Camp Confidential: First day of pads in the books
August 17, 2012By Doug Erlien of Osseo Orioles Football
Took in the afternoon version of the first day of pads and as expected, saw good things and areas of which will need to be tightened up before the season kicks off when the Cougars come to our house.
After a rough morning session, the defense bounced back nicely against the offense in interior drills. I know the kids heads are swimming right now and they are soaking up a lot. It was nice to see the mental part of the game come into play with the group.
The defensive line got the better of the offensive line in 11 v. 11. Although defense is typically ahead of the offense at this point in the year, that hasn't been the case in recent Osseo history. Much of that has to do with the skill guys we've had in the past on the offensive side of the ball. That isn't meant to slight our current version on offense. They will be fine and will settle in. For now, it's good to see the improvement on defense.
As improved as the defense is, there wasn't much emotion this afternoon. Maybe it's because the tanks are on 'E'. The kids have worked hard and two-a-days are surely taking the tolls but when the group as a whole shows some domination or makes a play, it was pretty quiet. Again, that piece is easy to fix and will no doubt amp up as things move forward.
Plenty of camp battles are coming into form. I don't have any inside intel or information, but it has been fun watching kids battling for almost every position. That fact alone is making everyone better simply because everyone is pushing each other to be better.
The quarterback spot has been fun to watch senior Garrison Gillard and junior Matt Miedtke have both been solid early in camp. Both posess decent arm strength. At 6'3, Miedtke is more of a classic pocket passer while Gillard is athletic and can buy time and create a little more. There are little things both need to improve on. Guess is the guy that shows more with the details of the offense wins because right now they seem to be neck and neck.
Wide receiver Connor Kittelson might be the big play guy we are looking for. The 6'3 junior made several plays downfield during drills and more importantly blocked beautifully on a Bridge Tussler screen play drawing praise from the coaches. In past years, blocking wide receivers were a key to the offensive scheme to help shake the running backs loose.
The corner battle has also been a fun one to watch. Junior Ryan Swenson has flashed nicely in camp and is getting plenty of reps. Seniors Josh Rios and Grant Sealock are playing well. I really like Rios' physical play. The kid isn't afraid to stick his nose into the play. Need to challenge the kid to play with a little more swagger.
Best story of camp:
No question it is Kevin Curwick. Following his KARE 11 story on his quest to end cyber bullying on Twitter @osseonicethings. Talked with Kevin after practice today and he is absolutely swamped with media requests. Talking about an appearance on the Today Show, was on air with Ryan Seacrest today. He's a captain on the football field for reasons that don't need to be explained. I am so proud to be able to know this kid. I've got an interview ready and will post later tonight. Humbled and grateful he is on our team.
Had a great talk after practice with defensive coordinator Mike Johnson. I could listen to him talk x's and o's all day and it is great to see his vision coming to light. Change isn't always easy, but one of the things coach Johnson told me was the importance of everyone, coaches included running the same system in back-to-back seasons. Things seem to be more on the same page than in previous seasons which is going to be good for us as we play for real in two weeks.
Countdown to Gameday:
Starting Monday, we are really going to start breaking down Centennial and getting ready for the Cougars. They got us last year in the season opener in a shoot out that we fell just short. Plenty of work to do between now and then, but I can't wait to watch our guys on gameday.