Excitement. That’s the word on everyone’s lips. From players to coaches to staffers, there is a buzz around the USF football program. With a new scheme on the offensive side of the ball, new players all over and returning veterans in key spots, it’s not hard to see why.
The Bulls held their fourth practice of camp Monday morning. We got to see a short period of 11-on-11 action featuring the first, second and third teams. The period was spent working the third-and-long situation and what we saw wasn’t too different than spring, minus some new schematic wrinkles. The offense made some plays for conversions in the passing game. The defense responded with a few TFLs and sacks when bringing pressure.
Back when he was a head coach, Kerwin Bell may have said this was great competition between both sides. As the offensive coordinator, Bell emphasized the need for consistency with his players.
In his media availability, Bell was very positive about the progress the offensive group has made thus far. The install has been somewhat accelerated and much smoother when compared with spring practice. Coach Bell was asked specifically about QB Blake Barnett, and said he was excited (there’s that word again) about the progress he has made.
He also praised TE Mitch Wilcox during his availability. Coach Bell hasn’t had a tight end of Wilcox’s caliber, so he talked about having to make some adjustments to his offense to feature him more.
One interesting note from practice was the rise of walk-on WR Bryce Miller. The East Lake product has built on his impressive spring and was running with the first team for portions of the drills we saw today.
Bell stressed that Miller’s precise route running and the ability to get in and out of cuts has helped him climb the depth chart. Bell’s offense places a premium on receivers who run great routes. His passing game is based on timing and precision. If you are not in the exact right spot as a receiver, you will not play much. And when I say exact, I mean exact. When Bell says 12 yards downfield and 2 yard outside the hash, you better be there when the ball comes. It seems as if Miller is getting there.