’t think his squad finished very well. After Tuesday’s practice, he said it was a better ending.
“We finished a little better today,” noted Freeze. “We had to beg it a little bit out of the offense, but at the end the Red Zone, which the offense should win, stuff was pretty good.
“We did better in the dirty ball (team competition) period when a lot of stuff was thrown at them. The offense won that one 11-10 in overtime. Donte (Moncrief) made a nice catch for the win on a Bo Wallace throw.”
While the offense showed some sparks at times, the defense won the day overall.
“They are taking it to us,” Hugh said. “The offense has not been consistent enough, is not moving the chains enough and is not taking care of the ball well enough. The defense is throwing at lot at us, but we have to do better on offense. The defense, overall, is leading the way right now.”
Early on, the daily question of note has been about the condition of Bo’s arm, sore the first couple of days of practice.
“The last two or three days, he has not complained about it, so it must be better,” said Freeze, deadpan. “Right now, his arm is not his problem. He’s got to be more consistent to get this offense going.”
One player who did stand out was freshman WR Laquon Treadwell.
“He made a lot of plays today. We are going to need him and Quincy (Adeboyjo) to play this year. We are going to slow things down for them a little for a while so they can absorb better. When you are doing installs every day, it’s tough on a young kid,” said Freeze. “The bottom line though is that I saw some really good things with Laquon. He seemed more confident today.”
Freshman QB Devante Kincade and fellow freshman QB Ryan Buchanan got some encouraging words from Freeze as well.
“They are swimming with the little things, but I like the direction they are going. Both had good throws today. I think both will be good players,” noted Hugh.
Who is the number two RB behind Jeff Scott? Freeze likes them all.
“I think Jaylen (Walton) and I’Tavius (Mathers) are probably a little ahead but Mark Dodson and Jordan Wilkins are doing some good things and Kailo (Moore) is a guy we have to gameplan in to try and get him some plays with him getting the ball in the open space to use his speed,” added Freeze. “I envision him of doing some of the things Randall Mackey did for us last year. Kailo is in that mode.”
* Freshman TE Evan Engram missed practice Tuesday due to staph infection on his arm. . . . DE Carlos Thompson missed practice to get checked for a concussion. . . S Brishen Mathews was missing in action due to a hamstring pull. . . CB Senquez Golson continues to be out with a pulled hamstring. “We could push it with Senquez, but we’d rather him get completely healthy and not fight a sore hamstring all year. The same with Pierce Burton’s back. He could have gone today, but he knows everything and I want him healthy, so why rush it?” Freeze asked. . . CB Charles Sawyer remains the biggest question mark to date in terms of his expected return. DT Issac Gross also falls in the question mark arena, but he did do some drills today.
* It looks as if DE C.J. Johnson and OG Patrick Junen are real close to coming back. “We are moving forward with them every day. I think C.J. may even get some team reps tomorrow or the next day. Patrick may be a few more days,” Freeze assessed.
* With Senquez and Charles Sawyer out, Freeze was asked about the guys manning the CB slots now. “Dehendret (Collins) has had a good camp.He gave up a TD today, but he’s doing well so far,” Freeze allowed. “I think Bobby Hill is going to be good. Q. Burdette has a chance to be good. Q. Mireles and Anthony Standifer have to keep coming. We need Senquez and Charles back.”
* Some have worried about wide receiver depth. From an experience standpoint, that sentiment is very understandable, but from a talent standpoint, the 2s, right now, are Treadwell, Adeboyjo and Cody Core. Not a bad looking group at all. A lot of teams would like that problem. The question mark, as Hugh said, is getting them comfortable in what the offense is doing. The look, however, is there.
* There’s been a rumor floating around that Kailo Moore is moving to corner. We’re not saying that won’t ever happen, but he has not taken a single rep at CB to this point. On top of that, the coaches feel he has gamebreaker potential at RB.
* Recent signee DE Fadol Brown will have to sit out this year, but he has been pretty impressive in what little work he has done. He’s a big, lean youngster who is teamed frequently in one-on-one drills against Robert Nkemdiche. Fadol holds his ground. It’s a good match.
* The practice started with an intense round of bull in the ring since the Rebs were in full pads for the first time today. It got the juices flowing in the right direction.
* In early team competition, the defense dominated. The first two offensive snaps were a fumble by Scott recovered by the D and a pick by DE Cameron Whigham on an underthrown bubble screen by Wallace. Toward the end, Bo found Moncrief for a 20-yard game, but overall it was the defense who shined in that drill. . . In the next team session, Bo, under duress, did find Korvic Neat for a 70-yard TD.
* More on Treadwell. . . the reason Freeze was excited about today’s work for the big freshman was obvious. One in Red Zone drills, which were live, another score in a team drill, and a quick study of inside (slot) receiver. It was a definite leap for the talented freshman Tuesday.
* An integral part of being a running back in this system is good hands to catch the ball out of the backfield. Scott, Moore, Mark Dodson, Walton and Mathers have all been very sure-handed thus far in practice. That’s certainly a plus.
* Robert Nkemdiche got all the reps with the number one defense again today. Big guy is making his mark and making his presence known.
* Another player who stood out Tuesday to an untrained eye was DT Carlton Martin, who had two QB sacks in team competition.
* In Red Zone competition, also live, Andrew Ritter nailed a 37-yard FG after a defensive stop; Barry Brunetti scored on a short run leading the number 2 offense after Dodson had a 10-yard run to the 1; Ritter kicked another 37-yarder when the 3 offense could not move the ball; Bo found Ja-Mes Logan on a 12-yard TD; and Brunetti found Treadwell in the end zone on a 6-yard pass.