Monday, August 29, 2011

Whitelaw running the show; Stars from scrimmage

There's plenty of stuff to report off Monday's practice (the last afternoon practice for quite some time).

First, I went over to get a sense of how the hurricane/tropical storm impacted Yale's practice schedule. Here is the story I filed for the paper.

In the time I was at practice, I noticed that John Whitelaw saw most of snaps at quarterback and starter Patrick Witt wasn't in there at all. Turns out the Witt strained a groin and with the field a little slick thanks to the large rainfall in the area over the week, the Yale coaching staff decided to play it safe.

"It wasn't anything bad but the grass was slick," Yale coach Tom Williams said. "He planted and his foot slid. It was mostly as a precaution. Johnny (was able to get) as many reps as he could stand. Pat got some reps but we didn't give him a lot. We didn't give him any pass reps. We gave him some handoffs so we didn't have to stretch his groin. We've give him tomorrow off and we are hoping Wednesday morning and be back to as close as 100 percent as he can be."

Whitelaw looked extremely sharp running the first-team offense. He is ahead of Witt in two noticeable areas - the screen game and the ability to make plays with his feet.

"It is not only beneficial to John to prove that he can do it but it is beneficial for the rest of the offense, the rest of the team to see John to be out there and be able to operation because now we know we are definitely two-deep at quarterback with John Whitelaw," Williams said. "The more reps he gets, the more comfortable he is going to get. We went through our two deep after the scrimmage on Saturday as a staff and we feel like we are two deep at every position and 2 1/2 deep at some and that has never been there before. It is exciting for us. He has a great feel for the screen and the other thing that he gives you that Pat can do but hasn't shown it is that John can scramble and get you 10-12 yards. About four or five times a game he can get you a first down which puts pressure on the defense. He is very similar to (former Cheshire and current Penn quarterback) Billy Ragone in that regard that if it breaks down, he can run and if you turn your back on him, he can go a long ways."

Williams referred to the scrimmage. Yale had originally planned to have an intrasquad scrimmage on Sunday but had a change of plans because of the unstable weather. So the team scrimmaged on Saturday.

Here are his thoughts on which players stood out.

"The guys were expected to be players for us did what they expected us to do. Some guys who showed up where (defensive lineman) Charles Holmes who has been out for a couple of years in injury, I thought he had a really good scrimmage. (Freshman running back) Kahlil Keys was a guy that we wanted to see how he would do against varsity defense. Practice is one thing but games are different. He showed up. (freshman linebacker) Will Vaughan, looks like he is a guy who can help us. (Defensive back) Charles Cook, another freshman who showed up. Offensive line wise, Ben Carbery and William Chism, those guys look like they will be able to help us this year. In the secondary, probably the emerging starter for us at corner is Dawson Halliday. It is a great competition with Collin Bibb. I think Dawson has proven in camp that he has been more consistent and Collin has been nicked up injury wise. That has given him the edge. Nick Okano is being pushed by John Powers. I think that thing is going to go down to the wire. By the time we play Dean (in a scrimmage on Sept. 10), I think we will have a better idea. (Linebacker) Wes Moyer has had a good camp. He is a guy who has been a backup linebacker for us but is pushing to be a starter."

I followed up with Williams on Carbery and Chism to see if they are pushing for starting roles.

"Those freshmen offensive linemen were a pleasant surprise," Williams said. "I just wasn't sure if they were going to be up with the tempo. Athletically they can do it. Without a doubt. They are pushing guys who are up front right now. (They are) potential starters. I would say that they are both where Wes Gavin was a year ago which is 'we think he is good enough but we have to put him out there in the game and see.'"

Carbery is a tackle while Chism is making a push at center and guard.

Yale is taking Tuesday off because it is hectic day for students at Yale getting ready for the start of the fall semester. Yale will shift to morning practices beginning on Wednesday with the Bulldogs going 7:30-9:30 a.m. from now on with the exception of the scrimmage against Dean Junior College on Sept. 10.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any info re 1st and 2nd string on the depth charts for offense and defense?

5:50 PM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

There's nothing official and probably won't be released until Tuesday before Georgetown game but most of the two-deep spots seem pretty straight forward. I'll be curious to see the second-team offensive line and where the two freshmen fit in and who emerges as Geoff Dunham's backup at free safety.

7:00 PM 

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