Not a lot being reported from spring practice for the last couple days. In fact, the only recent news is that LB Ejuan Price is out for the rest of the spring with a torn Pectoral Muscle. He’s having surgery and is expected back by training camp. Price plays MLB and should be competing with Dan Mason for the starting job.
Of course, I can’t think of pectoral surgery without thinking of this episode of Ren & Stimpy.
Even though Ray Graham has been on the sidelines recovering from his torn ACL and Rushel Shell won’t be here until the fall, the beat writers have really liked what they have seen from Isaac Bennett.
It’s too early for declarations, but Bennett may be the best player on offense.
He is bigger and stronger than a year ago – and unafraid of when Ray Graham returns from a knee injury and high school All-American running back Rushel Shell arrives on campus.
“I’m looking forward to playing beside everybody,” he said. “It’s not competition, but I say teamwork. Everybody will fit in somewhere.”
The ever-smiling son of a Tulsa, Okla., preacher, Bennett was unfazed when the team was abandoned by former coach Todd Graham, who was the only BCS coach to offer him a scholarship.
It’s a good thing, because no one seems too impressed with the QBs performances.
Stop me if this seems familiar:
Sunseri had his best day of the spring after Chryst reminded him in no uncertain terms not to hold onto the ball too long in the pocket.
Sunseri hit Brandon Ifill and Cam Saddler for touchdown passes. He also recognized he missed some open receivers.
“I have to put more air underneath the ball and stop trying to throw it so flat,” he said. “On my deep ball, obviously, I am overthrowing by a little bit, but I’m not giving them time to adjust. I finished on a touchdown to Cam. I was able to make that adjustment.”
[emphasis added while sighing deeply]
Some flaws continue, and it doesn’t matter the system.
Not that the wide receivers have been particularly impressive as a unit to help matters.
… I think it is hard to really stretch the field and score consistently if you can’t get those big chunk plays and force teams to work to defend the deep ball. Devin Street obviously is the first guy who comes to mind in terms of filling this role but what we’ve yet to see that on a game in and game out basis and he’s been a little bit limited in spring so he hasn’t shown that, either. Cam Saddler has had an excellent spring and has caught a zillion balls nearly every practice, but again, he’s more of a slot guy – as is Ronald Jones and guys like Ed Tinker, who I really think has some ability. I know Brandon Ifill has made the move to receiver but he has not yet shown the ability to be that game breaker type of player and if he doesn’t, I’m not sure where he will ultimately fill in.
Stretching the field with the pass is still a theory than a reality. Sunseri is still inconsistent at best with his deep throws. Myers struggles with the other stuff (not to mention a slow wind-up). As much as a platoon might seem appealing, it is hard to picture since teams would presume a deep ball whenever Myers is in there. The WRs just don’t have the skill to handle a defense that knows the deep pass is coming.
Okay, too much of a downer so far and that’s not entirely fair. Coach Paul Chryst is being positive.
Chryst, who was the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, said the four quarterbacks on the roster are all improving. But he added it wouldn’t be fair to start evaluating them until the fall because they have so much to learn.
“I think the most you can hope for is that each [quarterback] is getting better,” Chryst said, “as well as gaining an understanding of the offense and also improving in their own little world of techniques. There’s so much to quarterback play.
“You hope that there’s an understanding and foundation that’s being laid so that at fall camp you can build on that and get yourself ready for the season.”
That at least suggests that the QB issue will not be completely settled by the end of spring. I expect that Sunseri will be the starter on the post-spring 2-deep, but that like the entire 2-deep. It will be in pencil.