Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spring Practice Musings Part I (QB's and RB's)

I could not attend the spring scrimmage. I have read quite a bit. There are several links from which I've pulled this information and the links are listed at the bottom of this post. As we all know, and as the coaching staff reiterates, even this week, the expectation is not for the player but the position. I'll endeavor to update the comments and performance by position. In a glowing report of the individuals, Lloyd gave a typical response of the group effort. While comments of this type are made by every coach, and in every year, I suspect there is genuine sincerity in this comment:

I like the attitude of this team, they've worked as hard as any team we've had. Practices have been very physical."

Physical, yes. Is nice? No. In fact, there are so many injuries, it makes more sense to list them by position. Fortunately, only a hand full are likely still unresolved by August.

Quarterbacks: Not surprisingly, this is one position that, even with Forcier's transfer, we're doing well. In fact, so well that I doubt there is another team with as good a returning senior, with a bona fide (albeit young) player to jump right in behind him. This is reminiscent Tom Brady's time at UM when Henson came in, except, Henne is better at this point that was Brady.
Chad Henne took the Meyer Morton Award for the player who shows the greatest development and promise as a result of spring practice. Greatest development? Since when? If since last year that's really quite an accomplishment. Let's hope the line can give him 2.5 to 3.2 to get the ball out of there. David Cone was said to have made "progress". That was the only comment. Don't expect Cone to make any contribution soon. Lloyd had glowing things to say about Ryan Mallett. While no quotes, Loeffler thinks Mallett may be the most advanced of any quarterback coming in. Lloyd had these comments about Mallett:

He's a very bright guy. He's really picked up the things that we've asked him to do as far as in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage. He's got a lot of poise, and they'll see a guy with a great arm. He's a guy that has such great physical stature in terms of his height and size, he's able to see down the field, and when he lets it go, it's a strong throw.

"(He) picked things up very well, and he got a lot of repetitions throughout the spring, I think his development is continuing. He's a talented guy, a very bright guy.

I think what he has done might not be as noticeable to a fan, but certainly to a coach. Now he still has a lot to learn, but I think he's made a lot of progress. He's done some things that's going to enable him this fall to come into training camp with confidence, knowledge, ability and his understanding of what we're trying to get done."

Running Backs: Mike Hart didn't' practice, so no real word on Number 20. It's hard to tell from the comments whether Minor or Grady would have been second string this spring. With Grady's injury, there's no question that come the fall Brandon Minor will assume the backup role to Hart. Lloyd said of Grady:

The disappointment, of course, is Kevin Grady. Kevin was having an outstanding spring, and he was developing the patience it takes to play at that position.

I think Kevin will have surgery on [April 16th], and I don't know what the future for him regarding next year is. But the good news for Kevin is that he's got such a great work ethic and he's still a very very young guy. So I don't think there's any question that he'll be able to return. The disappointment for us: he was having a great spring. He just had gone to another level, so certainly that's a disappointment for all of us.

Brandon Minor had a very nice freshman year. That should only get better:
'"Brandon Minor has had an excellent spring," Carr said. "He's much more confident because he's been around, and he got a lot of work.

In the long run, Carlos Brown will be happy he stuck with it. If he's as talented and fast as it sounded out of high school he should get playing time before he leaves. It's likely that will include this fall, including in the opener September 1. Run Carlos Run, we can use your speed!

While there was reported
enthusiasm about former walk-on Mark Moundros at fullback, enough so to claim he is competing for the starting spot, it's hard to believe that he'll beat out a tight end transferring to fullback, much less Vince Helmuth. Oh, that's right, we haven't a tight end to move. To end the suspense, I announce here that the starter will be . . . Helmuth.