WARNING: This blog will not be held responsible for poor observations or factual inaccuracies. It is an attempt to add perspective on the Wisconsin Badgers 2014 Football Team.
THE QB BATTLE IS LEGIT
Just one hour of camp practice open to the media today and the team was already in the midst of some full 11 on 11 as I walked in. I tried to keep track as best I could with each snap of the QBs, but the pace in the drills had picked up. This most certainly was due to the amount of experience now on the field. The players could be in and out of the huddle in no time, knowing where to be, knowing what to do, and then try and execute it.
As I write this down, and even as I was watching, this thought kept coming up, "oh man, this is real, this is going to be a tough call at QB."
Yesterday had the chance to see Joel show his arm was better, and better in the sense it's a more comfortable and confident throw, and he has some more juice to his throws. There are still issues though, and one's we've groaned about since he's played. The arm isn't the issue, it's the statuesque hanging too long in the pocket, it's the fact while he can chuck the thing it's not consistently accurate, and while he can roll out, he can't run.
Today, Tanner showed his strength, his wheels. They didn't have any kind of plays designed for him or anything too run (as far as they showed) but when things broke down in the pocket, he has that knack for making people miss, and can hit a full sprint. Nothing special today, but you could pick out a play or two, where if needed he could get those yards with his feet.
Both QBs did look more comfortable surrounded by the first stringers, and while I praised Joel yesterday for his command, it was negligble during this practice. Tanner looked just as confident, looked just as in command, so take that for what you will.
Also had a first chance to see DJ Gillins. I love him and only saw 4-plays. 3-pass completions and one airball into the stands on his first attempt, but he looks like he'll be fun in a few years. His throws were hard heaves, not deep attempts, but quick lazers to the receivers. Still thin, but can add weight and it'll be fun watching what he can do in the coming years.
Lastly, my blog has become a mocking call from the "Real" journalists, which is exactly it's point. If anyone wants to read real reports, or stories, or quotes, or even keeled professionalism, you will not get it here. They sure like distracting me though! (I'm looking at you Lucas!!)
On to the report, which will be a bit tighter as I have to get out for some beers tonight, heck it's the Great Taste of the Midwest Tomorrow, so I have to prepare accordingly.
Matter of fact, I'm going to grab a beer now to finish this thing...
WHOA...WHAT'S GOING ON...GOTTA GET THIS STUFF
Again, I arrived as plays were running and had to get into the stands. They were working as a full unit. Stave was running the offense as I walked in. They were working South to North, with the offense in their White jerseys, QB's in Black, Defense in Red.
1 & 10 @31 - Stave to ?? about 15yds but drop
2 & 2 - PA roll left, hits 86 at 45yd line - Nice throw
3 & 1 @34 - Clement off LG for +6 (#6 looks nice. Powerful and quick)
1 & 10 @32 - McEvoy - run #26 +1 left side
2 & 5 - Design roll right - missed #17 on sideline with throw
2 & 4 - PA - pulls down - runs - fluid/fast
1 & 10 @33 - Deep throw right sideline to opp. 40yd line, short throw, intended for #86
2 & 5 - #26 left +6
2 & 4 - Inside #26 +1
3 &1 - #26 inside middle +0
HE LOOKS GOOD.
Have to point out here, seeing some players I hadn't seen so far in camp.
#86 Alex Erickson - A built solid, quicker than he looks (white cliche) WR - seems QB's trust him and look his way
#17 George Rushing - Amidst the raving reviews on day one, while the production is hard to gauge, he looks ever bit as intriguing as the other wideouts.
#15 Rob Wheelright - Another of these receivers who "looks the part" made a TD catch today too, leaping and grabbing.
#6 Corey Clement - Had a better day than Melvin. He's very compact and powerful, as little arm grabs he blasted through, and that was after making the first line of defense miss with hard cuts.
#48 Troy Fumagalli - Stocky, looks like a taller Straus, and certainly a guy that gets targets.
Stave and McEvoy alternated turns, and now were going towards South endzone.
1 & 10 @27 - #2 - hits #86 in stride on quick out, +9
2 & 7 - #5 - Outlet throw over middle to #6, +5
3 & 9 - #2 - Throws left to about 10yd line, over #25 hands
2 & 5 - #5 - Play Action, over middle, hits #26 in hands, bobbles and drops
3 & 9 - #2 - Incomplete, wanted #15
1 & 10 - #5 - Endzone toss back right corner, through outstretched arms of #18 (tough viewing angle to know if it was overthrow or just through arms)
3 & 10 -#2 - Throws inside over middle at 10yd line to #12
2 & 5 - #5 - Left corner endzone toss, too much, overthrow
3 & 4 - #2 - Swing pass left to #26, 1st D
1 & 10 - #5 - Over middle to 13yd line to #83
#2 - 3/5 36yds
#5 - 2/4 18yds
Now trying to punch in TDs in South Endzone, Tanner McEvoy leads things off...
1 & 10 @12 - Shotgun - trips left - quick throw left #16 +4
2 & 6 - #25 straight ahead +4
3 & G @10 - #49 open, pass to high in back of endzone
3 & 1 @6 - Clement 1 cut, hit turns him around, backs in with pile of guys on him into endzone
1 & G @4 - PA roll right - TD back right corner Rob Wheelright (Threw it just high enough Rob could snatch it)
2 & G @4 - Melvin basically two strides and in
3 & G @4 -Fake jet sweep left, roll right, incomplete right side, looking endzone
McEvoy - 2/4 8yds TD
1 & 10 @12 - #26 off right tackle +2 or 3
2 & 8 @12 - PA roll right, nowhere to throw, runs OB
3 & G @10 - Shotgun - pressure on, stays in pocket, rifles to #48 in traffic, dangerous throw
3 & G @6 - #26 +1/2
1 & G @5 - #26 TD off RG
2 & G @4 - Shotgun - bullet over middle to #48 - in traffic again, not as dangerous though TD
3 & G @4 - PA scramble throwaway
Stave - 1/2 4yds TD
OUT OF TIME
Ok...have to apologize, I could only dedicate that much time to today's report, cut me a break already, it's FRIDAY!
Will share a few more things - Vince Biegel is looking as intense as ever, had a would be sack on Stave on the the TEAM CONTROL DOWN session. Was all up in Stave's face.
Landisch and Havenstein went past the whistle and had to be separated during the same drill.
Clement had a nice stiff arm on AJ Jordan, put it right in chest and bulldozed him as he was going out of bounds.
Chikwe Obasigh caught the ire of the Oline and Coaches, when he was free reign on Stave and held up too late, knocking Stave to the ground when you aren't supposed to hit the QB.
DJ Gillins first pass literally was thrown into the stands, but not on purpose. Trying to hit an out, it just got away and it launched into the stands. His second and third passes were completions and bullets.
Plus, the Kickers did their thing at the end...most notable, when Rafael was kicking, the team bust out the, "ole, ole, ole, ole" chant. He banged home a 54 yarder no problem.
1.) This QB battle just got even more interesting to me. It's for real and it's harder than it looks what to pick. I wonder if Andersen would use both? They have distinct advantages over each other, can you use both to exploit each?! Or just pick one and ride it? Stave has the edge IMHO because of consistency, but not without flaws. The scrimmage will be fun, and I'm guessing most reading this will come home with the same feeling. Hmmmmm?!?!?
2.) While it wasn't the smoothest passing game today, you can certainly take notice of the new kids. They are big, all over 6ft if I'm not mistaken. It also should be noted Kenzel Doe and Taiwan Deal were not at practice, no idea why, but I sure want to see how much better Kenzel makes this team.
HEARD WHILE CAMPING
"Who are you with?" - "Nobody, by myself!" - "No, what media do you work for?" (A stoner dude rolled in, then got rolled out.)
"He coulda' hit that from Sao Paulo."
"How many states will have it legal in two years?" - "Forty nine."
"I'd never want to DISTRACT you!!"
"Geeeez...make up your mind"
"Are you going to put that in your blog?"