Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Football practice, Tuesday, August 25

This post was written by Vanguard sports writer Allison Whited.

This morning, in the rain, the first offense and the second defense carried out 11-on-11 drills again and vice versa, just like yesterday.

The first offense is getting better at creating running lanes. Bobby McClintock had plenty of room to run and he had quite a few productive carries. Evans Okotcha and Nick Kalpin, who, in his second year, should see more playing time than Okotcha and fellow fullback and freshman Ben Bowen, both had space to make things happen.

Receiver Ray Fry looked good today, so it can be assumed that a nagging hamstring injury is no longer bothering him. Drew Hubel threw some balls his way and he had a catch for around 20 yards. He also caught a beautifully thrown pass from third string quarterback Nick Green.

Quarterback Connor Kavanaugh showed some progress in his game play patience today. Even under pressure, his internal game clock seemed to slow down and he patiently waited until he found an open receiver in Kalua Noa. Generally in a situation such as this, he scrambles and it was heartening to see him sit in the pocket and wait it out.

Freshmen defensive linemen David Gertson and Dereck Jester played the run fairly well. They pulled together for a great stuff of Kalpin.

Against the first offense, receiver Nevin Lewis had some good catches and even better yards after the catch. He repeatedly burned the defense's right side. Receiver Justin Monahan managed to find a rare hole in the middle of the field and made a great play on the ball.

It seems that there are two players guaranteed to do some blocking down field on kick and punt returns. Linebackers Jaycob Shoemaker and Colton Russi were the two constants during today's special teams drills. They seem to compliment each other well. Shoemaker seems a little quicker all around, but Russi seems to have the big hit capacity. Linebacker Kevin Takeno and fullback Kalpin alternated rounding out the group of three working this particular drill.

I try to keep my opinion out of these accounts, but there is something I have to get off my chest. I really, REALLY want to see a receiver, besides the very talented Aaron Woods, step up and tell Hubel he's the guy. The receivers all work hard at practice and most of them have decent hands and speed, but overall, besides Woods, they lack aggressiveness. I want to see them fight for the ball and push just a little harder to get everything they can out their catches. The offense will greatly benefit should anyone decide to make it happen.