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Spring Practice No. 9: Offensive line video, players back on the field and more





- Quick personnel notes: As Joe Moorhead promised, wide receiver Stephen Guidry was back at practice today. He was out all of last week for off-field stuff, Moorhead said, but he was back and still in his yellow jersey for those limited from contact. Cornerback Jamal Peters was also back but defensive lineman Marquiss Spencer was not; both Peters and Spencer missed Saturday's scrimmage tending to family things. 


- In following the offensive line around a little bit for the video you see above, I was interested by how offensive line coach Marcus Johnson coaches the position. You hear a lot of offensive line coaches talk about footwork in teaching the technique of the position, but Johnson focused more on the knees. He always talked about maintaining a power position, one of a certain bend in the knee, and mentioned bringing the backside knee through to generate more power. Let me walk you through what I believe that idea is about: position yourself as a right tackle, your feet shoulder-width apart and your right foot about a foot back of your left. As you step forward, what is driving your progress forward? Your back leg, your right leg, right? So if you maintain the power position, a slight bend in both knees, it's moving your right knee forward that allows you to explode with your legs and move the person in front of you. I found that interesting and hopefully you did too. 


- One more observation on teaching techniques: I've noticed that in individual drills time, tight ends are always blocking. They tend to save running routes for the 7-on-7 or team stuff. That makes sense on a few levels, given the Moorhead system makes tight ends execute some really complex footwork to sell a fake run block before releasing to the flat as part of a run-pass option (RPO). Also in that RPO game, there are times when tight ends have to react to how defenders position themselves to properly block their man, so I can see where concepts like that take a lot of reps. 


- Finally, something kind of comical (as long as nothing serious happened). Defensive line coach Brian Baker had a brace on his right knee and was moving a little slow out there. I wonder what happened.



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