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Monday, August 11, 2008

Short notes

Missed a good bit, but here are a couple of quick things from this evening's practice.
* The defense had completely dominated the last couple of 11-on-11s I watched, but I thought the offense fared a little better just now. I might have scored that one a draw.
* The biggest news from the press conference was that Marcus Jemison had surgery today to repair a broken leg. In my professional medical opinion, I'd say he's probably redshirting this season.
* Sen'Derrick Marks had a nice pass breakup at the line.
* One of the QBs threw a screen right into Raven Gray's stomach, but he dropped it.
* The players and Tommy Tuberville were available after the morning practice, so nothing new there. But LB coach James Willis and OL coach Hugh Nall spoke with reporters after the evening workout. Got a couple interesting things out of that, including that Willis thinks Tray Blackmon has the most special combination of skills of any LB he's worked with. I assume that's only as a coach, but he didn't specify. He brought up Dontarrius Thomas and Karlos Dansby and said Tray has the ability to be that kind of special player.

Obviously most of us agree with that assessment. It's a matter of him staying healthy and out of trouble. When I covered high schools several years ago, I knew some coaches whose team was in the same region with LaGrange (Blackmon's school). When their team was coming to the line for a running play, the QB was supposed to come to the line and then audible into a run in the opposite direction of wherever Blackmon was lined up. Of course that meant running toward Wesley Woodyard, who went on to be one of the top LBs in the SEC for the last couple years, but they looked at that as a preferable option. In other words, Tray's pretty good.

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