The Morning Stake: Mahomes to Miss Practice with Baseball; Smith Talks Defensive Ends

A news packed Morning Stake, including Patrick Mahomes is set to travel to California with the baseball team and will miss practice on Saturday. Davis Webb is fully practicing with the team and Mike Smith says that Gary Moore has been the most productive player thus far this spring.

Notebooky. The LAJ’s Don Williams has a notebook of things to be addressed, so here we go.

  • Mahomes to Miss Saturday Practice. Because the weather was a bit of a problem last week and this week, the schedule has been a bit off and as a result, the football program has had to adjust their schedule which has resulted in QB Patrick Mahomes to miss practice.
  • Webb Fully Participating. QB Davis Webb has fully participated the entire spring, which is great news, to have two scholarship quarterbacks participating in practice. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that both Mahomes and Webb still need to improve:

    “Both had some high points and still have a lot of things to improve upon,” Kingsbury said, “and it starts with them when it comes to protecting the football, so that’s been our number-one point of emphasis this spring.”

  • Discussing Defensive Ends. Defensive line coach Mike Smith said that Gary Moore has been fantastic out there this spring and once Moore adds weight, he’s going to be a force:

    “Gary Moore’s probably been the most productive kid out there right now so far,” Smith said. “He’s just got to gain weight. He’s 7 feet tall and 200 pounds.”

    Actually, Moore is at 6-foot-5 and 224. The Clarksville product played in some pass-rush packages last season. He got in on seven tackles, but wasn’t credited with a pressure or a sack.

    “Once he gets to 230, 240, he’s extremely athletic,” Smith said. “Unbelievable with his hips. He’s another kid who takes coaching. He works different moves out there.”

Position Battle at Linebacker. ESPN’s Brandon Chatmon previews the position battle at linebacker and writes that Pete Robertson and Mike Mitchell have the chance to be two of Texas Tech’s best players:

Prediction: Robertson and Mitchell have the potential to be the top two players on Tech’s defense. Robertson already ranks as one of the Big 12’s best so Gibbs’ task will be finding the right role to allow him to match or even exceed his 2014 production and Mitchell can transform a defense that badly needs a playmaker. Awe’s experience will be hard to replace, so Robertson, Awe and Mitchell could be the trio that emerges from spring football atop the depth chart. With Mitchell’s addition expect Tech’s linebackers to be much improved in 2015.

Best Position Behind Running Back. The Red Raider Sports staff got together to discuss the best position behind running back and I found Matt Clare’s answer really great because he goes into a bit of an explanation as to how the secondary is going to work:

The Red Raiders will lineup in a quarters defense and the defensive backs will each have primarily man coverage with 5-10 yards of zone coverage, or areas of the field they are responsible for on any given play. Both Spavital and Curtis have mentioned how this will allow the corners and safeties to simply trust their instincts and make plays on the ball in the air, one on one against their man. Gibbs is emphasizing turnovers this spring and believes they will come with sound assignments and depth in the Tech secondary.

To make this pretty simple, quarters coverage is a simple concept in that the field is just divided into one-fourth shares:

|     1/4      |    1/4       |    1/4       |     1/4
|      CB      |      S         |    S          |     CB
|                 |                  |                |

The safeties are aligned to the strength of the formation.  It’s a lot more complicated on that and if you want some good strong reading, check out Grantland’s Chris Brown discuss quarters coverage with Michigan State.

Go read the whole thing.

Pac-12 Falling Behind. Mercury News’ John Wilner writes that the Pac-12 is falling behind the SEC and Big Ten in terms of their conference network. Don’t worry, there is no need to worry about the Big 12 because the Big 12 does not have a network. Bottom line, the Pac-12 is projected (yes, just projected) to be about $11 million to $13 million behind the SEC and Big Ten by 2017-18. Meanwhile, the Big 12 sits in the corner.

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