Carlton Jackson's much-awaited debut showed glimpses of stardom, and a little more consistency than Sean Hakes the day before.
Jackson made several crisp passes, particularly to Jermaine Lindsey (whom I will discuss later). It seemed he was an eyeblink slow on reading some receivers' routes, which should be expected, I suppose.
The Florida native certainly is a capable scrambler. The scary part is, it doesn't seem like Jackson is running at full speed. He may be a bit sheepish without pads. Regardless, early returns say he deserves the No. 1 status J.D. Broohart conferred to him.
Here are other scribbles in my notebook (which is a registered trademark of Terry Pluto):
- The coaching staff moved Viktor Rajek, a Slovakian, to defensive end. At 6-foot-4, 240, it's probably a more natural position than wide receiver. "He's gone up about 20 pounds," Brookhart said. "He's fast, runs a 4.6 (40). He just doesn't know the nuances of the game."
- Back to Lindsey, the Zips' sophomore receiver, who is the No. 1 pass catcher in the absence of Jabari Arthur and David Harvey. Lindsey showed great jumping skills on overthrown balls. He made a few really terrific catches. Brookhart said Lindsey has solved some personal matters recently, and that has translated to his play on the field. Consistency in avoiding drops will be the final step. "He is extremely talented," Brookhart said.
- The Zips coaching staff has a goal to use 22 players on defense. That way, the team will be fresh enough to focus energy on special teams.
- I watched Shawn Lemon quite a bit today. He made a couple sacks in those few minutes. Coaches say, despite his athleticism, he has a long way to go. They might mean he's undersized. In a 3-3-5, he could use about 20 more pounds on his 6-1, 225 frame.
- Back to Arthur... He broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during a routine drill a few weeks ago. It's kind of a scary thought that this can happen to someone's foot, but the senior receiver simply "hit wrong" on it, Brookhart said.
- I haven't mentioned the third quarterback candidate Chris Jacquemain. He did not participate today, nor will he tomorrow. He had to attend some kind of workshop for class.
- The defensive line managed to bat a lot of balls down at the line of scrimmage.
- The secondary grabbled several interceptions. In fact, the maddest I saw the coaching staff get with them was when Andre Jones did not take a knee after an interception that ended a two-minute drill. This will be the team's strength, as the ABJ's David Lee Morgan will write in tomorrow's paper.
- Brookhart gave both quarterbacks a shot to lead their team down the field from the 30-yard line in 1 minute, 15 seconds. Hakes showed awful clock management skills and a dropped pass fell into Jones' hands. Jackson was not much better. As he was "sacked" at the line, Jacson tossed a wobbler that another defender picked off. Both interceptions, of course, were more because of great defensive plays than because of offensive ineptitude.
- If you've never seen him on the field, Brookhart is as fiery as any coach you'll see. He screams a lot. A LOT. Yet, he knows there is a switch when he needs to turn that off, like most good coaches. Just minutes after screaming at Jones, he walked over to Morgan and me, joking about my last name. "Did you come up with that just for your column?" He's a good guy, but I think I'd turn ghost white if I was a player who committed a crime of stupidity on the field.