Just like before Seminoles Productions released some footage from practice and I was given an opportunity to (over)react. This overreaction is all about the rookies.
Let’s jump into it.
Stephen Dix Jr.
Dix Jr. may be a true freshman linebacker but he looks like a fourth year player. A physical Mike LB who can fill a gap, square up a ball carrier, and finish is something that has been lacking. Dix Jr will player this year (hopefully) and make an impact. Expect this young man to be a leader on defense for years to come.
Look at the base and explosiveness to finish with his hips and feet. These are important things when tackling.
Tomahawk Nation has said for months now that Mike Norvell is going to use his running backs in a multitude of ways.
Webb is a natural pass catcher out of the backfield and shows off his fluidity here. Webb sees the ball into his hands, displays soft hands and bursts after the catch. This is a young man who has run a swing route a time or two.
Follow up the pass catching with a little pass blocking. Something running backs often struggle with his blitz pickup. These struggles can be due to lack of physicality or lack of willingness. Webb shows he is plenty physical and willing. Taking on Kevon Glenn, Webb fights for leverage and keeps his feet working. The low man is going to win so Webb’s stature should help him there.
Another point we’ve mentioned in Tomahawk Nation is Norvell’s usage of bigger slot receivers. A bigger slot can be a matchup problem for defenses and a plus 1 in the box as a run blocker. Check out Bryan Robinson (listed 6’1 199 lbs) running this flag route from the slot position during 1 on 1s.
Matching Robinson up against safeties is a win as you can see here. He loses no speed as he hits his break and separates from fellow rookie Jadarius Green-McKnight. Robinson will develop moves to set up his routes as he gains experience. Don’t be surprised when this rookie gets on the field and makes an impact in the box and down the field.
These are my overreactions to yesterday’s action. Now, it’s time for yours — what stood out to you? What are you looking for moving forward?