I think it's Dawgnoxious that describes G-Day as like watching an Ant Farm. Everyone has a job, but it's not totally clear what you're watching. Was that a bad play or a good play? Someone caught a pass....so someone else got burned. Someone threw an INT, but someone also made a great ball hawking steal.
G-Day went about like I expected. I might live to see another 50 G-Days, and there will be few that give less insight into what kind of team we have. Not that G-Day is ever really a leading indicator of anything. There just weren't enough healthy bodies to give us a sense for what the team will be like in 2009.
That's why I all but ignored Spring Practice this year. All of that said, here are my thoughts:
- The QBs - I was pleasantly surprised by Logan Gray's performance. His arm looked stronger than Cox's, and he made good decisions with the ball. Cox looked unimpressive, but some of that is a reflection of his tool set. The idea put forth by many in the Dawg Nation that he throws a "more catchable ball than Stafford" is ridiculous to me. Just because you can't throw a bullet doesn't mean you shouldn't. That said, he'll look better when surrounded by all his complimentary players (ie: Moore, Sturdivant, Vance, C. Davis, Marlon, etc.).
I've seen glowing praise for Aaron Murray's performance on message boards. I'm high Murray, but the kid completed three passes on Saturday. Anointing him as The Chosen One seems a bit much at this point. Note to Aaron Murray...do not stand next to Mettenberg on the sidelines. Zach's sheer enormity reflects poorly on you side by side. You should pay Carlton Thomas to always stand next to you.
- The Drops - The 10 or so dropped passes don't concern me because most of the guys dropping balls will rarely be targets once the season rolls around. Aron White misjudged a few, but he's got time to work it out.
- Defensive Ends - One of my biggest worries entering next season is DE. Martinez's system requires a strong pass rush generated by the front four. With the youth at cornerback, it will be difficult to create pressure with extreme LB or CB blitzes that put DBs on an island. So, the dominating performance by Justin Houston was especially encouraging. If he can make big time plays from the Rush End, our entire scheme will look better in '09.
- Running Backs - I've been concerned all off season with the running back situation, and Saturday did predictably little to settle my nerves. Carlton Thomas looked promising; although, his stats were inflated on the last drive by virtue of Bobo having a more star studded line-up on the field than Martinez. It'll be interesting to see how the competition in the Fall impacts the play of Caleb King. It'll quickly become painfully obvious to all 5 backs how few snaps there will be to go around. That should raise the level of play. There is talent there. It just needs to materialize on the field.
- Brandon Boykin - Boykin got a lot of hype during Spring practice, and he lived up to the billing. I was particularly interested in lining him up on offense. Intriguing.
- Overall Defense - They looked good. What else can you say? They didn't allow a TD until the game was decided. If they had allowed a 24-21 type game, I'd be much more nervous.
- Mark Fox - I was happy to see the Athletic Department fully leverage G-Day to create exposure for Coach Fox. The promotional opportunity was handled flawlessly.