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August 13, 2013

Tuesday practice notes

We didn't get to see much today, but there's only one word that describes what we did: ugly. Coaches were angry at players, players were angry at each other, and nobody looked especially good.

In the quick game, the starting offense got two possessions today. By now, we had a pretty good idea who we'd see: Johnny Manziel, Ben Malena, Cedric Ogbuehi, Germain Ifedi, Mike Matthews, Jarvis Harrison and Jake Matthews. The wideouts are now becoming the same group as well -- Mike Evans, Malcome Kennedy, Sabian Holmes and Derel Walker.

The starting defense showed a 4-2-5 look today, with Obioha, Ennis, Alonzo Williams and Stansbury out for the first possession; Tyrell Taylor replaced Stansbury during the second possession. The linebackers were Donnie Baggs and Steven Jenkins, with Howard Matthews, Deshazor Everett, Toney Hurd, Floyd Raven and Devante Harris in the secondary. During the second possession, Raven was replaced by Clay Honeycutt.

This was the worst stretch of play we'd seen from Manziel. On the first possession, Malena got a handoff he took up the middle for a couple, then Manziel completed a short pass to Holmes, who was wrapped up by Hurd and the two nearly got into it. Manziel then missed Evans badly twice, including one pass that was nearly picked off. Kyle Serres was brought on for a 40+ yard field goal, which he hit.

On the second possession, Manziel hit Evans on a well-designed WR screen that got about 8, but they couldn't convert as Manziel misfired on the next three plays.

Matt Joeckel was running the second team today, with Tra Carson in the backfield with him (more on that in a minute). The wideouts were Pope, RSJ, Nehemiah Hicks and Sebastian Larue. On defense, the front was Daeshon Hall, Tyrone Taylor and Hardreck Walker and Justin Manning in the middle. Tommy Sanders and Darian Claiborne were the linebackers until they shifted to a 3-3-5 set, when Jordan Mastrogiovanni came in. Tavares Garner, Alex Sezer, Noel Ellis, Jonathan Wiggins and Sam Moeller were in the secondary.

On the first play, Carson ran with some purpose and carried guys for a few yards and scuffle nearly broke out when he was finally shoved to the ground. On the next play, Carson got the ball again but Manning stuffed him for very little gain. On what would be third down, Joeckel went deep for Larue and Tavares Garner had good coverage, but the pass was overthrown. After a pass in the dirt for Pope, Josh Lambo came on for another 40+ yard attempt and missed it wide left.

A few observations:

Trey Williams was out today. He was there in shorts and was working out separate from the team, so we're not sure what his injury issue is.
Kenneth Marshall and Joas Aguliar remain absent. Taylor Bertolet was running sprints today before practice as he recovers from hernia surgery.
Mark Snyder wasn't happy with much of anything today, especially Mastrogiovanni and Sanders, who botched their assignments on back to back plays. He was, however, pleased with Sanders, Baggs and Garner. Garner, especially, is making the most of his opportunity.
During kickoff return drills, Quiv Gonzalez was returning a kick in a non contact drill and Devante Harris bumped into him. And they jawed at each other.
Coach Sumlin wasn't happy with some of the hitting after the whistle and said so.
Terry Price got on his guys as well, which is a little more common than the rest. I've never seen Snyder as pissed off as he was today.
It looks like the wideout groupings are getting pretty set, at least for the first two groups. With the exception of Hicks for Quiv today, that was the same group we've seen the last three practices going back to last week.
Darian Claiborne has been out there two days in a row, and that may just be a coincidence or a test, but he sure seems more aggressive than the other freshmen linebackers.
Beginning to think Jordan Points and Jay Arnold may both end up redshirting, or at least not become major contributors until later in the year, like Mike Richardson and Alonzo Williams last season.

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