I was able to catch the morning practice on Tuesday, the first of a pair of 2-a-days. When I got there, the defense was making plays and the run game looked pretty solid. The pass game had its moments. Coach Larry Blakeney (video above) indicated that the defense had the upper hand in this practice, forcing four turnovers that I saw. Troy practices again later this afternoon.
The turnovers: On a deep ball thrown by Corey Robinson to Eric Thomas, safety Brynden Trawick and corner T.J. Bryant were in coverage. The ball was tipped and Trawick made a nice play to reel it in.
A couple of plays later, Bryant jumped a Robinson pass, stepped in front of it and would have had a pick-6 in a real game.
Later on, Deon Anthony threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted by freshman Montres Kitchens. That would have been a touchdown as well. Anthony bounced back and hit Bobby Walker down the left sideline on a beautiful throw and catch.
Trawick got another interception when a ball went off the hands of a receiver. So, not every turnover was the quarterback's fault.
Robinson bounced back after that turnover and had a nice pump and go down the right side to B.J. Chitty. Cornerback Bryan Willis bit on that fake and the safety help didn't get over in time.
Defense continues to rotate guys in with the ones and I couldn't tell you who will be starters at some positions. What I can say is that they'll rotate a lot and will be much better depth-wise going into the season. Mark Wilson is challenging Dimitri Miles at the WLB, but both are performing well according to linebackers coach Benjy Parker. Zach Miller and T.J. Bryant are making plays at corner, but there are several others in contention there including fellow newcomer Lenyatta Kiles. Senior De'Von Terry, a walk-on from Enterprise, is getting solid work at one of the linebacker spots. Defensive tackles John Clark and Aaron Williams aren't ceding their spots to the new guys just yet. Certainly, competition makes guys better and we're seeing that in the first week of practice.
Kyle Wilborn got some snaps in with the first unit at center late, with Cody Woodiel at left guard. Couldn't really tell if Andrew Phillips had to come out with injury or not during that stretch.
In the 11-on-11s, the two quarterbacks getting all of the reps are Robinson and Anthony. That makes me think that Anthony's the undisputed No. 2 and if Robinson goes down, it will be Anthony. Still several weeks of practice left, though.
A New England Patriots scout was here today. A New York Giants scout was here yesterday.