Football

Gridiron on the Plains: Ten Texas Tech Spring Thoughts

Texas Tech and their students are on spring break, but we’ve got ten thoughts on Texas Tech’s spring practice (including, but not limited to #NoBabyDeerSkin).

1. If Reginald Davis is working out his mental issues, there may not be a bigger story this spring. The wide receivers are really thin and if Davis is making the mental leap forward to compete every play and put those bad plays behind him, then that’s the best news of the spring.

2. Peyton Hendrix, Derrick Dixon and Jalen Barnes sticking at safety is the best thing for this team long-term. Moving those guys to linebacker would have been okay in the sense that I could have lived with it, but Dixon and Barnes are too small to play linebacker. I don’t have a clue about Hendrix, but if he’s close to 200 pounds right now, let’s just leave him at safety and if he adds 10 more pounds, then have him play linebacker, but let’s just leave that here for now.

3. No baby deer skin.

4. Guys in the right spots. That’s a huge thing and I think that we were over-complicating things to an extent and with Gibbs here, it seems like Texas Tech has just cut that thought out and is focusing guys being at their natural positions. Don’t get me wrong, I think that last year, Mike Smith and Trey Haverty had to try to invent ways to get to the passer and that included being unconventional as hell to get that done. I liked that Gibbs hit the re-set button here so that he can start over with the positions and he can say, nope, these guys are linebackers and these guys are safeties, and so-forth.

5. Hearing that Quinton White is at fullback is pretty intriguing, at least for me. Usually, fullback isn’t a weapon in any way and with White being an option there, especially if he can block, adds yet another layer to the offense that wasn’t there when Tyler Scalzi is at fullback. I’m pretty excited about this.

6. Embrace being uncomfortable. I flipping love that. Wide receivers and special teams coach said that he’s teaching his guys having all of the pressure on them. They have to make plays. They have to embrace being uncomfortable, being “the guy” who has to do this to make this work. If they can’t face that pressure, then they’re in the wrong spot.

7. I do love listening to Mike Smith because I do think he loves this place and that means something to me personally. So, I don’t know how to wrap my head around how these guys are struggling with technique and just how to line-up. At some point, we have to get past that part of the process. Some one asked why this wasn’t corrected and I’m not sure. I’m guessing that John Scott, Jr. is teaching the correct technique, but at some point, maybe the players just didn’t listen. The message wasn’t getting through and it’s not as if Scott had a ton of options. The other thought I had was that it’s got to be a tough thing with coaches because you can pretty easily step on toes of guys that have pretty big egos. You go to a guy and say that he’s not teaching the correct technique, you might have a mutiny on your hands. At the very least, there seems to be a plausible two-deep and with options comes leverage for coaching.

8. The fact that the coaching staff is still aggressively and actively pursuing offensive linemen is a bit worrisome. These JUCO guys are okay, but to find guys this late in the game might mean that the coaching staff just doesn’t think it even has enough bodies to be in a good spot. That should worry you. The top 7 guys? Not worried at all. After that? Worried.

9. I’m pretty much loving how Patrick Mahomes is able to have his cake and eat it too. He’s getting to play baseball and football and he’s only missed one practice. I think a lot of you were concerned that once Mahomes had success on the diamond that he’d bolt for he majors and right now, I think Mahomes is a ways away. Potential and athleticism? Oh, sure, but he’s far from being a guy that is playing regularly and he seems like a long ways away from having a huge impact on baseball. He can throw the ball really hard, it’s just that it is straight.

10. I was really pretty happy that the team got some work in before talking to the media. I knew that they eventually would, because that’s what they are in the business of doing, but I did like how the team just worked for the first week of practice. Luckily, we don’t have the media that is as demanding of a coach that the “must speak” after every practice and I don’t think we have a group of fans that would sacrifice the work that is hopefully happening in exchange for access.

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