Photo by Joe Jaszewski
Ok...so I took the wife and kid down to Bronco Stadium for the ridiculously early scrimmage today. They know that most people are working at 3 PM on a Monday, right? Anyhoo...I showed up a bit late—around 4 and tried to see what I could see. The "big" play (Kellen Moore to Vinny Perretta for a 51 yard TD) had already happened, but thankfully Buck from Statueleft got me up to speed. Here's what I thought I saw:
Kellen Moore looks very poised and makes decisions very quickly (and usually wisely). He didn't have a "wow" type of day, but still led all QBs in yardage with 137 yards and a score. Moore did not play error free ball, but he did not turn the ball over (other than a ball that was stripped by a blitzing Derrell Acrey). Moore's receivers had a few drops, he threw a few a bit wide, but also wisely threw them away when nothing was opening up. Moore was only 9 of 22 on the day...but didn't kill drives and still got over the 100 yard mark. Moore may have just pulled slightly ahead with today's performance.
Bush Hamdan, though dead even throughout the Spring and Summer with Moore—may have ceded a bit of an edge today to Moore. Hamdan had no turnovers to speak of, but often threw into tight coverage and was lucky not to be picked off. Hamdan looked fairly agile in the pocket, but did not tuck and run when it may have been beneficial. The defense put pretty good pressure on him, but Bush wasn't making terribly quick reads. He finished the day 5 of 15 for 48 yards and no scores. Some remarked that the running game seemed to look better with Hamdan at the helm, but this may be chalked up to a) sheer coincidence or b) the fact that the RBs are more accustomed to a right-handed exchange. Hamdan didn't kill the offense, but he didn't spark them much either. It is the first scrimmage, so I won't read too much in. Hamdan, I think is #2 for now.
Nick Lomax had the best passer rating of the outing. He was 7 of 9 and completed 77% of his throws. It must be stated, however, that Lomax's stats were accumulated against mainly 2nd or 3rd teamers and were high percentage, short passes that only netted him 68 yards through the air. Lomax always seems to get up for the scrimmages and doesn't make many boneheaded mistakes...but he is clearly a step behind Moore and Hamdan and has not really impressed a lot in actual game situations. Lomax is hangin' in there, but I don't think he'll push Moore or Hamdan for much PT.
Michael Coughlin did not see much action on Monday. He was a respectable 5 of 8 for 35 yards and clearly possesses the best legs of the group. He also has a rocket arm, but routinely seems to overthrow receivers and rushes his passes. Coughlin saw some action last year in games and performed decently...but he and Lomax, "the tall ones" don't seem to have grasped the offense as well as the redshirt and the 5th year. I still have hope that Coughlin will make a charge and we'll see him some this year, but a starting gig looks like a longshot.
The defense played well and Derrell Acrey and Jeron Johnson stood out. Acrey adds a larger, more physical presence at midfield and Johnson just seems to be everywhere. Jeron hits like a Mack truck and leveled the much larger Julian Hawkins with a hit that echoed off the bleachers. Hunter White also caught my eye as he really flies around out there. The defensive line got good pushes into the backfield which hopefully is because of a combination of skill and the fact that the O-line is missing several cogs.
Receiving was hard to gauge. Very excited to read the stat line that Chandler Koch led all receivers with 61 yards—equally so about frosh Chris Potter snagging 5 tosses. Our future looks bright at receiver...and so does the present. Perretta, obviously snagged a long TD pass that was 100% effort. Nice to see Vinny back at full strength. Also nice to have Jeremy Childs back...he didn't light it up...but always seems to be open. Our receivers and running backs shouldn't be an issue this year. They're gold.
To sum it up. No QB really distanced himself too much. Hamdan or Moore is anyone's guess. Obviously there are pros and cons to either choice, but I don't get the impression that either would do poorly if given the reins. We'll just have to wait until Saturday's scrimmage to see if another can pull away. Until then...happy prognosticating.
Photo by Joe Jaszewski