Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Your 2009-2010 HOKIES!!!!

Here to begin washing away all the pain and grime I suffered through this basketball season with VT, are the "new-car smell" 2009-2010 football Hokies as they take to the field and begin spring practice. It was such a joy to watch footage of today's practice. From the return of Brandon Dillard to seeing big Greg Boone run play action, to the electricity of Ryan Williams, it was just felt so great to be watching football starting up again.

First things first, no - Tyrod Taylor's hitch isn't gone. His elbow doesn't seem to flare out as wide as before, but the little "hitch" is still there. Note that I am not one of the people who thinks this "hitch" is a problem on its own. It's more of a mental thing with Taylor. He just needs to deliver the ball comfortably and quickly without telegraphing his throw. Frankly, if it doesn't change from its current motion, I think it will still prove successful, though he could certainly stand to have a slightly higher point of release.

Taylor's footwork has definitely tightened up and he's altered his stance under center just a bit. Overall, he looks to be in complete control and now that the team is finally all his, Taylor appears to relish that role and sets an example for the young guys.

My opinion is that Greg Boone is going to run a few plays out of the Wild Turkey this year and that's it - although when I say "that's it" what I mean is "that's awesome" because it is a neat formation with him back there and he was just working on handoffs and play action. The real backup QB battle is between Marcus Davis and JuJu Clayton so I paid a lot of attention to those two. 

First of all, Clayton appears calm and confident. I really like his throwing motion, it's compact and powerful, and in all clips I saw where two QB's got the snap at the same time, Clayton completed his drop, set and ball delivery quicker than both Davis and even Taylor. It's just a first practice so things were pretty relaxed but there's something to build on with Clayton, you can believe that.

Davis is simply a physical raw specimen. The guy is huge, he takes big steps in his dropback and his delivery is very powerful but he's just trying to get all of the mechanics down and it's going to take a lot of repetition to put all of that together. Never say never, but I'd be shocked if he overtook Clayton for the backup role looking at where Davis is right now. However, with his gobs of athletic ability and size, it's really a better thing for Davis to be a 3rd QB right now. He can hold the clipboard, learn the signals and the offense and frankly he still has a chance to get in games this fall from a WR standpoint to get playing time. If he were the backup QB, there's no way the staff would risk putting him on the field in any other position.

Speaking of WR, there is - and there's just no other way to put this  - a RETARDED logjam at that position. Look at this list of players - Jarrett Boykin, Dyrell Roberts, Danny Coale, Brandon Dillard, Xavier Boyce, Austin Fuller, Tony Gregory and Prince Parker. Marcus Davis will almost certainly slotted into the mix in the fall and then there's DJ Coles and Nubian Peak coming in this summer. There will be 11 guys competing for 4-5 slots and that means a lot of unhappy guys and a lot of scout team defensive backs getting toasted this season. 

I didn't see much footage of other positions during this practice but again from what I did see, it was a typical first practice. Lots of slop, lots of people not knowing exactly where to go, dropped balls, missteps, etc. and a TON of coaches chewing ass. But then again, it was spring football and there are 3 more weeks of it so I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to get all wound up and pissed off about things, so I'm just going relax and enjoy this first day of football for the 2009-2010 team.


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