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Just got back from the scrimmage

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Buffnik, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Gorgeous spring day in Boulder.

    I figured I'd give a full report based on today's scrimmage since I plan on having a good time and being far from sober next Saturday.

    For the most part, it was run like a game situation. Offense started at its own 20 for most of the day and needed to move the ball 80 yards to score. Play clock was on and the action was refereed. Last part of the scrimmage was mostly red zone action.

    Offense looked great. It's ahead of the defense right now.

    Quarterback: Hansen had a great day. Hit a very high percentage, didn't throw any picks, hit on a couple bombs despite a strong cross wind, and was doing a great job of working his checkdowns. I'm encouraged. Behind him, Hirschman looked the part, made some plays, seemed more in command of the offense, but was inconsistent. Hansen's almost always with him and seems to be taking him under his wing. Burnette is a distant third.

    Running Back: Speedy is a talent. Doing a much better job of seeing the hole and being decisive about getting north and south. They're also working him in a lot more with screen passes and checkdowns. Look for him to have a huge year. Tony Jones is solidly our #2 back and will make some noise this season. Very good vision with nice burst. Runs angry, too. Works angles well with subtle cuts and body leans. He'll be a valuable player for us this year and has the chance to be really good. Josh Ford is running #3. He's a good football player and he'd get yards if we played him in a live game. But it's going to be hard for him to hold onto that spot with Lockridge returning in the fall and the new guys coming in. I feel pretty good about RB depth, even though Cordary Allen hasn't had the light go on yet.

    Fullback: Harrington has really developed since the last open practice I saw. He's at least neck and neck with Ahles on the depth chart now. Both are doing a nice job. I think we're going to be fine here. Maybe better than fine.

    Tight End: Deehan is finally looking like the 4* recruit he was. Probably because the offense finally suits his skills. He's doing a great job and will be a big part of the offense this year. Also, we'll almost always see either 2 TEs or 1 TE/1 FB with our offense this season. When it's 2 TEs, the 2nd guy is Thornton. That's a great matchup problem we create there. He can split out or he can line up tight. He can also shift to FB. Not too many teams are going to be able to deal with him because if they play run with personnel they can't cover him if he splits and if they play pass they're outnumbered against the run. Behind them, we have Slavin who looks like he's going to be a guy we can trust but isn't really making plays yet. Griffon looks the part and he's showing better, but he's still kind of raw. Someone needs to step up this fall and give us a #3 and #4. As it stands, this position is a big key to our offense and we don't have the ready-to-play depth we need even though the talent is there.

    Wide Receiver: Richardson is an absolute stud. Every cornerback we have looks overmatched against him. I'm not sure if that's an indictment of our corners or if we have an All-America WR in the making. He's that talented, folks. Today was highlighted with a leaping 1-handed grab in traffic that he picked out of the air with his left. Filthy. Clemons was kind of limited today and was on the opposite side of the field from me during pre-scrimmage drills, so I didn't get to watch him much. Jefferson can play. He's still limping around and his hands aren't as consistent in drills as you would like, but as soon as game action starts the limp is gone and he makes things happen. He caught a deep out from Hansen today and then juked the CB instead of running out of bounds, turning it into a 40+ yard touchdown.

    After that, there's a big dropoff on the depth chart. Cefalo has good hands and gets open, but he doesn't have enough speed to keep opposing DCs up at night. He'll catch some balls for us this year, though. Canty looks pretty good. He's quick, pretty fast, runs crisp routes, really listens to his coaching, and is coming on. I don't think he's quite ready for prime time, but he will see the field and could end up surprising. Darden is really tall and can create a matchup problem for a small corner, but he needs to continue working on his speed, agility and route running.

    Line: Really hard to judge the OL in a scrimmage. Especially since Iltis is out at C and they're going against a DL and LB corp that are struggling with a bunch of nagging injuries. No Kasa, no Webb, no West, no Nobriga, pretty sure I didn't see Cunningham, Bonsu or Poston either. But our young tackles, Bakhtiari and Harris, really seemed to perform well. Beyond that, a lot of our quality runs seemed to go behind Adkins off the left side. One other thing I noticed is that Dannewitz has moved inside to RG and looks very natural there. I expect him to play some this year and start as a senior in 2012. This move was made possible because Lewis is getting it done for a true frosh at LT. Think the grayshirt was a good idea? If he'd been here for fall camp, he would have been 6'5" 255 lbs. By waiting until January, we got a guy who is just shy of 6'7" and weighing in at 270 lbs with a redshirt year still available.

    Defense had a tough day, but there were definitely some bright spots.

    Line: The real bright spot is Obi. He's disruptive on the interior. He and Miller battled to pretty much a stalemate today, but Obi made some plays. He forced a fumble by stripping the QB, broke up a couple screen plays by running to the sideline, and was in on some tackles. I think he'll keep his starting job and have a really good year. Pericak doesn't seem to have grasped the new reads and techniques as quickly. Uzo-Diribe looks physically imposing on the edge. He should be a playmaker for us. To give an idea of his athleticism, the coaches even had him drop off and cover the TE at times. No one else really stood out to me. Actually, not true. Richter looked slow during sprints. Hopefully he'll come around, but right now I'd evaluate him as a power lifter playing football who isn't athletic enough for this level.

    Linebackers: Rippy stood out again as the guy making plays. It looks like it's finally coming together for him. Major's not quite the same guy flying around yet. I'm still waiting to see that burst and closing ability. It's not that he doesn't look good, but he's not giving that "this guys is special" vibe so far. Behind them, we've got Webb (out with injury today). He passes the eyeball test and hits like a brick ****house. Our top 3 ILBs are definitely players. #4 is Patrick Mahnke. There's a role for him in nickel situations, but I don't have a lot of confidence if he was forced into an every down role.

    When we look to the OLBs, it gets scary. Nobriga didn't play and we need him. Badly. Williams did not step up like I would have hoped. He has the speed, but he's still got to put on the bulk so he can take on blocks and deal with traffic. To give an idea of the depth issue, Blaha and Parker may have gotten the most reps today.

    Defensive Backs: Bell is our best CB. I'm probably overly-critical of him because he's almost always matched up with Richardson and there are times he's made to look bad on plays. He's got the tools to be good and I expect him to win one of the starting spots. After Bell, I haven't seen much to distinguish between Pugh and Olatoye or Vigo and Moten. No one is jumping out impressing me and no one is looking completely awful. All have some athletic ability. We have good depth at corner, I just don't know if we have 2 starters against Pac-12 caliber WRs. One guy who looked surprisingly good is Harrison. The walk on transfer has impressed me every time I've seen him. He stands out. It won't surprise me if he's in the 2012 mix.

    At Safety, we're still missing Perkins and Orms is limited (didn't notice him today). Polk is really coming on. He is coming up and sticking people. He's also chasing people down from sideline to sideline. Cross your fingers, but it looks like the light is coming on. Terror is back to playing aggressively. He was making hits and breaking on passes to get breakups today. I didn't see Sandersfeld get beat but didn't see him make any plays. He's a solid senior who we can trust when he's on the field, though.

    Overall on defense, things could shake up a lot in the fall when certain guys return from injury and all those freshmen show up.

    Special Teams: They didn't do any team Punting today. Grossnickle was working on technique individually along with another Punter who I didn't recognize (#90). Grossnickle has a big leg and was consistently booming them just short of reaching the top of the bubble and bouncing over to the other side. With Kicking, there were no KOs but plenty of FG attempts. Castor has definitely improved and seems to be gaining his confidence back after the last staff destroying it. He made about 75% of his attempts today. And now when he's missing he is down to a 1-way miss where he'll sometimes hook it a bit. I don't know much about kicking but I'll assume it's like golf and it's a lot easier to fix things when you've got a 1-way miss instead of a 2-way miss going on. I'm not a Castor fan yet, but I'm not scared of him either.

    Hope you guys liked the write-up. If anyone else who was there has anything to add, please do. For the rest of you, I'll try to answer any questions you may have.
     
  2. MontanaBuff

    MontanaBuff Club Member Club Member

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    Well done, sir.

    Thanks for the report. :perfect10:
     
  3. cruisebuff

    cruisebuff Club Member Club Member

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    Good report. I was there for the first hour of the scrimmage and pretty much agree with your observations. Very impressed with Hansen. The deep pass he threw to Jefferson down the sidelines was right in front of me - beautiful play. I was less impressed with Hirschman. His ball seemed to float at times and I heard a coach yell from the sidelines "keep it down or get off the field!"

    Speedy was impressive. One running back I was not familiar with, Josh Ford, had a nice long run up the sidelines, showing good elusiveness and speed.

    Embree was definitely more involved in the scrimmage than what I have seen from Hawkins the last few years. "You are better than that, #22!!!" he barked on a goal line drill ( think that was directed at Arthur Jaffee). Bieniemy was vocal, especially in goal line drills. When one of his backs scored he'd yell "go celebrate!!! go celebrate!!!" Playing with emotion is a high priority for Bieniemy. The other coach who was yelling alot was wide receiver coach Bobby Kennedy.

    This was the first time I have attended a scrimmage at the practice fields (the other times were public scrimmages at Folsom). I liked how close you could get to the players. I could not have had a better view for that deep pass from Hansen to Richardson, for example.
     
  4. MrFrumpylane

    MrFrumpylane Well-Known Member

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    How was the intensity of the coaching?
     
  5. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    There's no question that it's an intense deal out there. It's a bit of a pressure cooker. Know what you're doing, do it right and go hard... or get off the damn field. But I don't want people to get the impression that it's a scream fest. It's not. You probably hear a coach yell at someone less than every play. Considering 22 guys on the field and over a dozen coaches watching them including the grad assistants, you know they're seeing more than that. But the staff does a good job of only calling out the big mistakes and momentum shifting positive plays. They seem to be very focused on keeping a pace and rhythm to the action and try not to break it up too much by over-coaching the guys on the field. Lots of teaching after guys came off, though.
     
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  6. FChairbanks

    FChairbanks muthaka slayer Club Member

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    excellent job nik, thanks!

    have you ever considered quitting your day job and going into sports journalism?

    :smile2:


    what is the status on our long snapper situation? that can be a critical position, and we are in transition mode there this year.
     
  7. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Thanks.

    All we did was short snapping today. I didn't see any issues with snaps. Holders seemed to be doing better, too. It's the longer snaps on punts where you're more likely to see an issue, but even the short ones were bad at the early practices. Accuracy seemed to be there today.

    ****************

    Another thing on Hansen. I said he was great. Well, I just saw the stats. 18/19 for 246 yards with 3 TDs and 0 INTs.
     
  8. 4DemBuffs

    4DemBuffs Most admired poster Club Member

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    :boner:
     
  9. FChairbanks

    FChairbanks muthaka slayer Club Member

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    wake up call to greg brown and staff...
     
  10. Bolond

    Bolond Member

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    Hoping one of the freshman corners can come in and play. We are going to miss the two pros.
     
  11. Shldr2Shldr

    Shldr2Shldr Club Member Club Member

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    Did it look like Hansen was just having a good day? Or is the style and the scheme starting to click for him and making him comfortable back there? I know its easy for QB's when the Oline does its job but I read the biggest pass to Richardson was not a high arcing thing that PRich just caught, but a bullet that hit him right in stride. That would seem to me more confidence and natural ability coming through than just merely having a good day
     
  12. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    Thanks for the report. I like it right from the start.

    Finally have some attention to detail in the program. I don't think anything frustrated me more over the past five years than the inability to got a play called and run in the allotted time. Also I can't count the number of drives that we had killed or opponents drives kept alive by unforced, stupid penalties. Sounds like Embree simply isn't going to tolerate that.

    Good news on the QB situation as well as RB and WR. O-line will resolve itself since we have talent there and it normally takes the line longer to gel and get comfortable.

    I think we will be okay at DT when guys get healthy, Pericek and Cunningham have to adapt to the changes but have the talent to do so and contribute, this may end up a better defense for both of them. Obi is great news this spring and I think Bonsu will be a solid contributor when he gets healthy. Uzo-Diribe will be our "speed" end and Hartigan is a hustler and hard worker who will provide depth. The problem is at the other DE, we desperately need Kasa to get healthy and to play to his ability, we also need somebody else to step up and provide real depth.

    Good to hear that the inside guys are going to be solid but I have been worried about our OLBs, somebody needs to step up or this will be a problem, especially against the edge speed of the PAC.

    My only concern about Polk at safety is his health, I think he will be a pro before it is all over. We have enough other guys at safety to make it work well for us. Corner is going to be an adventure. Brown will figure out how to make it work but no matter what we do we were going to have a step down from Jimmy and Jaleel.

    Castor may not be a great kicker but it sounds like he is the best we have. Question, how did the kick snaps look. I am still hopin that they figure out a way to bring in Dreschers brother to give us somebody who can take the adventure out of that part of the game.
     
  13. JRK1212

    JRK1212 Troll

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    Does anyone know who the player was that spent the whole practice rolling on the ground next to the bubble? I assume this was some sort of punishment?
     
  14. BuffSurveyor

    BuffSurveyor Club Member Club Member

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    Buffnik: Nice run down on the scrimmage. Looks like the Buffs are headed in the right direction.
     
  15. bigbang

    bigbang Member

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    Thornton is my pick for break out player also. He had a good spring game last year, i still don't understand why Hawkins chose not to include him in the passing game last year, same with Obi on defense.
     
  16. buff4bcs1985

    buff4bcs1985 Hail to the King

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    how did bonsu look?
     
  17. JRK1212

    JRK1212 Troll

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    Didint play
     
  18. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    what hansen operating out of 3 and 5 step drops, or are they rolling him out so he can throw on the run. for some reason I always though he would be an amazing bootleg qb. he can make plays with his feet or arm if he is moving. If he is on the pocket, I thought he lost his accuracy.
     
  19. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I didn't talk enough about West and we tend to forget about him even though he led the team in sacks last season (5 1/2). He sat out today with an injury, but he's going to be huge for us in 2011.
     
  20. Clean Undies

    Clean Undies Flagship of the 12-Pac Club Member

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    Sheesh, Nik. Can't believe you wrote all that that without game tape. Nice attention to detail, getting the roster down, and providing a comprehensive analysis. Repitty-bopity-boo!

    Hope the CU Internet police don't issue a cease and desist for the quality report.

    A few questions:
    Is there anything to report on punt and kick off return?
    Are all plays run from under center, or are there any looks from the gun?
    Was it a run first office? Up the gut?
    Is there any option going on?
    Was Hansen staying in the pocket?

    Thanks.
     
  21. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Mostly standard drops. He only rolled out a couple plays by design.
     
  22. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    You're welcome.

    And nothing to worry about with a practice report on an open practice. :smile2:
     
  23. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    West could be a difference maker as well but with him an Uzo-Diribe in at the same time we are awfully small at the ends. Kasa gives us the strength to hold up against power run plays. West has gotten a lot bigger since he has been here but still seems a little undersized for this part of the game. He is listed at 260 but I think that is a bit generous, he will be lined up against 300+ tackles, he will have them on quickness but I am concerned that he will get overpowered.
     
  24. JRK1212

    JRK1212 Troll

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    Steve Marshall makes his presence known. Had several profanity filled rants. The other coaches were intense as well but not as demonsterative, although EB's reactions when someone makes a mistake are pretty funny.
     
  25. INTHABUFF

    INTHABUFF Club Member Club Member

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    Just a couple of things to add:

    PRich is an absolute stud. He only needs a half step to be open and he had a lot of half steps today. The gap between him and the next guy, especially with Clemons not participating today, is ENORMOUS. We are 1 injury from being in a very bad place here.

    Tony Jones is the real deal. You look at him and expect a speed guy and a thousand cuts. He runs hard, fights for yards, has plenty of wiggle, but he always moves forward.

    Anybody have any insight into Orms? At first I was worried to see him standing off by himself away from his group and the defense most of the time. Then I noticed all of the other players not participating were standing behind the team. I just don't think he could see from back there so he moved, but it did make me worry about whether or not he fit into the new D. He was so solid till he got hurt last year, I want to see him do well.

    I thought we looked better in the 4-3 than the 3-4. We just seemed to get more people to the ball and gave up fewer big plays in the middle. Other than that, there were so many people not playing it was hard to make a decision about any one player.

    The only thing I saw that I felt like pointed to a more no-nonsense approach from the coaches was early on Deehan twisted an ankle. JE yelled for him to get up and get himself off the field. He eventually did and ended up coming back in a couple series. Definitely not coddling. JE was also constantly yelling at the defense about keeping their hands of their hips. Little things, but I thought they sent a message

    The player rolling up and down the sidelines was Ilitis (at least he was wearing Ilitis' number)
     
  26. InTheBuff

    InTheBuff Club Member Club Member

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    good post but remember that I'm THE original ITB ....
     
  27. JRK1212

    JRK1212 Troll

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    Does anyone else have a problem with our punters spending the whole practice kicking the ball onto the bubble? It didint look like they were working on technique to me, just messing around. And all the while there are little kids running around them playing soccer. It just looked very amature-ish. I dont think you would see anything like that at an Alabama practice. This is not a huge deal, I realize the season doesent start for 5 months this was just frustrating to see after how bad our special teams play was last year.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  28. Buffellow85

    Buffellow85 Well-Known Member

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    It's because they are too busy practicing the money handshake.
     
  29. Illegal Pete

    Illegal Pete New Member

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    Most of the scrimmage has been described pretty well so I will just provide a few aspects that stood out to me.

    Hansen was SHARP. Even in the pre-scrimmage drills I noticed that he was throwing nice balls and he was razor sharp in the scrimmage. There were numerous throws that he had where the coverage was good and he fit the ball in exactly where it needed to be for the WR to make a play. Very impressed and excited with what I saw from him today. He is the clear cut starter in my eyes.

    Loved the coaching staff. Highlight for me was one of two from Embree. The first was when Polk came up early on in the scrimmage and stopped Thornton, who had a full head of steam and did not shy away from the contact, pretty much dead in his tracks. Embree gave Thornton a high five and then went on to praise Polk for making a tremendous play. The second was when one of the backup QB's, I can't remember who, made a pretty awful throw down the east sideline and a pass interference call was the result. Not so for Embree who immediately turned the penalty down and said something along the lines of make a better throw.

    I mentioned Polk in the above paragraph and I was really impressed by the physical presence he brought today. He was playing fast and hitting HARD. It was great to see and I can't wait for him to start hitting opponents. I was also impressed by Speedy, he had a couple of runs today where he showed great determination. The defense didn't have a ton of highlights, but I liked our pursuit to the ball. Many times I noticed 4 or 5 guys swarming around a ball carrier and I think that this is a pretty big key for any defense.

    Finally, this scrimmage was well played for the most part. Penalties were down and the offense didn't commit a turnover. Obviously the offense had a nice day, but it was due to them making plays, not the defense being awful. We have a long way left to go but I was extremely encouraged by what I saw today. I think that we are in good hands with Embree and Co.
     
  30. Tatanka™

    Tatanka™ Well-Known Member

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    Great job Nik. You should make this a blog post and send it to Ted Miller. I think it's worthy of being included in his daily links. Maybe he'll think so, too.
     
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