Saturday, I was able to make it to my first practice of the summer. The team was in full pads and finished the day with a red zone scrimmage. I paid attention mostly to the QBs, RBs, WRs, and the secondary. I can't really say much about the OL or DL, because I did not watch them enough to comment on any single player.
First off drills:
QB drill: The qbs did a drill where there were 7 recievers lined up 3 about 7-10 yds away and 4 about 15-20 yards away. The quarterback would listen to the coach as the coach yelled out what to do, such as back forward left right and then finally a number corresponding to the WR to throw the ball to. When Kirsch ran the drill he was told to throw to 7 (stubblefield), but he threw to #6 and then Taylor made a comment about him not being able to count and everyone laughed. Painter had some trouble with the drill especially when he was told to throw on the run, the coach had him run the drill 4 straight times til he got it right. Orton made a good throw on a roll out and stubblefield started yelling heisman candidate baby! After TS was done with his comments the coach had him lineup and do the drill as a qb. He didn't look pretty but he got the job done with a throw to one of the WRs.
RB receiving drills: Heygood looked the best catching any catchable pass thrown to him. Void and Jones were close behind each dropping a pass or two. Brooks and Sheets looked good as well. Void did have one great grab on a bad pass in the drill, otherwise nothing else special about the drill.
1st WR drill: WRs ran their routes with qbs throwing to them. Stubblefield, Chattams, Bryant, Cunningham, and Tardy all ran the inside routes. Stubblefield was his usual self making some great catches and catching just about everything near him; he did have one drop though. Chattams looked surprisingly good, last year at this time I thought he might never see the field at wr, but now he seems to have learned how to catch the ball and will be fighting Dorien Bryant for the #2 inside WR position. Dorien Bryant looked amazing with his speed and ability to make moves after the catch, he could be a special player at Purdue. Cunningham looked good as well catching just about every pass his way. Tardy looked good, like Bryant he seemed to have good moves after catching the ball, he does need some more practice with footwork and running routes, but he should compete for playing time after redshirting this season. Next the outside WRs: Ingraham, Ray and Bryon Williams, Hare, Whittington, and Jake Standeford. Kyle Ingraham was catching just about everything and making some good grabs, like TS he did have one drop during the drill. Ray Williams had a few drops, but looked pretty good overall. Byron Williams was the only WR that caught every pass in the drill. Brian Hare looks good running routes and was able to catch a majority of the ball thrown his way. Whittington and Standeford caught most of the balls, but did not do anything special and do not look like they will challenge the other WRs for playing time.
2nd drill with WRs and defense: During the drill with LBs and DBs defending the WRs, there were several highlights, including a big hit by pollard to break up a pass and Hare make a great grab in the corner of the end zone. The LBs were having a lot of trouble covering the WRs in this drill, the DBs did pretty well though. Rogers and Hickman look clearly better then the others, but Logan should see plenty of playing time possibly at the nickel back or as the backup to Rogers and Hickman. Fabian Martin does not look very comfortable at DB yet, so I doubt he will play this year unless there is a lot of improvement over the next several weeks. He has the potential to be a good db though with his good speed.
Orton and Kirsch were clearly the best two QBs in the red zone scrimmage, Carroll did have one td though. Dorient Bryant had a nice reverse for about 15 yards thanks to a nice block by Byron Williams on the outside. Cunningham, Stubblefield, and Bryant all made good moves after catching passes. Pollard had big hits on Charles Davis and Goldsberry. The biggest hit came from Torri Williams as he leveled Anthony Heygood on a running play, where he was able to pentrate the defensive line before being tackled by Williams. Grant Walker still does look comfortable at FS, I am not sure how he moved past Paul Long, but he just doesn't look like he has the position down yet, hopefully he is learning fast though or we could be in trouble.
Breaking down the positions: QB, RB, inside WR, outside WR, DB, FS, and SS here are my thoughts on which players looked the best in practice and what I have seen from them in the past (returning players only).
Kirsch (backup action)
Carroll (may get a series in huge blowouts)
Renn (scout team)
Jones (lots of action)
Brooks (returns and some action at rb)
Bryant (will play in 4 and 5 wr sets and certain plays with 3 wrs possible return man)
Chattams (will get time in 4 wr sets backing up the above players)
Cunningham (return man and should see some time in 4 and 5 wr sets)
Hare (should fight for #3 wr position with Ray and Byron Williams, may take the position during the season)
Ray Williams (most likely will be considered the #3 wr to start the season, but may lose the position to Hare as he continues to impress in practice)
Bryon Williams (will challenge Hare and Ray for playing time, will see plenty of time in 4 and 5 wr sets)
Standeford (won't play)
Logan (nickel back and backup for Rogers and Hickman)
Long (may see time at db if needed also could play some FS)
Petty (should see some playing time if he stays healthy)
Martin (redshirt: not ready to play DB)
Long (backup here also)
Smith (should see time here maybe ahead of Long if Long becomes full time db)
T Williams (redshirt unless Pollard is injured or unable to play for some reason)
I will have another report next weekend as I will be attending practice again next Friday.