Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Gonna be good, gonna be DANG good.

I was likely one of the few, if not only, of the Blue Bloggers that attended the spring scrimmage in Lavell Edwards Stadium last Saturday. Consequently, I wanted to make my inaugural post be on this topic. I've been spewing my commentary elsewhere, at work and with other Coug brethren.
I am on board! The anticipation for this fall was only heightened for me on Saturday afternoon as I sat in the stands with my bro. This team looks very poised to do things that have never been done before and it will be extremely exciting to see each week unfold. I like how the Bronco regime has changed our approach and they have really solidified how they prepare in the spring to maximize preparation for fall camp and minimize injury. I thought that the offense looked even better, as many of the offensive line looks more seasoned and ready to step up and be leaders within their position and throughout the whole team. I particularly think that Oswald and Dallas Reynolds will be even better at the Tackles and we will see less sacks coming off the edge. They looked better and more fine-tuned. Feinga and Matt Reynolds looked nasty at the Guards and it will be intriguing to see if Travis Bright heals completely to compete for the right guard spot. The thing I like the best with these guys is depth. Tom Sorenson is ready to go, RJ Willing can back up wherever and is solid. Garrett Reden will get healthy like Bright. These guys are going to be brutal. Imagine having to scheme against our passing game and then think as an afterthought, "how in the heck are we going to stop their run??"
The scrimmage with the 1's was very controlled. They didn't play to full contact in tackling, but they looked to be going full in blocks, etc. They worked situationally to start the scrimmage, working on Blue Zone stuff and 2-minute drill situations. I was impressed, at one point, they scramble to about the 42 yard line with time running down, ran in the field goal team, and Payne nearly drills a 57 yarder with time expiring! It hit the left upright but was a phenomenal effort. I thought to myself that Payne isn't giving up his spot to Sorenson without a battle! Not to mention, it is going to be very crucial that we are substantially better in the kicking game, specifically field goals and kickoffs to have a dream season next year.
What I most wanted to comment on is the talent that was displayed once the 1's got their work in. I was thoroughly impressed with a few guys. Diluigi has great vision and just looks like a football player. He looks very multi-faceted and seems to be picking up the offense well. He had a couple of nice runs and yards after the catch where he displayed excellent ability to see the field and gain positive yards. Spencer Hafoka looked solid and will be a great receiver. Curt Mcuen threw a sweet corner route to Hafoka that he laid out for and secured a nasty catch. He looks lanky and athletic and he will only get faster. I also liked the looks of Kaneakua Friel. He could play for a lot of teams as a starter at tight end, and I would venture to guess that he will see some good action this fall behind Pitta and George. He is also lanky and looks to create a lot of mismatches against linebackers on a regular basis. That position is deep again. As far as a position that I was most impressed with?? Running backs. Your famous fellow Davis Dart, Brian Kariya looked great and I think he will eventually contribute. I was impressed with him back when they won the 5A title and he carried them on his back. I have heard that he is a great kid and worker and I was hoping that he would come back from a mission and be a contributor. I also thought Isaac Taylor made some nice plays. Wayne Latu runs the ball very strong but scares me in the pass game. I think there are several guys that could play if we have injuries at running back and I feel we are deeper there than last year.
On defense. I like the looks of Andrew Rich. He's a safety, transfer from Snow that came paying his own way. He is from Bonneville and looks big and nasty. He is a competitor and I think that he will be a solid backup to Kellen Fowler and/or Jordan Pendleton. He will see the field and will likely contribute mightily on special teams. He had a pick and just ran it right up the middle of the field almost to say "I dare you to stop me". I like the looks of him. Another safety, Jamison Frazier had a nice pick where he showed some athleticism to go up and grab a ball on a vert route. G Pittman plays with some spunk and confidence. He looks like he thinks he can cover anyone and it has been a while since we have had a corner like that. I think Criddle always played with a lot of confidence and Jaime Hill seems to be instilling that attitude in our secondary guys. I was impressed with G and look forward to seeing him help that defense get more takeaways in the fall. The move for Vic So'oto was awesome. He looks tough, physical and athletic. I think as he learns more of the gap assignments in the run game, he will become a force and once again, the outside linebackers may be the strength of the defense.
All in all, it looks like the Cougs are doing what they need to do to reach their goals. Being able to reach those goals is anyone's guess, but at least they seem to be putting forth the effort and they aren't afraid of setting lofty goals and playing for a dream season. I like that and am glad to be on board. I never got off of the bandwagon and plan to be on it for many years to come.
August 30 at Lavell Edwards Stadium and September 6 in Husky Stadium can't come soon enough for me!
Go Cougs!


Skinny One said...

I can't wait. I'm glad you made it up to the scrimmage. I was going to ask you if you had gone.

This year has the makings to be something special. I'm looking forward to having Doc E. back in the stands as well rising and shouting along with us.

I hope the O-line has improved. I was disappointed last year that it took them so long to get going. Max Hall is going to need the protection. We don't want to lose him to a blind side hit.

I'm glad they moved Sa'oto to the Defensive side. He's to good of an athlete not to use him somewhere. He wasn't as good at tightend though as the guys that played ahead of him. It will be good to see him get some playing time.

Fat One said...

You're right, I just won the national championship with them on NCAA with my XBox.