Practice began at 5:45, and I made it there for about 6:15. A few thoughts and observations …
Hugh Freeze closed practice around before 8 telling his players to make wise decisions over spring break. “If you get in a bad spot call your coach,” Freeze said. He laughed when I asked him that invitation extended to media.
Freeze also encouraged players to stay off social media during the break. Anticipating eagerness to begin the break he also told players to make sure they didn’t miss Friday classes. “Don’t assume a class is cancelled. You better know it’s cancelled.”
Didn’t appear to be a great day catching the ball from the team portions that I saw. Drops from Quincy Adeboyejo, Evan Engram and Laquon Treadwell.
Nice burst in the run game from DeVante Kincade in the run game. He showed his speed and elusiveness today. He’s made some nice passes over the first three days as well.
The first team offensive line continues to include left tackle Laremy Tunsil, left guard Justin Bell, center Ben Still, right guard Daronte Bouldin and right tackle Austin Golson.
Robert Conyers has worked at backup center and backup right tackle. I expect Bell to enter the center competition some time after spring break.
Carlton Martin, who has moved over to OL from DL, left practice with what appeared to be a knee injury. It’s not expected to be serious.
Here’s OL coach Matt Luke:
Speaking of the OL. Laremy Tunsil is really good. I suspect when all is said and done he’ll turn out to be the best player from the 2013 signing class.
CJ Johnson got the better of him today a couple of times in 1-on-1 work, but it was interesting watching Tunsil go up against walk-on OL Talbot Buys when the OL was working alone. When Tunsil put his hands on Buys, Buys’ head snapped back.
You heard Freeze in the video talk about Buys and another walk-on Craig Frigo. He had good things to say about them.
Freeze downplayed the idea, at least on offense, of players not retaining after spring break what they’ve learned in the first few days.
That may be a bigger concern on defense, but linebackers coach Tom Allen says the experience on that side of the ball should help with retention.
As promised, the staff is moving slowly and carefully with CJ Johnson. That allowed transfer Fadol Brown to mix in with the ones today.
Although it was the first day in pads there were no earth-moving collisions that stood out.
One of the plays that drew the most cat-calls came near the end of the workout in 1-on-1 work with an offensive player and a defensive player.
Running back Mark Dodson put a move on Temario Strong that got folks hollering on both sides.
These observations will be curtailed after spring break. The first three practices have been open, but that pace will slow down when drills resume.