Good spring. I'm glad we got through it. Got through it relatively unscathed. No season ending injuries for next year. Some young guys got some opportunities, some older guys did. Some guys are starting to come through. Got a lot of work to do, know where we're at. We got a good foundation built, now it just matters what we do between now and the first ball game and where we need to go. We got a long way to go on a lot of things. Very proud of some guys, different looks, guys made some plays. Guys made some good throws. Had some runs when we did call them, we need to run the ball a little bit more. Got the ball going there in the second half. Game got a little better, got to moving the ball. Defense played well early, offense started playing better at the end. Kicked off well, missed a couple field goals. Punters were very nervous early and settled down the second half, which is why I'm glad Cason and those guys got here early to get through this at least one time before they get to the fall. But a lot of progress to make. Thought we had a good spring when we got through everything.
EJ looked good the first drive and then seemed to struggle.
We couldn't protect. Kept calling drop back passes. When you keep calling drop back pass, drop back pass, drop back pass, there ain't no moves, there ain't no runs - definitely - gotta go back to run it, gotta mix it up. Can't just let guys lay their ears back and come. It's a whole different animal. Had a good mix. Had a good variety of formations, got the ball out of his hand quick. Weren't holding it. Used the tight ends, used the backs, used some different guys. We gotta keep doing it. We got caught up cause we had notes going into the game that we wanted to throw balls to certain people and sometimes you get away from your game. You get to moving and you say you want to throw at least four balls to him, want to throw three balls to him, you know, and try to get it. And that kind of got us (away from) the gameplan. We went back to the second half in the gameplan a little bit. Just hard, because our front, when you just become one-dimensional, drop back, it's hard, you're gonna get pressure and guys are gonna cover.
Were you pleased with the physical mentality of the play?
Yeah I was and I thought the defense still played well. I thought the defense played well. I really did, especially early, played the run well. Perimeter runs, we started to run the ball on the perimeter in the second half, which was good. Gotta do to create the inside runs, but I thought Wilder hit the ball up in there very hard. Thought Lonnie had some really nice runs, we didn't want to run him too much today, we know what he can do. Pender we wanted to get some carries. I was very happy with Debrale, wished we could have gotten him a couple more carries. Thought he played well and ran the ball well. He's had a very good spring, we kind of knew what we wanted to do there. We wanted to see Widler and Pender bang that thing up in the game a little bit and see how they'd act out there, but overall, it was pretty good from that standpoint. I thought our defense played well too.
Talk about Clint Trickett.
Good drive. The thing I like to stand behind is you can tell if it's good control or if it's kind of - you get that starry eyed look. I was very pleased with his control and his knowledge of what we're doing right now is getting much better. Made some really nice plays, throw on the first play. Very nice catch by Greg Dent, had a little scramble. Clint's getting a much better grasp. And then Jacob, once we got in there. Gotta learn when to go ahead and throw it away, but you can see the touch and the arm strength. He puts the ball in holes and can get in downfield, too. Very pleased with how he played.
Nothing changes in the backup battle?
No, they'll keep battling. We'll keep playing them and see where they're at and just like that, there'll be competition in the fall.
What did you see on Terrence Brooks' interception?
Suare in. Receiver on the lane has gotta come flat underneath. Gotta dig it. Gotta dig it out. It's a square in. Gotta come under. When he came out of his cut - when EJ stepped up - he stuttered just a hair and EJ turned it loose. Trusted that he was gonna come under and he didn't come under. Really good play by Brooks. You always gotta fight to come under on a square in cover two and he didn't get inside, that's where we gotta keep that trust going. When you go inside across the middle, you gotta go. That's where you maybe pick a bigger guy. Let him go.
Was the intention for EJ to throw 51 times?
No, it really wasn't. They got to throwing - cause we had some young receivers. We wanted to get the ball to O'Leary a bunch. We wanted to see Kenny. We didn't throw enough to Benjamin early, that's why I was calling plays at the end to make sure we got the ball and started throwing it to him, but I wanted to get it to him early. We weren't getting it to him. There weren't intentions. Just trying to work some guys and throw some balls to different guys. And I wanted to see our left tackle, which I thought played very well. I thought Cam Erving played very well. Left tackle. I wanted to see if he could sit there and block over and over and over again. Handle that side. I'm not worried about what I see from EJ. I know what EJ can do. I want to see what the left tackle can do, I want to see what the left guard can do. I want to see what the receiver can do. I want to see what all those guys can do. I know what I got there. Spring ball is not for that. I want to find out what those guys can do and I come out of there very pleased with that.
What did you think of Jeff Luc out there?
Thought he played a solid game. It's hard with a linebacker until you watch the film cause he made some plays but I can't tell - how many plays did he make - had six tackles - did a good job. Telvin, Keelin, Cristian Jones all played well. Carradine. That was good. See, I noticed him making some plays a couple times, but I'll watch the film. I'm on that other side, it's hard sometimes to judge.
Dan Hicks looked good at tight end.
Exactly right. Hicks is gonna give you a lot of grief on that and he's got ball skills. You got two tight ends now who can catch the football and Hicks is getting much better at blocking. He's a good move guy and Hicks on the ball, being strong. Make a vertical, you saw some of the athleticism. That's - his ability to catch the ball is only going to get better cause he's concentrating on assignments right now, it's hard for him to play as fast and he's' real physical. And now, catching the ball is one thing, when you come out of the cut and turn and all of the sudden it jumps on you, that's different, but he's getting better and better at that. And I think with a good summer, I'm excited about that position. I think it can be a very solid position for us. I'm glad he had that success the second half.
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