Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Under the lights with the 'Cats

Wildcat11 made it out to the 'Cats night practice yesterday to check out the progress of this year's team. While there is still much to improve upon and round into the shape, there is no question this group of 'Cats are putting in hard work and preparation for the upcoming season.

Some things that are jumping out at me so far is the smoothness of the defensive backs. Along with the senior vets a number of younger DBs are taking heavy reps and have looked great in not only coverage but getting back to the LOS and making plays on the ball.  I wouldn't want to be crossing the middle of the field if I was an opposing wide receiver.

You're going to love our young linebackers. They are explosive and fast but the issue with being a young LB in Linfield's defensive system is it can be very overwhelming at times and I think that is something this group is working though right now. This is nothing new with young LBs at Linfield and it will be worked out and when they round into form they're going to be a wrecking crew.

I'm still curious to see what develops out of the defensive line. I've been very impressed in what I've seen out of Sophomore Defenisve End Brynnan Hyland and Senior Defensive End Brent Shimabukuro early in camp. Tyler Steele continues to be work horse at defensive tackle and Joell Reyes has shown at times to be a physical presences at the other tackle spot. There have been a few guys on the shelf with dings and nicks but should be back soon and that will be huge in seeing what the d-line will be able to offer as camp progresses.

Over on the other side of the ball I believe the offensive line has an opportunity to be exceptional. The middle three (Guard, Center, Guard) Barnes, Mace, and Wert are looking very sharp and the battle for the tackles spots are rolling along with returning starter Kaston Gleason at one tackle spot and a number of players trying to grab onto the other tackle job. I will say the young offensive linemen look very promising. There is a lot of size and talent with the returning Sophomores and Freshmen that should blend well with the vets. I'm really excited about what this group could do this year.

The WR core is deep. The guy that keeps jumping out at me during team time is Deidre Wiersma. Dre had a very good 2010 but so far has looked to made a jump to the next level early in camp. Senior Buddy Saxon will once again be a weapon for the 'Cats as the 6-6 slot receiver should be able to dominate smaller defensive backs. Once you get past the two returning starters it's a huge battle to crack the rotation between a lot of talented players and potential play makers. Linfield is not hurting at the receiver position.

Over at Running Back Stephen Nasca has come into camp bigger and stronger and has shown some great pop in hitting the hole and should be a very good option along with Aaron Williams and Josh Hill. Another RB that has been showing me something is converted WR Jordy Romick. Romick, a Sophomore, was a quarterback at Grants Pass high school in the spread and has looked very comfortable carrying the rock during fall camp.

Last but not least...Quarterbacks. It's a battle right now between Micky Inns, Josh Yoder, and Logan Krellwitz. No question all three have the ability to make plays with their arms and finding the open man but I'm still waiting for one of them to take control and separate for the pack as the number 1 guy. The good news is that all three of these guys are players so whoever wins the job will have earned it and have lots to weapons to distribute to.

The 'Cats scrimmage this Saturday so more should be revealed on what the finished product is going look like for that huge September 10th game vs California Lutheran. Check back tomorrow and Friday for more camp videos.

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