Some interesting news came out of the Gamecocks' spring practice report last night. Here are some of my thoughts on what's going on.
Steve Spurrier Wants Stephen to Cut His Sacks in Half this Season
I'm glad Spurrier is keyed in on this, as sacks were perhaps the offense's biggest weakness last year. However, I got the impression that Spurrier is putting a lot of the burden of making this happen on Garcia, and that idea seems misplaced to me. Yes, it's true that Garcia could have avoided a few sacks over the course of the season by getting rid of the ball instead of holding onto it for too long or getting happy feet and trying to make a play by scrambling. At the same time, though, Garcia saved more than a few busted plays with his feet last year. Moreover, and most importantly, the real problem here isn't Garcia: it is, and always has been, the offensive line. Yes, it's important for Spurrier to coach Garcia to learn to deal with poor protection. It's more important, though, that Shawn Elliott gets this line playing a little better so we don't have so much poor protection. Because of the lack of time he had, Garcia is excused for more than a few of the sacks he took last year, and I hope Spurrier is aware of that.
Connor Shaw Played Well
Spurrier seems pretty high on this kid and he seems to be a decent, smart player. That's good, because we need a reliable backup for Garcia, as well as someone who can step into the starter role a couple of years down the road.
Garcia is Taking a Leadership Role
This is good. As it should be a for a veteran. (Did I just call Stephen Garcia a veteran? Wow.)
Patrick DiMarco Is Getting Reps at Tight End
Also a good idea, IMO. I've heard good things about Justice Cunningham, but if DiMarco is a better change of pace for Weslye Saunders, then I say go for it, especially if Brian Maddox is indeed ready to step into the fullback role.
We're Working on Improving Kickoff Coverage