Other than a sunburned nose and bald spot – my dear, sweet, late mother always lectured me about sunscreen and a hat – I’m not sure how much I gained from Virginia Tech’s second open scrimmage of the spring practice season Saturday.
But here are a few observations and hunches:
* Quarterback Logan Thomas, second-team All-ACC last season, will be fine when he’s throwing to front-line receivers Marcus Davis, Dyrell Roberts and D.J. Coles. Roberts was the only one of the trio who played Saturday, and he was slowed by a cranky hamstring.
So to no surprise, Thomas had pedestrian stats for the second time in as many scrimmages, completing 9-of-23 passes for 91 yards and four touchdowns and two picks.
“I think pretty good,” quarterbacks coach Mike O’Cain said of Thomas’ effort. “It’s hard. You’re down there at ground level, and you can’t see everything developing, but I think for the most part, he made good decisions.
“Again, timing on some things is not good yet, and that’s for a lot of reasons. We just haven’t worked with a lot of these guys enough. Marcus didn’t practice. Dyrell’s practicing, but he’s not 100%. Then you’ve got a bunch of guys he really hasn’t thrown the ball to much at all. The timing is not good, but overall, I think he played pretty well.”
Davis is expected back soon from a hamstring, while Coles sits out the spring after knee surgery. Oh, and let’s not forget Thomas is operating behind a very inexperienced line.
* Conor Goulding made all three of his field goal attempts, from 42, 27 and 25 yards, but Ethan Keyserling has a much stronger leg. He made a 44-yarder and pushed a 32-yarder wide to the right.
“He’s started working on the field goals, and I’d say he’s probably the leading contender for a kickoff guy right now,” coach Frank Beamer said. “And so I think he’s probably got the strongest leg overall of anybody out there. …
“The only thing is, we’ve got to work the middle of those goalposts. He’s over on the edge a little bit too much. But he’s had a good week. In Friday’s practice, he hit some good punts. He was good on his kickoffs and then got in there and competed on field goals.”
* The day’s two best hits belonged to safety Detrick Bonner and cornerback Antone Exum.
Bonner crushed receiver Kevin Asante as he attempted to catch a slant from Trey Gresh, causing a bobble that safety Kyshoen Jarrett stepped in to intercept.
“That’s a great move for us,” defensive coordinator Bud Foster said of shifting Bonner and Jarrett from cornerback. “We’ve improved our athletic ability in our range at safety. The big question mark was, how are these guys going to tackle? As you saw today, they’re pretty physical.”
Foster believes Bonner is playing faster and more instinctively than Jarrett because of previous playing time, but said, “they’re both plenty good enough.”
Exum’s jarring tackle came on a reverse to receiver Demetri Knowles.
* Some other numbers: True freshman tailback J.C. Coleman gained 16 yards on 14 carries with a long of 14. That means his other 13 carries netted 2 yards. Yikes.
Bonner, linebacker Chase Williams and end J.C. Collins led the defense with six tackles each. Bonner’s five solo tackles were a scrimmage-high.
Williams, a redshirt sophomore is getting more time at outside linebacker this spring because returning starter Tariq Edwards in out after leg surgery.
“I think Chase is really, really improved,” Foster said. “Obviously he’s getting a lot of snaps against quality people, and he’s healthy for the first time really. … I still think down the road his best position will be (inside).
“He can play both because, obviously from his family background he’s got a great football IQ, a great mindset. … He showed up today a lot. He’s a good blitzer. He’s a big, strong, physical kid.”
Williams is the son of former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, implicated in that franchise’s bounty scandal.
“I’ve texted Gregg and … I left one message,” Foster said. “That’s private deal right now for him and obviously his family. I let him know, ‘Hey, we’re thinking about you.’ Because that’s a tough situation right there.
“Chase has handled it very well I think. We’ve talked briefly, but it is what it is and let’s move on.”
I can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP
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