Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday Two-a-day: Session 1

First, the bad news. Fresno State had an 8-10 p.m. practice session Tuesday night, but the Bounce was unable to attend. We're not happy campers about that.

That being said, there was two and a half hours of practice to enjoy in the a.m. And it was on this day, day 6, that the rookies finally joined the veterans to create a full squad. With that said, here are some news, notes and observations:

***UPDATE: So I left something out that I was reminded about this morning. The hit of the day came toward the end of practice during the 11-on-11 "tag-off" session in the compete zone (25 yard line to the goal). Ebahn Feathers jumped for a high snap out of the shotgun, came down with the ball and handed it to Robbie Rouse. As Rouse planted for his first step, Matt Akers came flying from around the left end and steam-rolled Rouse into the ground for the biggest collision of the day. This play sort of epitomizes the anxiousness that can be observed watching the team that they want to hit. The tag-off session is a full speed session, with defensive players making contact, wrapping up or stripping and letting the ball carrier continue with the play. Needless to say, as the period got more competitive, so to did the urge to hit. This is a good thing.

  • With Matt Hunt and Devan Cunningham still not ready for full speed action, Leslie Cooper and Charley Robbins received time at left guard. Both played the position admirably, with Cooper taking home one of the plays of the day. In a nutshell, Cooper drove linebacker Ben Jacobs back 15+ yards away from the ball and line of scrimmage until the whistle blew.
  • Joe Bernardi also received first team reps at center today. The always reliable Bernardi had a solid day as well.
  • Quarterback is obviously the story of camp, but the linebackers will also eventually make a splash. Ben Jacobs seems to have the middle locked up, but he still seems to me missing a dimension from his game that would make him great. On the outside, Kyle Knox is showing great growth, although he and Nico Herron will at least be pushed for their jobs.
  • True freshman Travis Brown may be the biggest contender, as he was given reps as the second team strongside backer. Fellow freshman Damion Whittington is also flashing talent out there.
  • Also making noise in camp, and again on Tuesday, are the wideouts. New coach Keith Williams is pure hilarity, but his coaching methods are top flight. Route running has never been better across the board, and their improvement should only help the defensive backs compete at a higher level as well. Jamel Hamler is still looking prime to be big-play material.
  • After watching a new wrinkle in the offense involving Devon Wylie, I'm starting to think that his school-record 4.25 40 speed is a tad bit slower than his true time. Defenders will thank the football Gods that the field is only 100 yards, because chasing Wylie will not be a fun chore.
  • Bulldogs coaches also seem to have increased their aggressiveness for turnovers this year, a very much welcomed mentality. This should suit this team's new decapitating personality just fine.
  • Speaking of the new personality, let's speak on it for a second. After having attended many years of Fresno State fall camps, the 2009 version has easily been among the most focused and effort-giving ones. Coaches have been dishing out praise for execution and effort frequently. That being said, they are still pushing the players to set the bar higher every practice. Bottom line is you couldn't ask for a better run camp right now.
  • Finally, let's get to the QBs. After a few days of neck-and-neck competition between Ryan Colburn and Derek Carr, it seems as though the competition has heated up, with Carr doing most of the fueling. He has looked more poised, comfortable and shown more leadership each day. As a result, he has seen reps with the first team on consecutive days. On Tuesday, Carr made ridiculous throws at a torrid pace, flashing some of this teams enormous potential for big plays. Can a true freshman really be this good? Seems to be so. That being said, Colburn has also look fairly consistent, and should be able continue a high-scoring offense should he get the job.
  • And for you Ebahn Feathers fans out there. Feathers has legit speed and can breakaway at any time. The noticeable and encouraging thing the past couple of days has been his arm strength and spiral quality. A lot less ducks being shot lately. He is still frustratingly inconsistent, because at times he shows flashes that prove he could be a monster impact player. He is getting plenty of reps, almost all of which he is throwing in, in an attempt to get him more seasoning for his strong right arm. He'll need to find accuracy to see the field more than a couple times per game.


  1. can you give us your opinion on the out come of the season. maybe a preseason game break down on who you think we will win and lose against.

  2. Love the blog!! I get more fired up for Sept 5th every time I read it. Keep up the great work!

  3. We'll have much more in-depth previews and analysis as the season draws nearer. We're currently working on a gameplan and will definitely address some of those things. We love feedback and knowing what the readers want.

    Also, thanks Chad.


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