Well lets start with how the Green and White game ended.
Head Coach Chris Jones was not impressed, and that may putting it lightly. He started his talk with the media by saying the performance he saw in the scrimmage made him want to throw-up.
Sloppy was another word Jones used to describe both the offense and the defense and with Saturday being the first chance to compete in a true game-like situation made it even worse.
I wrote down over a half dozen offside penalties and then there were the holding, procedures, pass interference, no yards, fumbles and interceptions.
That's not to say it was all bad. When I asked about #76 LB Dillon Grondin whose number I had written down several times for getting to the ball carrier at, near or behind the line of scrimmage, Jones said the young Canadian was one of the lone bright spots.
Here is a position by position break down:
#4 Darian Durant – I had Durant 10/19 as he threw some great passes like a touchdown toss to Naaman Roosevelt and a ball down the sideline to Shamawd Chambers that was knocked away by a great play by Ed Gainey. He also had some throws he clearly wanted back, including one interception.
#16 Brett Smith – Struggled to start, including an interception but had a great drive in the second half where he went 4/5, including a nice throw to Alec Lemon near the goal line that the official ruled down at the one but Coach Jones gave him the touchdown. On the play, Smith was able to get out of pressure find Lemon.
#15 B.J. Coleman – Looked calm, a little shaky but did a great job on one drive in which he was 6/6 – though some plays had holdings, whistled down sacks, but he still made good reads on the play. Easily the third string QB based on Saturday.
#19 Jacob Huesman – It wasn't a good showcase for Huesman as on his first play from scrimmage the ball slipped out of his hand as he cocked his arm to throw. Two plays later, Durant threw the TD to Roosevelt. By my count he had five passes, completing two.
The was no Curtis Steele, who has taken the first team reps throughout training camp. He was suited up but didn't see time.
#14 Matt Walter, #24 Terrence Cobb and #41 Johnta Hebert didn't separate themselves as Walter showed his veteran experience being very patient with the ball in his hands. Cobb had a few decent runs but Hebert had the play of the day from the RBs as he hit the hole in a session of run plays before the actually scrimmage and took it to the end zone. You won't really get a sense of running backs until they're going full tilt during the pre-season games, as when they will get a lot more hands and bodies on them when tackling is part of the game. Cobb did get the crowd going with a nice block on DL Markus White which was the biggest hit of the scrimmage (Coach did utter the term 'practice smart' when asked – acknowledging it was a good hard block, but don't want to see injury in practice)
#82 Naaman Roosevelt and #12 John Chiles were being looked at often by Darian Durant as they're clearly working on timing. Roosevelt made a great catch going to the ground and broke away on the touchdown pass. #9 Nic Demski was the next one whose number was written down the most. Demksi is a dynamic player in open space. With no Rob Bagg or Kendial Lawrence on the offense there were opportunities for #3 Ricky Collins but the only time the ball got to him he was grabbed on a blatant pass interference and wasn't able to make a play for the ball.
Durant and #17 Shamawd Chambers were close on a few but just missing, though one was batted away by Ed Gainey.
#87 Alec Lemon was on the receiving end of Brett Smith's scramble play to make the goalline.
#1 Qudarius Ford showed some speed on a few dump off plays and screens.
#85 Ryan Lankford caught a few but his biggest play of note was fumbling a punt return which was recovered by Victor Dean Jr.
#58 Xavier Fulton still got game. #68 Thaddeus Coleman was beat on a sack. The interior of the offensive line held strong as there was barely any pressure up the middle. Chris Jones did send the house on numerous occasions and the quarterbacks did a fairly decent job of reading it and getting the ball out fast. There were a few holding penalties on the interior of the line but again... are these guys going full bore? They'll get a lot more nasty in the trenches when there are opposite colours.
I'll say this... seeing the opportunities being given to draft pick Alex McKay right now with Matt Vonk on the six game injured list, you wonder how far behind Josiah St. John will be whenever he ends his holdout.
It was not a good day for the defensive line. They were jumping offside all over the place. #8 Shawn Lemon did have a sack. #99 AC Leonard had a few positive plays but Ed Philion has some work to do with this group before Saturday's pre-season game. But every time I had a good play for someone, like #98 Markus White on a sack or #93 Kalonji Kashama with good pursuit they're also down for an offside. I think this is the group Chris Jones is most disappointed with. No Justin Capicciotti again today.
#35 Greg Jones is a welcome addition. He plugged holes, got to the quarterback with a sack.
#76 Dillon Grondin was lined up in the middle and boy, this junior player out of Windsor was around the ball all day.
#47 Samuel Eguavon got his number written down a few times as he was lined up originally in Jeff Knox Jr.'s spot as last year's defensive player of the year for the Riders remains out with injury. He dropped deep to get his hands on a Durant pass for the INT.
#38 Marte Sears has some good athleticism and got to the sideline to under cut a pass for an INT but missed it and he slammed his fists to the ground with a few shouts of frustration.
#20 Otha Foster didn't get put down a lot but that's a good thing as he handles coverage and did well there.
#43 Kentrell Everett was hit and miss. He had two bad pass interference penalties where he got there early and made it easy for the ref to call. But he also came up and stuffed a few plays to the outside. But judging by Jones disapproval for the lack of discipline, the bad out weighs the good.
#5 Derrius Brooks will be the first guy I put here because he had great day in the run drills, stepping up and getting to the RB. He also was noticeable in the coverage.
#11 Ed Gainey may have had the play of the DBs on his play that broke up a pass from Durant to Chambers. Great timing, no pull, no penalty.
#39 Rollins Stallworth had one of the interceptions for the defense and a few other good coverages.
#27 Kevin Francis got some time at safety and is a big presence back there. Fellow Canadians #22 Dan West and #26 Tevaughn Campbell had some knockdowns.
#31 Justin Cox had one play of note where he stepped up on an outside run and threw down Terrance Cobb.
The returners were #1 Qudarius Ford, #24 Terrance Cobb, #3 Ricky Collins, #41 Johnta Hebert, #85 Ryan Lankford for the most part but they rarely had coverage teams go against blocking teams to evaluate. As mentioned, Lankford fumbled. Cobb had one bounce off his chest and Collins caught a punt at the one and fell into the end zone. NOTE: Demski didn't take a punt or kick off and Lawrence wasn't dressed.
Tyler Crapigna didn't miss any FGs or PATs but had nothing outside of 33 yards. Quinn Van Gylswyk only had one FG attempt and just about missed a short one into the wind. QVG also had a punt into the wind sail out of bounds after Collins bad decision at the goal line – a few plays later... TD offense. Holding for Crapigna was the only work Rob Bagg did in the scrimmage.
Josh Bartel's punting is just fine, into and with the wind. QVG does have good hang time but there is a lot to learn for the young kicker.