There was a lot of football played out at Memorial Stadium today, and right from the get go.
The team followed up warm-ups immediately with about 15-20 plays of 11-on-11.
There was loud music playing on the sideline pretty much the entire practice.
Some highlights from the first round of plays included:
Kett hitting Wanzek on an a nice 40 yard fly pattern.
Turner busted through the scrum for a sack, showing his sudden burst, power and speed... no chance.
Zim continues to show good poise in the pocket, waiting just long enough to hit TE Pinke over the middle for another nice gain. He hears the footsteps but is able to maintain concentration.
QB Grover threw a nice ball to TE Cloyd on a down and out pattern for medium gain.
The big mit of Ray Haas made another appearance today, as he busted through the line and slapped down a pass by Schuster at close range.
Kett followed up with a nice 25 yarder to Tovionen on a down and out pattern.
Kett threw a nice ball over the top to Cochran who was blanketed by Hayden Galvin for a 30 yard pass and catch.
QB Grover got into the act with a nice pass to Maag along the sideline for 35 yards.
Next Grover was forced to double pump as he scanned the field on the run, good coverage forced him to ultimately escape the pocket and throw it away to avoid a big loss.
The Play of the Day came during this initial round of plays when Kett hit Cochran for a 1st down while hand fighting with Blubaugh, who had good position and coverage. WR CC ultimately juggled the ball a few times before allowing it to settle into his arms for a good catch along the sidelines.
The Band-aid brigade was more than a dozen strong today, as mostly young backups spent time on the sidelines nursing various bumps and bruises. Interestingly only 2 offensive players were among them: Mortel and Sherva.
Another drill that produced some neat highlights was a red zone exercise, from about 10-15 yards out.
Zim hit Cloyd for a 15 yard pass-and-catch TD with Galvin all over Cloyd.
QB Schuster threw high toward the corner of the end zone to find CC for another TD.
Zim then found Maag on a crossing pattern for a TD.
Schuster went to the other corner with a high ball to WR Wilde, who went up high to get it for a TD.
Schuster then zipped it into Greibel who had to react quickly to snatch it out of the air for a 10 yard TD.
Zim showed he could zip the ball, too, when he found Toivonen in the corner for a TD.
Zim followed that up with another bullet to Pedro Schmidt for a 10 yard TD.
During Team Drills the Offense and Defense were relatively even, with a slight edge to the offense if I had to pick one.
Kett faked to big HB Johanneson and then hit Boltmann on a 25 yard out pattern.
Kett followed that up with a bad exchange to McKinney, who fumbled and allowed a defensive recovery. That ended the series for Kett.
Zim came in and had to throw the ball away right away as Quintin Sequin busted through for a QB hurry.
In a rare moment for Zim, he held the ball too long and got sacked. He is wearing a red jersey so "sack" means they blew the whistle and called the play dead.
Next Grover took over and executed a sneaky sweep exchange to WR Maag who went around the left side for good yardage.
When Kett got his next chance again, he hit Toivonen on a short route, in which the WR shed a Blubaugh tackle and ran it up field.
Kett then faked McKinney and opted for a quick hitter short pass to Toivonen for a first down.
Red Zone plays and short yardage passing to running backs, WRs and TEs were the overriding theme of today.
During some more Red Zone drills, Zim found WR Pedro Schmidt in the back o the endzone for a TD.
Next QB Grover stepped in and was picked off by promising young CB Jacob Odom.
A bit of scary play took place when Grover hit his receiver in the corner of the endzone. The WR was covered well by Blubaugh. Both receiver and defender went up high for the ball, and Blubaugh came down awkwardly. He sat out the rest of the practice but was walking on the sidelines without any assistance.
During field goal drills, holding duties were rotated among Cade Pederson, Greibel and Boltmann.
The Kickers focused on boots outside of 40 yards. They seemed to be pushing the ball left at first but both Bradys eventually found their sweet spots and range, and they began booming them through.
Alternate Play of the Day: Leach finished off the exercise with an absolute beauty from 45+ yards out that would have been good from longer. He did it with the entire offensive and defensive sqauds gathered to his front and screaming at him. Their distractions changed to cheers for the Kicker as it sailed through the uprights high and straight.
Practice finished off with some more 11-on-11 plays.
QB Schuster salvaged what looked to be a botched play by finding is security outlet Greibel in the shallow flats. Griebel turned on the jets and headed up field.
Kett then had back to back nice pass plays. He faked a handoff before throwing a nice low ball to Toivonen for 15 yards. The crafty Toivonen scooped it up as he slide for a first down. You've seen them do it before in game situations. Kett then threw a nice ball to Maag for nice yardage.
The young QBs then finished off the day, with Schuster getting his second ball of the day batted down at the line. This time it was deflected clear back to the secondary where it was nearly intercepted.
Schuster made up for it with a nice 30 yard rope to Pedro Schmidt. "Dro" went up and caught the ball at a high point before bringing it in and coming down in stride.
The Hawks are off tomorrow and back to it on Monday.
Have a great weekend!