Today’s practice session was shorter than the first one I was able to attend. That being said, I was able to grab some info today and even some pictures/video of the much-discussed “bull in the ring” drill. Without further ado, here are today’s notes.
- I showed up to practice 15 minutes early and the offense was in the middle of drills already. This team is putting in the work during these spring practices. The drills consisted of what essentially boiled down to an offensive walkthrough.
- I saw a few plays where the running back was running a flare route as the primary target. Those plays didn’t really work last year under the old offensive coaches. It will be interesting to see how Loeffler uses running backs in the passing game this season.
- Sticking with backs, Shane Beamer really emphasized blocking and angles with his fullbacks. Expect to see more emphasis on fullbacks in the run game this year.
- Scot Loeffler, like last time I saw him, is very hands-on with about every facet of the offense. He stops plays if Logan, or the other quarterbacks, aren’t reading defenses correctly. He’ll halt a play for improper alignment or poor tempo getting from the huddle to the line.
- I got a glimpse of Jeff Grimes working one-on-one with Laurence Gibson on footwork and leverage. Grimes was teaching Gibson how to keep his weight inside, thus working inside-out on a potential defensive end. During other drills, Gibson was lined up at left tackle with the first-team offense.
- With Jeff Grimes and new graduate assistant Ryan Pugh, it’s like Tech hired two offensive line coaches. They’re quite the duo when working with offensive linemen. Grimes will have half of the linemen while Pugh will be coaching up the other half.
- And last, but surely not least, I got to witness first hand the “bull in the ring” drill. Offensive lineman Brent Benedict beat defensive tackle Kris Harley, freshman offensive lineman Johnathan McLaughlin beat defensive end Dewayne Alford, redshirt-freshman wide receiver Joel Caleb beat defensive back Desmond Frye, defensive end Seth Dooley beat tight end Ryan Malleck, and running back Trey Edmunds destroyed linebacker Deon Clarke. The offense beat the defense 4-1 in these drills today. Below is the video I took of Seth Dooley vs. Ryan Malleck. The quality isn’t the best due to taking it on an iPhone, but also because it was hard to get a good angle. Above you can see the picture I took while almost getting run over during one of the reps.