The 5 day acclimation period is over. The practice schedule this week will allow for three days of full pads and full contact and three days of helmets and shoulder pads. Only one day a week off right now. The kids who “LOVE” football will rise to the top.
Let’s put this one to rest right now. This is Speight’s job to lose. He has been taking the majority of the snaps with the one’s. Peters has the most talent as a backup, but he has done nothing to separate himself from John O’Korn. Oh, and Malzone, he’s nowhere near getting a live rep for a game.
The fun starts at WR and RB. Bigger, faster, and more athletic across the board. The WR positions along with the slot will not be decided until about 10 days away from the Florida game. There is simply that much competition taking place. At RB, Higdon could earn the starting role. Evans needs to have a great fall camp to hold on to the top spot. Isaac is much improved physically and mentally! Walker is slipping. FB is locked up. TE’s are in a battle. It’s kind of a unique group behind Bunting. They are all so different in style and ability.
There are going to be some heated battles taking place on the right side of the OL. From Center, to RG, to RT. Kugler has a solid hold on the Center spot right now. The other two are truly an open competition.
The 4 WR sets and quick passing game has begun. They worked on that all summer in 7-on-7’s. They are working on Speight’s mechanics and he can deliver the short ball with good footwork, accuracy, and zip. He needs a lot of work on the long ball. He has some bad habits that most of you witnessed last year.
As for the defense, the DL is rock solid. Some Freshman will make some noise. Kemp has come into his own. He will be a significant contributor. The LB corps is better than last year. Too many athletes there now and so much better in space. The closing speed and coverage is much improved. They get to the ball in a hurry! Hudson is special!
The CB position will settle out this week with the pads on. The players at these positions already know that they had better not be taking plays off or missing practice for minor nicks and bruises. This might be the most hotly contested position group heading in to week 2. The safety position is all but locked up. It’s a matter of who plays behind Metellus and Kinnel. However, Woods is the exception. He will play. The kicking game is in great hands. They are off to a very solid start. The only real battle here is at Punter, (for now) and who will be the KR/PR’s.
QB is exactly as expected for realistic people. Barring injury, there is virtually zero chance for anyone but Speight to start the opener. Meritocracy yes, but Peters would have to play almost impossibly well for Speight’s experience to be outweighed in the eyes of the coaches.
Not surprised that WR will be highly competitive, either. In fact, I would not be surprised if the starting group was still in flux for at least a few actual games.
I’m a little more skeptical that our LBs will be better than 2016. Our starters had 254 tackles, 44 TFL and 13 sacks last year. By comparison, our top 3 LBs in 2015 had 14.5 TFL and 4 sacks. Last year’s was an incredibly productive group. I’d love to think that we’ll top those numbers this year, but I’ll wait to see that on the field. Better depth, very possibly, but better performance from the starters would be difficult.
Well, yeah…having Peppers last year but not this year will make it much tougher for this year’s group to be as good. The 2015 defense was very good, but 2016 took a significant step even beyond that in making big plays. 46 sacks vs 32. 121 TFL vs 88. 57 QBH vs 23. And the 2016 numbers are in slightly fewer snaps. Going to be very tough for 2017 to improve even further.
good stuff, appreciated. hows mone look? hopefully he put in the work and entered camp in great shape as hes got injury history (though some being fluke type injuries that could happen to anyone) and serious S&C work and great technique are the best ways to avoid injury (when possible) and remain on the field…they really need consistent play from mone given the depth chart so hopefully hes ready to rock.
they know what theyre getting with hurst, winovich, mccray, kinnel, cole, bredeson, etc, and while there are numerous spots where the wrong injury to the wrong player could prove highly problematic (ie hurst, cole, etc), many of those dudes have shown they can remain on the field, at least thru usual bumps and injuries. so mone is key guy to watch, in my opinion
Very encouraging to hear the Hudson hype. Thanks for sharing. I don’t buy that the LBs will be better w/o Peppers but it’s nice to hear anyway.
That Evans hasn’t seized the RB job is mildly concerning.
There’s some guys who have a clear opportunity and high ceiling (Mone, Onwenu, Crawford, McDoom, Long, Hill, Dwumfour, Wheatley) that I hope we soon hear are “taking charge” in the way that Kinnell, Metellus, Hudson, Kemp have done. Of course those guys happen to have only freshman to compete against…
Is Speight still darting his throws deep? Since the wr’s are big maybe he should just throw the ball up like Denard Robinson?
What do you see from Higdon? Is it the number of carries in practice? Is Evans getting plenty of reps? I believe it is 1a and 1b between the two and don’t think it really matters who starts. Harbaugh will ride the hot back.