Notebook: WVU’s Red Zone Woes, Depth, Healing
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen keeps his team trudging along this preseason camp. Here’s what he had to say Wednesday.
The Process of Healing
Going into camp, linebacker David Long suffered a knee injury, that will have him sidelined what looks to be the first four weeks of the season. Offensive lineman Jacob Buccigrossi was also sidelined with an injury, that is believed to keep him out the same amount of time as Long. Though last week Head Coach Dana Holgorsen told the media that both were ahead of schedule and “We’ll have a full roster come Big 12 time.”
Earlier this week redshirt seniors Corey Winfield and Marvin Gross Jr. both underwent minor surgeries. Coach Holgorsen says both were successful, not sure on a return, but does not expect them to be sidelined for long.
Practice 10 Agenda and the Week Ahead
Coach Holgorsen said they are still in the process of installing things, but the focus of practice would be situations. Specifically, red-zone and two-minute drills.
Coach Holgorsen is not pleased with the team’s redzone success over the last two seasons, saying plainly:
“We’ve settled for too many field goals the last two years.”
The Mountaineers were tied seventh in the Big 12 in redzone offense last season, as well as first in redzone turnovers, which Coach Holgorsen attributes to a few things.
“Our run game, down there I thought has been good. Our pass game down there has not been good.” Holgorsen also believes it because of the play on the outside, but that does not mean it will not get better.
“I don’t think we have had a dominant receiver inside the 10 either.–We haven’t had that guy. Do we have it now? I like what I see out of Ka’Raun (White) and Gary (Jennings Jr.) and David (Sills V) because they are bigger guys and they can make catches when they have people all over them.
So Much to Do, is There Enough Time?
A little under four weeks before the Mountaineers take on Virginia Tech and it seems like ‘time’ and ‘timing’ are becoming a theme around camp lately. Holgorsen mentioned in his press conference Wednesday that there are just two full practices and a scrimmage left before school starts and they are into a daily routine.
With Will Grier needing all of the reps he can get, the urge for getting the timing down with his receivers is a must.
“I still don’t think we are where we need to be from a timing perspective when it comes to the top-four guys, which I have mentioned, plus Kennedy (McKoy).” Holgorsen said, and he is not the only one noticing the lack of time.
Defensive coordinator Tony Gibson has notices there is a need for patience on the defensive side of the ball.
“We just haven’t done enough yet” Gibson said. “We have 22 more days to get these guys prepared.”
Which means there is a sense of urgency hovering around the D.A.W.G.S.
A concern for the head ball coach is the Offensive line. Holgorsen told reporters in his Wednesday press conference that he likes the talent up front on offense, but there is some uncertainty concerning the depth.
“The backups are where my concern lies probably more than anything. They need to improve and be ready to go when we need them to go.” Holgorsen told reporters.
The defense on the other hand is not short handed as far as talent.
“A lot of depth on the defensive line, a lot of competition.–corner and (defensive) line, we have a lot of people that are able to play.’ So, there’s a lot of competition, which is good.”