When asked about if he thought his team was ready for their season opener in three weeks against UTSA, Herm Edwards said they were fine. The team itself just needs to figure out its strengths moving forward. And well there’s some searching to do.
Last Practice: Friday, August 10th
Next practice: Monday, August 13 (7:20 p.m.)
Handgun (YG) TATI (6ix9ine)
Linebacker Koron Crump in uniform again, and again did not participate. Defensive back Evan Fields and linebacker Khaylan Thomas were missing from the defense as well. Defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales said Fields is nursing a hamstring and should return next week.
Wide receivers Frank Darby and Terrell Chatman missed practiced again after doing warm ups with the team. Running back Brock Sturges and tight end Tommy Hudson were not seen as well.
Cornerback Chase Lucas missed the scrimmage too, coach Herm Edwards after practice said it was due to family issues.
Two injuries that occurred during the practice happened to starting center Cohl Cabral and first team Tillman Tyler Whiley. Cabral missed a couple of series to end the day, he had ice on his left knee, but nothing appeared serious. Whiley however left on a cart with a foot injury.
What went on?
Wide Receiver Angel Ruiz had a rough night to start. The first few plays of the scrimmage were special teams, Ruiz touched the ball on the kicking team for an onside kick and proceeded to get yelled at by special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum. Ruiz then also tackled the returner Brandon Aiyuk on a following play when he wasn’t supposed to. Slocum then pulled him aside to rip off off his orange cap.
Wide receiver Kyle Williams had a very good night. Williams reeled in a slightly under thrown ball from quarterback Manny Wilkins for a 45 yard grab. With the ball under thrown the open Williams was able to catch it in between two defenders. He also took a short curl route for an easy first down.
Williams also set a nice block on a screen to fellow receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk, who has showed off his speed all fall, took the pass for a first down. That got a sarcastic comment from Wilkins saying, “Brandon I wanted another play don’t get a first down.” Aiyuk has continued to impress with the first team in the absence of Darby and Chatman.
Aiyuk also scored a touchdown down the right side earning a cheer from the crowd on a dive toward the end zone. Well, maybe, the media didn’t have a clear view of it and have debated what actually happened. But the picture says touchdown.
Safety Langston Frederick grabbed the only turnover of the night on a diving play where the ball was tipped. Linebacker Jay Jay Wilson turned the corner in a hurry, not being able to reach quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole he simply put his hands up to knock the pass out of the air.
Sterling-Cole fumbled a botched exchange, extending the theme of Friday night’s practice. Frederick also should have had a second pick on a play where Wilkins threw it behind wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
Wilkins accuracy saw it good and bad moments. A lot of that though was due to the constant pressure he felt and rolling out of the pocket. Wilkins after the practice took blame for not putting his guys in the right positions to succeed.
Terin Adams filled in for the missing Chase Lucas across from cornerback Kobe Williams. Adams got his first full chance against Harry, covering him very well in certain situations. But even being in the perfect position wasn’t good enough at times, as Edwards said sometimes the superior athlete, Harry in this case, just wins those battles.
Center Jonathan Sanchez came into second team, but would like to forget his performance. Sanchez had a handful of snaps airmail either Sterling-Cole or third stringer Kurt Walding. Edwards joked that they needed former Sun Devil Brock Osweiler out there.
Gonzales also spoke about the speed the team has added to the team since the spring. Those included freshman linebackers Merlin Robertson, Stanley Lambert and freshman safety Aashari Crosswell. Lambert had a pass deflection in his limited action in 11-on-11s. He also worked as one of the team’s gunners on punt coverage.
Aiyuk, wide receiver Ryan Newsome, running backs Isaiah Floyd and A.J. Carter were the returners for kickoffs. Aiyuk, Newsome and Floyd also took reps for punts as well.
The rotation of Eno Benjamin, Terlon Smith, Floyd and Carter all saw their share of solid gains with a lot of them coming up the middle.
QB: Manny Wilkins
RB: Eno Benjamin, Isiah Floyd, Trelon Smith (Limited)
WR: N’Keal Harry, Kyle Williams, Brandon Aiyuk
TE: Ceejhay French-Love
OL: Casey Tucker (LT), Alex Losoya (LG), Cohl Cabral (C), Steven Miller (RG), Quinn Bailey (RT)
QB: Dillion Sterling-Cole
RB: Trelon Smith, A.J. Carter
WR: Curtis Hodges, Ryan Newsome, Keith Davis
TE: Jared Bubank / Mark Walton
OL: Ralph Frias (LT), Roy Hemsley (LG), Cade Cote (Took first team reps after Cabral injury) / Jonathan Sanchez (C), Jarrett Bell (RG), Zach Robertson
DL: Shannon Forman , D.J. Davidson / Renell Wren, Jalen Bates
LB: Merlin Robertson, Nick Ralston, Jay Jay Wilson
CB: Kobe Williams, Terin Adams
Tillman: Tyler Whiley
S: Demonte King, Langston Frederick
DL: Dougladson Subtyl / Jermayne Lole, George Lea, Jordan Hoyt
LB: Kyle Soelle / Stanley Lambert, Darien Butler, Malik Lawal / Tyler Johnson
Tillman: Dasmond Tautalatasi (Took first team reps after Whiley injury) / Ely Doyle
CB: Dominique Harrison, Darien Cornay
S: Joey Bryant, Aashari Crosswell
For other updates and videos from Saturday’s practice, follow @BradyVernon on Twitter.