Spring Practice Thread

#78
Sad to see Avery driven off. I hope it's not a serious knee thing. Hopefully something some rest and PT can take care. DIdn't look good tho.
 
#82
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
I certainly hope that most of the big time players were absent from this game because the team looks small and slow with the exception of a few standouts.
saw alot of lower depth chart guys on the highlights - so hopefully that explains some of it - but yes, we're still in need of large bodies.
 
#87
Best receiver was Navarro. I had high hopes for MJ Rivers but he greatly disappointed. The running back no. 3 Norwood ripped a stellar run. Our QBs in toto insisted on making desperate throws to the sidelines into double coverage. I don't understand why they didn't let the backup punter punt. We already know Blake has been our team MVP. I had my eye on no. 5 Milo Eifler. Most of the time he was split out to cover a receiver. But one time he did a edge rush and he, without much effort, absolutely levelled an RB pass blocker. No. 17, a wide receiver, committed 2 major errors in 3 consecutive plays. We seldom have anyone running pass routes over the middle, and our QBs spent many passing downs without spotting anyone to throw to. Opposing teams complete passes over the middle against us on a regular basis.
 
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#88
This collection of WR is just not good. Need to infuse talent before September, or that will cripple the offense. Thomas and Miller would have made a world of difference. Also pretty troubling what a step backwards the OL has taken without Alegretti and Lowe. Ton of work to do over the summer.
 
#91
OFL Supplier, BU's Brylcreem
Virginia
Best receiver was Navarro. I had high hopes for MJ Rivers but he greatly disappointed. The running back no. 3 Norwood ripped a stellar run. Our QBs in toto insisted on making desperate throws to the sidelines into double coverage. I don't understand why they didn't let the backup punter punt. We already know Blake has been our team MVP. I had my eye on no. 5 Milo Eifler. Most of the time he was split out to cover a receiver. But one time he did a edge rush and he, without much effort, absolutely levelled an RB pass blocker. No. 17, a wide receiver, committed 2 major errors in 3 consecutive plays. We seldom have anyone running pass routes over the middle, and our QBs spent many passing downs without spotting anyone to throw to. Opposing teams complete passes over the middle against us on a regular basis.
We lost two receivers last year to passes over the middle - they may just be playing it cautious during spring play.
 
#92
Is there a movie on this flight?
Elmhurst
Yeah, our WR collection is not ideal. But Brissett and Sidney (hopefully) will vastly improve the corps. The freshmen (Cumby & Washington) could break into the rotation. Finally, hopefully Carter's back by camp. Still not great, but far better than now.

Our OL just needs to stay healthy (yes, well aware that that's easier said than done). We're building depth, but, as virtually everyone knows, the gap between the 1s and the 2s is way too large. And many of the 2s are super green.

The primary problem is that none of our 3 scholarship QBs stepped up. No bueno.
 
#93
I have a hot take: yesterday's spring game result was about as ideal as it could have been. Here's why...
  1. The team has already been building confidence all spring. They are a year older, they like the coaches, and the recruitment wins have been positive for momentum. It also boosts morale to have players like Ford, Petitbon, and Eifler transferring in from big time programs.
  2. With that established, one scrimmage will not totally undermine the confidence of either the offense nor the defense.
  3. However, what was the biggest need going into spring? Without a doubt, an improved defense. We saw that all spring, and most definitely yesterday. The spring game added a bit more momentum to this side of the ball, and they built some depth at LB as well since Hansen has been out.
  4. The offense that we saw yesterday was nowhere near what it will be in the fall, so alarm bells do not need to be ringing quite yet. Williams, Cumby, Washington, Brissett, perhaps Sidney, maybe some snaps from Beason all have yet to arrive on campus. Players like Carter, Lowe, and Epstein still have to get healthy, but they should be able to do so by the fall.
  5. With that said... which unit do you think has a fire lit under them for the whole summer after yesterday's performance? The offense! The unit that surprised all of us and carried the Illini last year. The unit we believed to be the stronger of the two heading into spring. We all believe in Rod Smith, and now he will be even more motivated every day to get things figured out between now and Akron. This spring's lackluster performance will force the offense to turn it around and to be at least as good as they were last year by the time the fall rolls around.
All in all, I think the defense is better--nothing crazy, likely just a below average P5 unit but much improved nonetheless--and that the offense is now as motivated as it could have been coming out of the spring practices. The sky is not falling and yesterday does nothing to change my feeling that this team will get to 6 wins.

I don't think Tate is coming, but if he does...I see 7 or 8.
 
#94
I have a hot take: yesterday's spring game result was about as ideal as it could have been. Here's why...
  1. The team has already been building confidence all spring. They are a year older, they like the coaches, and the recruitment wins have been positive for momentum. It also boosts morale to have players like Ford, Petitbon, and Eifler transferring in from big time programs.
  2. With that established, one scrimmage will not totally undermine the confidence of either the offense nor the defense.
  3. However, what was the biggest need going into spring? Without a doubt, an improved defense. We saw that all spring, and most definitely yesterday. The spring game added a bit more momentum to this side of the ball, and they built some depth at LB as well since Hansen has been out.
  4. The offense that we saw yesterday was nowhere near what it will be in the fall, so alarm bells do not need to be ringing quite yet. Williams, Cumby, Washington, Brissett, perhaps Sidney, maybe some snaps from Beason all have yet to arrive on campus. Players like Carter, Lowe, and Epstein still have to get healthy, but they should be able to do so by the fall.
  5. With that said... which unit do you think has a fire lit under them for the whole summer after yesterday's performance? The offense! The unit that surprised all of us and carried the Illini last year. The unit we believed to be the stronger of the two heading into spring. We all believe in Rod Smith, and now he will be even more motivated every day to get things figured out between now and Akron. This spring's lackluster performance will force the offense to turn it around and to be at least as good as they were last year by the time the fall rolls around.
All in all, I think the defense is better--nothing crazy, likely just a below average P5 unit but much improved nonetheless--and that the offense is now as motivated as it could have been coming out of the spring practices. The sky is not falling and yesterday does nothing to change my feeling that this team will get to 6 wins.

I don't think Tate is coming, but if he does...I see 7 or 8.
Please reiterate this to Robert from Illini Board. I love the guy's dedication but dang he needs to get off the edge. It is only spring gentlemen.
 
#95
How is the Smith Football Center looking?
They almost have all the windows in and they've put in hookups for chilled water, steam and electricity so a lot of the bones are in. I think they're winding up the exterior and starting the interior now. It's coming along.
 
#98
Yes, this practice isn’t very important, many players sat out and I think Lovie has expressed disdain for the spring game.
In previous years, the roster was too thin to have an Orange-Blue scrimmage at the end of spring drills, Smith said.


Smith said he wanted to have spring games, but the numbers didn't allow it.


Going forward, if there are enough players ready to go, Smith said he will have a spring game.


"(Saturday), we were right at the border," Smith said. "I've kind of heard I don't like spring (games). No, that's not the case. The numbers said this year we could do it and we did."
 
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