Brion Stokes, Reggie Corner and Nate Robinson left practice early today on their own.
It was chaos.
Not really. Some players, particularly upperclassmen, are finding that their class schedules are conflicting with spring practice.
"You get disrupted," Brookhart said. "Those are the challenges with the spring."
Sean Hakes looked sharp today, zipping many perfect balls to receivers running medium-depth routes. I overheard offensive coordinator
Joe Moorhead congratulating Hakes on becoming much more composed.
It's a shame
Carlton Jackson and
Chris Jacquemain have missed time this spring, but it has benefitted Hakes greatly. Who knows? In the fall, we might look back at those injuries as the reason No. 13 is prepared to take the starting job. Starting "is a lot to ask of a freshman," Brookhart said, though. "He can look really good, then regress to a major screw up." Regardless, at the end of spring, the depth chart will remain: 1) Jackson 2) Jacquemain and 3) Hakes.
In my observation, Hakes' "screw ups" come when he is determined to get the ball to a receiver who was open, but then became covered. Conversely, he needs to look at other parts of the field for a second target. That is, of course, assuming his offensive line protects him well enough.
In that vein, the defense has been getting good pressure on the quarterback. You won't see many official sacks while Hakes wears the red jersey, but there definitely is penetration.
A powerful counter attack to the blitz has been the option play.
Jabari Arthur told me yesterday that the option has always been part of the playbook, but never used. Brookhart certainly will use it this year. At the end of each practice, the quarterbacks run down the field and back, practicing their option pitches.
Jacqueman returned to practice today, although I showed up too late to see him throw. "Jac looked good today," Brookhart said. "He was throwing well."
In other injury news,
Jemaine Lindsey is out for the spring with a stress fracture to his leg. Recovery time should be no longer than a month.
Igor Iveljic has looked "OK," Brookhart said. The kicking job is nowhere near being sorted out. Iveljic's back feeling healthy was the first step. "He hasn't had the residual pain," the coach said.
Brookhart feels he has worked a lot more players into feeling comfortable on kick and punt coverage. Kick coverage, the coach said, is the more important of the two, and the best special teams players will start there.