Southern’s quarterback competition looked about the same during Saturday’s scrimmage as it has in the most recent practices.
Deonte Shorts worked with the first-team offense and looked like he belonged there. Austin Howard and Jarrad Hayes split time with the second team and looked like the first-year freshmen they are, mixing good and not-so-good plays. And Francis Kanneh struggled to make things happen consistently while working with the third team.
“I think the quarterbacks did a good job in some areas, but I think we still have a lot to work on,” co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Chad Germany said. “I think they come to work every day and they’re focused. I think we did a decent job today at some things.
“One of the things that jumped out was the ability to move the football down the field. That’s something we talked about in meetings. We talk constantly about being able to get the ball in the end zone. I think it’s a quarterback’s job to command a team and get the football moving forward.”
As newcomers, Howard and Hayes are not allowed to be interviewed, but Germany said both have improved since arriving for voluntary summer workouts.
“Austin is doing a good job of picking up the offense,” Germany said. “I think the summer was productive and he’s really starting to digest the offense and that’s letting his talent finally show.
“One of Jarrad’s strengths is his poise. He really understands what we’re trying to do offensively. He’s a student of the game. He always asks a lot of questions. He’s attentive in meetings. I think the calmness you see on the field is a clear picture of how he studies and his approach.”
Germany said the Jaguars “are blessed” to have four quarterbacks who are “natural leaders.”
A dozen held out
The following players were held out for a variety of reasons, though none appear to have serious injuries — WRs Willie Quinn, Randall Menard and Justin Morgan, OLs Clayton Slyve, Zach Brown and Neako Jones, RB Tyre Bracken, FB Brian McCain, NT Jaylen Jordan, DBs D’Andre Woodland and Dionte McDuffy and PK Greg Pittman.
Looking at the bright side
Germany said the absence of the three receivers was “a good thing.”
“I think that really helps us,” he said. “I think last year we really wanted to establish the run game, and I think it has really allowed us to focus on that point. We’ve improved in that area.”
Four knocked out
Four players were sidelined during the scrimmage. LB Daniel Brown had ice on his left knee and LB Demetrius Carter had ice on his right knee. DB Blake Monroe had to be treated for the heat and LB Javon Allen hurt his left elbow.
Coach Dawson Odums said he was awaiting a medical report, but he didn’t think any of the injuries were serious.
Three observations of note from Saturday’s practice:
1 Freshman CB Danny Johnson of East Feliciana is taking advantage of the opportunity provided by injuries at his position.
2 QB Deonte Shorts is looking sharp at running the zone-read, which was a significant part of what he did with the first-team offense.
3 Freshman DB Bryan Anderson of Karr was resilient. He appeared to recover a fumble, but the officials ruled that Malcolm Crockett was down before the ball came out. On the next play Anderson intercepted a Shorts pass that was tipped.