After a sluggish start to practice, the Cats cleaned it up on offense and got after it. It’s their first two a day, so you can expect some inconsistency, but Stoops still seemed pretty pleased. “We’ve gotta do the little things, so the big things aren’t so big,” Stoops said. As the days get longer, being disciplined becomes more important.
When One Person Drops a Pass, Everybody Drops a Pass
At all levels of football, a dropped pass by a wide receiver usually means ten push-ups. Juice doesn’t drop too many passes, but if somebody else has to do ten push-ups, he (and many others) join in. It shows leadership, and creates a sense of community and inclusiveness. Stoops also mentioned that Juice once again made a couple of great plays, and noted that Dorian Baker is getting much closer to being game ready after offseason knee surgery.
What Matt Elam Does Best
From D.J. Eliot:
“Matt does a really good job on pass plays of pushing the pocket. Defensive linemen are very valuable, some of the most valuable players on your team, but they may not make a lot of plays. It’s not the plays that they make, it’s the plays that they take away that are so important. On a pass down, to be able to push the pocket and put the offensive lineman in the quarterback’s lap and alter his throw because he doesn’t have a [passing] lane. That may not be recognized by the common spectator, but it sure is valued by the coaches because it determines wins and losses.”
Another note on the defensive line, Melvin Lewis has not disappointed as the leader of the group. Leading by example is the mantra of this group that is less vocal than in years past. Regie Meant and Farrington Huguenin are very similar; they aren’t the most vocal, but they have a tenacity about them that has pushed them to the top of the pack.
Ryan Flannigan got ‘Dinged Up’
Another minor setback from a physical practice, but like many others his status is day-to-day.
“They pick their spots…”
Tempo was preached early and often when Neal Brown first arrived on campus with Mark Stoops. You don’t hear about it as much, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t working on it. Instead of going fast during every snap, Dawson keeps the defense guessing by using the hurry-up irregularly. Stoops likes it because it doesn’t overwork his players, and it improves the quality of practice by allowing his players to be more technical, instead of rushing through as many reps as possible.
Kendall Randolph is a Young Leader for the Freshmen
The cornerback position has seen an influx of young talent this year. With about eight guys vying for the two positions, it’s become very competitive. Randolph played primarily nickel and dime last year, but now he is also in the mix. With that, comes the responsibility of guiding the young players through the tricks of the trade, “Techniques, strategies within the scheme, what they need to look for. I try to help all of them the best that I can, whether it’s in the film room or if they’re on the field. If they’re visual learners, if they need to see it on film, I just try to stay close to them at all times.”
To read more into the intense position, tonight I have 1,000 words on the progression of the young freshmen that will make an impact in the secondary this Fall.