Notes From East-West Shrine PracticeJanuary 16th, 2013
Joe was out at this morning’s East-West Shrine practice at Shorecrest Prep in St. Petersburg (got to sit next to Ted Thompson!) and took copious notes on what he saw, with specific attention paid to the cornerbacks — the biggest need of the Bucs. The East-West Shrine Game, which will be held at the Fruitdome at 4 p.m. Saturday, will be televised on NFL Network with a radio broadcast on WDAE-AM 620.
Josh Johnson, CB, Purdue, 5-11, 195: Giving up way too much cushion to Florida State’s Rodney Smith, some eight yards. Later, blown coverage on Smith who was lonelier than an orphan downfield. During scrimmage, despite height disadvantage, did a nice job of fighting Auburn’s Emory Blake for the ball along the left sideline. On the next play, Blake skied high for a lob pass that Johnson had no prayer of getting to.
Branden Smith, CB, Georgia, 5-11, 175: Also giving up way too much real estate, effectively taking himself out of the play by North Carolina’s Erik Highsmith. Later, blanketed the Seminoles receiver who did a wonderful job shielding the Bulldogs corner on a high pass, going up to catch the pass with his right hand along the left sideline. Also, fine coverage on Virginia Tech’s Marcus Davis, reading a pass perfectly, breaking back and jumping Davis for the interception. Later, flew in and jumped a pass intended for Blake over the middle. On next play, Fuller again used his body to get in front of Smith and broke back for a catch. Later, doesn’t jam a receiver off the line but his coverage is like a second skin but Fuller used his height advantage to box out Smith along the left sideline for a catch. Near the end of scrimmage, read a pass perfectly for an interception on either a misread by the quarterback or a blown route.
Melvin White, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette, 6-3, 191: Auburn’s Blake Emory, who broke right for the catch, did so with little effort. Later, White was worked over on a cut-in route by Virginia Tech’s Cory Fuller and gets burned when Fuller breaks back for a pass. This seems to be a recurring issue for White.
Xavier Brewer, CB, Clemson, 5-11, 190: Good coverage on Army’s Trent Steelman who made a heck of a play for a catch. Later against Navy’s Brandon Turner, coverage was so physical he didn’t have a chance for the intended cut-back pass. During scrimmage, had outstanding coverage on New Mexico’s Lucas Reed (6-6, 255) but using his size, Reed outfought Brewer for the pass using his big body.
Brandon McGee, CB, Miami, 6-0, 197: Decent coverage on what turned out to be a bad pass intended for Boston College’s Chris Pantale but was way over his head.
Earl Wolff, safety, North Carolina State, 6-0, 207: Was left eating dust on a route over the middle but made a wonderful recovery, reacting perfectly to the ball and breaking up the pass.
Rodney Smith, WR, Florida State, 6-6, 219: Got open in coverage right away in traffic but quickly dropped the ball.
Kejuan Riley, safety, Alabama State, 6-1, 208: Had no chance for the ball on a bad pass while giving up a significant height advantage to Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson.
Nick Moody, LB, Florida State, 6-2, 237: Did a nice job of using his body as a shield, preventing tight end from getting to the thrown ball on a swing pass to the right.
Colby Cameron, QB, Louisiana Tech, 6-2, 205: Took a terribly high snap out of a shotgun formation and converted what was a busted play into a nice, heads-up gain around the right side.
Trey Wilson, CB, Vanderbilt, 5-11, 190: On a running back pass option, was in perfect position for an interception but failed to turn around to look for the ball, even while coaches were yelling “should be a pick” while the ball was in the air.