Saturday, August 16, 2008

Football - Scrimmage Notes

The last public display for the Jackets prior to the opener is now in the books. So here are some random notes

Well, it turns out the team is just flat getting worn out after flat going at it full speed for 2 weeks. Paul Johnson called off Friday afternoon practice and cut the scrimmage short after 90 minutes. Looks like coach is going to back off a bit in the final two weeks, although probably only a notch. There were still a bunch of fumbles today though, and that means Johnson will want to keep contact high.

There was a fascinating comment from Paul Johnson today. He was talking about the above point, that his guys are a bit beat up and worn out. Here's what he said:

“We’re to the point where I know what they can do, so we just got to get ready to play."

Again it was in the context of speaking about scaling back a bit, but I still find it very interesting. Coach knows what these guys can do now. He's comfortable with the skill level of his team. This would lead me to believe that for the next two weeks it's about game-planning for Jax St, getting more reps and nursing injuries. It's not so much going to be about switching guys back-and-forth between positions. Sure, there will be some switches, but it sounds like moving to closed practices coincides with the next phase of this season.

One guy that is seriously performing, yet won't be able play this year of Anthony Allen. He has led the team in rushing in both fall scrimmages and has looked fantastic. There's a bit of a debate on where he will line-up next season. Paul Johnson is all about the best players on the field. That probably mean Jonathan Dwyer is still your starting B-Back. Allen, who transferred from Louisville, has a body more like a B-Back, but could end up in the A-Back position. We're going to get a great idea of what Dwyer and Roddy Jones (nice article on him here) are like, as well as Greg Smith. I can't imagine what PJ is going to do with a guy like Allen.

Atlanta head coach Mike Smith watched the scrimmage today. Evidently he and PJ are friends from way back.

Lots of dings, bruises, cramping, strains and pulls. The team is a bit rag-tag evidently. David Brown went off on a stretcher today, but X-rays were negative. That's good news, but we'll hear Monday his status. The O-Line in general is in rough shape and probably the #1 worry at the moment....... Correy Earls was back today, but may have lost his starting WR job to Tyler Melton, who has performed well, and not missed any time.

Well, Playboy ranked the Jackets #25, which is a bit surprising. However, Andrew Gardner could care less, as he and Tim Tebow both took a pass on the Playboy All-American team. Gardner might want to rethink the "exposure" he might get, as he has a chance to "spread" his name around, especially considering everyone buys that thing for the articles. Actually, I applaud Andrew for it. It's a moral stand and the right one. Way to go!!!

So you get the starting punter job, after the best punter in the nation moves on to the NFL, and once again, there isn't a single punt performed in the scrimmage today. If Chandler Anderson punts more than 20 times this season it will be seriously out of character for Paul Johnson. Folks get ready for 4th-and-3 at our own 35 and going for it. I think Navy only punted about 11 times last season. Crazy.