First of all, many thanks to Drew Hill for donating to Mott at the spring game and then donating the practice tickets to mgoblog.
Today Michigan held a practice at the Big House that was open to players' families and to Mott donors. Brian was there, too, so I'm sure he'll make some mention of his impressions at some point. Here are a few of my own impression on the position groups.
- Mealer was indeed running with the ones at LG. Kalis took snaps on the second team.
- Chris Bryant was in attendance, but in a t-shirt and a pair of enormous crutches. Here's to hoping he recovers quickly.
- It was all Denard and Bellomy. Gardner spent the entire time running with receivers.
- Bellomy made some good throws. He had a nice bomb down the sideline to Jeremy Jackson at one point, but the pass was dropped.
- Denard still has a few issues setting his feet -- a couple of his passes were reminiscent of last year where the ball would sail over the receiver's head or be too low to catch, but overall he was much more decisive with his reads.
Receivers and tight ends:
- Darboh and Chesson looked good during drills. They definitely have the size to compete in the Big Ten, but I guess the concern is whether they're battle ready at the moment.
- Gardner is a huge target. His route running isn't as good as, say Gallon's or Roundtree's, but he looked like a legit receiver. He did have a drop or two, but otherwise he should figure into the rotation just fine. Also, he was running with the ones.
- Jerald Robinson looked good during drills but had a drop in the situational segment.
- Funchess did a good job catching passes from the TE position. Once he works his way into the starting rotation (currently with the 2's), he'll be the proverbial "weapon." Physically he looks like a slightly thicker Gardner.
- AJ Williams can run. He's not as fast as Funchess, but he'll figure in as a pass-catcher and not just an in-line blocker.
- The line up of Jibreel Black, Will Campbell, Quinton Washington, and Craig Roh is real. In this package Jibreel is the WDE, Campbell is the 3-tech, Washington is the nose, and Roh is the SDE.
- On passing downs it looked like it was Jake Ryan, Craig Roh, Will Campbell, and Mario Ojemudia. I can't remember if Ryan had his hand down, but he was definitely part of the pass rush.
- I did not see Pipkins much.
- Joe Bolden made a couple plays I think? I did not pay attention to the linebackers.
- In general made it really hard for receivers to get open. JT Floyd covered Gardner most of the time during situational stuff and did not allow a completion.
- Lots of packages and motions similar to plays from last season.
- Called a hook and ladder that was pretty cool. I forget who the receiver was, but the pass was 10 yards deep on the left, and the pitch was outside to Vincent Smith running a wheel route I think.