Senior Bowl Day 3 quick hitters
MOBILE, Ala-As we get ready to enter the final full day of practices before Friday’s walk-through sessions, let’s take a look back at some of the happenings from Wednesday’s action in Alabama.
1. One NFL scout I talked to on Wednesday had a lot of positive things to say about Ole Miss offensive lineman John Jerry. Jerry, the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry, has displayed impressive footwork for a guy who measured in at 6’5” and 332 pounds. The South team coaches (Miami Dolphins) have been working him at both guard and tackle this week.
2. If you plan to tune in to the Senior Bowl on Saturday afternoon, be prepared for some trick plays from the South team. During Wednesday’s practice session, the offense worked on a quarterback throwback to Tim Tebow and ran several reverses, one of which picked up some decent yardage. The successful reverse was run by Tulane wide receiver Jeremy Williams, who has quietly had a nice week of work. I had a chance to talk with Williams after practice and he told me that it has been great getting the opportunity to work against some of the best defensive backs in the country.
3. As mentioned yesterday afternoon, the North team picked up the intensity on Wednesday morning. During the 11 on 11 team period, Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount wasn’t too happy about a hit he took at the line of scrimmage, which he demonstrated by shoving California defensive lineman Tyson Alualu. While this wouldn’t be deemed newsworthy if it dealt with any other player, it was interesting to see from Blount, who is working on repairing his image after the incident at Boise State back in September.
4. The Miami coaching staff had Ole Miss running back/wide receiver Dexter McCluster lined up in the Wildcat formation a couple of times on Wednesday. This kid is going to be a weapon in the NFL no matter where he lines up. He's the most explosive player in Mobile right now.
5. Wes Bunting mentioned this yesterday, but it’s worth repeating here. West Virginia quarterback Jarrett Brown has looked the best out of the six quarterbacks in Mobile this week. Brown has one of the strongest arms in town and has flashed the ability to make all of the necessary NFL throws.
6. I have yet to hear anyone speaking highly of Cincinnati wide receiver Mardy Gilyard. While that doesn’t mean anyone is knocking him, Gilyard hasn’t blown anybody away this week. Meanwhile, the more you talk to players on the North team, the more you hear Clemson wide receiver Jacoby Ford’s name. His teammates have been very impressed with his skill set.
7. Remember the name Anthony Dixon. I wrote about the Mississippi State running back on Tuesday and there has been some buzz about him over the last few days (not because of the aforementioned article). For a guy his size (6006, 245 pounds), Dixon has shown some impressive speed this week.
8. Ole Miss wide receiver Shay Hodge reiterated to me after practice the same thing that every SEC player has said about their conference when asked if it’s the best in the country: “No doubt.”
9. Kickers and punters don’t get a ton of attention. Last year in Mobile, Bunting and I were impressed by the smarts of current New Orleans Saints punter Thomas Morstead (SMU). Morstead, who obviously realized that not many people were paying attention to him, went to the far end of the practice field one day and started kicking punts into the stands. Ladd-Peebles stadium features bleachers rather than seats, so every time one of Morstead’s punts hit the metal benches, it sounded louder than anything happening anywhere else in town. Basically, Morstead forced you to pay attention to him. None of the kickers or punters in Mobile this week has figured that little trick out.
10. The fish tacos at “Felix’s” last night were outstanding. So was the Budweiser.