Thoughts and notes from the Spartans scrimmage
- I am sure you already read my previous blog but I love to see the signs in the stadium recognizing the retired numbers.Â Now how about some on the west side for all of our national championships?Â
- Great to see Terry Love back with the team.Â Love is just a great kid and I am glad that he worked hard this summer to get things right.Â I get so mad when I hear people talk about kids when someone does something stupid.Â Love is a great kid and did everything right to stay a Spartan.Â Good job Terry!
- Javon Ringer sat as a precaution.Â He is entrenched so there really wasnâ€™t a reason to take a chance.Â Jehuu looked very good as did Andre Anderson.Â Jimmerson also played well but it is my OPINION that if the games were today, Anderson would be the three.Â Hint; hint that is not just my thought.
- As I told you since he signed, Cousins will be the red shirt guy of the two young QBâ€™s.Â Foles has had a great camp.Â He and Dixon are pushing for that number two job behind Hoyer.Â If they needed someone to come in during the Big Ten season for a mop up job I think Dixon would get it.Â If Hoyer were to go down for any length of time I am very confident that Foles would get the nod.Â After those first couple of games when kids can play and still keep the red shirt, why waste a year of eligibility for Foles if it isnâ€™t needed?
- Bates and Wagner are battling for the punter.Â I am concerned that the Spartans had two punts blocked.Â Dantonio calls the punt, â€œThe most important play in football.â€Â All indications are that the job is Bates to lose which I have told you since the day he committed.Â
- Swenson is a great field goal kicker but if today was any indication Boleski will handle the kickoffs.Â With the new NCAA rules, depth is so much more critical and Swenson was adequate but Boleski was putting them in the end zone by two and three yards.
- Kenny Shane has great feet and it allows him to take some chances with faster guys.Â He showed those feet again today and I am very encouraged with that. Shane is a mean, nasty OL but is just a great kid off the field.Â I have talked with him many times and donâ€™t let his tough play fool you he is a super kid.Â I think if he can put it all together, he will have a good year.
- The funniest play of the day involved Jehuu Caulcrick.Â As I have said all along, I think at the end of this season there will be a lot of people talking about Jehuu.Â Anyway, he broke a run and Roderick Jenrette (nearly 70 pounds lighter) got in his way.Â It looked like a bulldozer colliding with a matchbox car.Â Poor Jenrette got jacked up but it was the play of the day.Â A lot of teams scratched their heads last season wondering why Caulcrick didnâ€™t get more reps. Dantonio will not make that mistake.
- Reports differ between 40 and 60 pounds as to how much weight Antonio Jeremiah (one player told me Jeremiah told him 60) gained in the off-season.Â He looks heavy and has weight to lose in order to be effective in the regular season.Â I am not worried about it;Â all accounts are that Coach Mannie is shall we sayâ€¦dealing with it.
- Ervin Baldwin (G-Ball) showed his athletic ability today on a great read with an incredible adjustment.Â He motored up the field, but you can tell he has gotten some coaching.Â He kept his head up (something he hasnâ€™t in the past) and made a great tip.Â He has always been athletic, again something you canâ€™t teach.Â He is a teachable kid and loves football.Â Those two things combined with an excellent staff that can teach quality fundamental technique should make watching that youngster fun this fall.
- Kendell Davis-Clark had a very nice read and was able to explode to the ball and blow up a receiver.Â Coach B has been talking about his D backs and you are starting to see why.
- MD continues to do something I praised during the spring.Â They will take breaks every so often and the assistants will go over some plays and correct some things.Â I asked one player in the spring about it and he told me, â€œI like that we just donâ€™t go back the next day and watch the film and get ripped.Â Those breaks allow us to correct the problem on the spot so we donâ€™t go the whole scrimmage making the same mistake. It allows them to see the correction throughout the rest of the scrimmage.â€
- Andre Anderson may be a true freshman but he is loaded with talent.Â He has to work on getting separation however while running pass routes.Â I watched him go up against a particular LB that he should clearly be able to create separation with and wasn't able to do it.
- Devin Thomas will not get the long leash for mistakes with this staff.Â He ran perfect route and was wide open for bomb that Hoyer made a perfect pass on and dropped it.Â That was just a mental error but this team will not be allowed to make those.Â If he had been well covered maybe, but mental errors wonâ€™t be tolerated.Â Just so you donâ€™t think I am picking on him... Devin also had a really nice TD run.
- Travis Key continues to make those, â€œHey you better notice me.â€Â The young man that walked on at MSU and won a scholarship is getting the reps and is making every opportunity of it.Â Our safeties will be fine and Key is a playmaker.Â You can look at him and think of all the reasons the kid canâ€™t play but you canâ€™t measure his heart.Â Want a poster child for being a Spartan?Â Look at him.Â Came to MSU over other schools because he loved it.Â Won a scholarship.Â Made plays in practice and did everything right off the field and in practice and the last staff wouldnâ€™t even look at giving him a shot on the field.Â He graduated with eligibility and was going to leave.Â Dantonio told him he was wanted and there he is like a grenade hitting people and making plays.
- Kirk Cousins had a great long pass, and another one that should have been caught but was dropped.Â His arm strength was never the issue with him.Â He has poor mechanics (in fact he threw off of his back feet more than once) and that is something that can be taught.Â You will notice that I continue to harp on what can be taught and what canâ€™t.Â You canâ€™t give a guy a great arm; it is simply a piece of God given talent.Â If a kid has those God given skills and he is teachable (Cousins is), you have nothing to worry about.Â
- The number one LB's would appear to be set.Â I would be surprised if it changes.Â Kaleb Thornhill, Eric Gordon and Jon â€œTHE MISSILEâ€ Misch seem to have that locked up.Â I am going to have a story about Jon â€œTHE MISSILEâ€ Misch early next week you wonâ€™t want to miss.
Overall it was a great day for the Spartans and there were many reasons to be encouraged.Â This goes out to my good friend Jim Comparoni:Â I agree about the more cowbell.Â Dantonio continued to play loud music and crowd noise and JC held up a make shift sign emphatically declaring a need for more cowbell.Â Classic!Â For those of you that only read Comp, whether you see or hear him, one thing that is sometimes lost is his great sense of humor.