- This is something that Spencer brought up in our Slack conversation and it’s also something that was brought up in the comments, which is that the highlight or practice videos look great, but have almost zero content in terms of plays being made. The highlights, if that’s what we’re going to call them, are art pieces more than football video. I think I get that this is to appeal to another crowd, perhaps recruits or something, but I think the program needs to appeal to its fans too. More actual highlights and less video of guys drinking water or whatever. Let’s see some plays.
- This season will most likely prove to be the season of multi-heroes, in other words, it’s most likely not going to be one guy, like last year. This team was so dependent on the success of Patrick Mahomes and this is a team that will most likely need to for different players to step up each game. It may need to be the left tackle, or the middle linebacker. The success of this team is most likely not built on just one guy being successful. It’s probably going to have to be a collective effort. That may also be this team’s downfall as well, the only consensus All-Big 12 pick is Clayton Hatfield, the next best options are probably Keke Coutee and Jordyn Brooks. They’re both very good, but are they at the point where they’re great? 2017 has a lot to prove with these two and the rest of the team, I think the question is if they’re going to be just a bunch of goods, or a bunch of greats.
- From all indications, I think the linebacker position is going to be much better than last year. Maturity and age is going to help. I kinda get the feeling that the coaching staff doesn’t want to show too much and maybe they’re keeping Dakota Allen under wraps. The other good news here is that there’s some actual depth, so if Brooks or Allen goes down, I think we’re dealing with some guys that can probably fill respectably their shoes.
- This team will go as far as the offensive lien takes them. Brandon Jones has his work cut out for him for these preseason practices. I think Jones job this preseason is two-fold: 1) make these guys play with some attitude and toughness; and 2) make these guys play with some cohesiveness. I don’t know that the graduate transfers will come in and start, but if they are going to play, it’s the guard positions that continue to be problematic. I get the feeling that Jones is going to take a look at all of the options at guard and the tackles and center are pretty much set, Terence Steel and Travis Bruffy at tackles and Paul Stawarz at center. Jones just has to get those guards figured out.
- I know that there’s some thought that the strength of the defense will be the linebackers, but maybe it will be the secondary. There really are a ton of options in the secondary, so many that I tend to run out of room on who starts where in regards to the depth chart. D.J. Polite-Bray, Octavious Morgan, Desmon Smith, Jaylon Lane, Douglas Coleman, etc. could all start at cornerback and I don’t really recall having that many options to start the season. At safety, I’m still nervous about the overall speed of the group, but I hope the big-play quotient has gone up with Vaughnte Dorsey and Justus Parker. I’d also add Kevin Moore as a guy that can probably make some plays too, he just needs an opportunity.
- I think I’m lukewarm on the defensive line, although I hope to be wrong about that. I really haven’t seen enough, even during the spring to think that the defensive line has it all figured out. I like all of the parts and I like how there are guys that young. Joe Wallace apparently did lots of good things in the first scrimmage and Broderick Washington and Nick McCann were specifically called out by Kingsbury as playing really well. I’m certainly optimistic about this bunch, although admittedly, I’m optimistic about this team overall, so I’m probably the last person to ask.
- Last year, the pass-rushing specialists were not really pass rushing specialists. Texas Tech was 118th in sacks last year and you wonder if the guys they have at defensive end can manage more than 14 for the entire year. If pass rushing is about motor and being good with your hands, I’d like to think that Eli Howard, Lonzell Gilmore and maybe Tony Jones can get that done. Jones is interesting because he started out at linebacker but have realized that the linebacker depth is too deep to get him on the field and have moved him to that rush defensive end position. I think Jones had a good scrimmage too and he’ll be tough to keep off the field if he makes plays. Kolin Hill has never splashed for me. He played a ton of snaps last year and he just didn’t do much. He wasn’t particularly quick or didn’t show much ability to get past offensive tackles. That has to change.
- The big talk from the first scrimmage was the running backs and I like the idea that this is a situation where the success of this group is not necessarily dependent on just one guy. Desmond Nisby received the most praise from fans, but Kingsbury again called out Justin Stockton as having a very good scrimmage. A healthy Stockton, a bruising Nisby, a quick DeMarcus Felton could be just what the offense ordered.
Texas Tech Football Preseason Camp Observations
Let’s talk about some stuff through the first part of preseason camp.