August 14 scrimmage blog

Want to squash those message board rumors that I was barred from Army practice. I was on vacation. Apologies for not giving followers their Black Knight fix.

Dropped in for Army’s first scrimmage of the preseason. Here are some sights, sounds, observations and an injury update:

Cornerback Richard King knocked down a pass intended for wide receiver Davyd Brooks on the first play of the scrimmage during 3rd-and-6 drills. Brooks was double covered on the play.

Fullback Jared Hassin made a crushing, edge block on linebacker Steve Erzinger, which sprung quarterback Trent Steelman for a run of 25 yards. Erzinger got some revenge two plays later, forcing Steelman out of bounds two yards short of a first down.

Sophomore slotback Brian Cobbs slipped out of tackle by safety Ty Shrader and picked up about 30 yards down the left sidelines. Cobbs was also tackle for a loss and flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty.

Sophomore quarterback Trent Steelman connected on a 61-yard touchdown pass to Brooks. Steelman threw the ball over the top of the cornerback, which Brooks had beaten by a few steps. Brooks almost had to come back for the ball. Steelman hit Austin Barr with a 4-yard touchdown on a fade right to the short side of the field.

Score one for the scout team: Freshman Cody Jackson completed a quick inside slant to freshman Robert Wright for a touchdown against the first-team defense.

First-team offense: QB Trent Steelman, FB Jared Hassin, SB Pat Mealy and Malcolm Brown; WR Davyd Brooks and Austin Barr; C Zach Peterson, LT Anees Merzi, LG Frank Allen; RG Seth Reed; RT Mike McDermott.

Junior quarterback Max Jenkins worked with the second team. Jenkins had an 11-yard completion to Justin Allen on right out and ran for 15 yards on a keeper.

Senior quarterback Chip Bowden was held out of the scrimmage for precautionary reasons, Ellerson said.

“Just from the wear and tear,” Ellerson said. “He’s been doing a good job.”

Bowden is coming back after surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee. He was running sprints across the field with his fellow QBs after the scrimmage. Junior quarterback Jimmy Reitter saw some third-team reps.

Junior whip linebacker Andrew Rodriguez watched the scrimmage. Rodriguez, Army’s leading tackler last season, is still nursing a back injury.

When asked how Rodriguez is coming along, Ellerson said, “We’ll see. We should start to see some progress in the next day or so.”

Senior Jonathan Bulls is improving on his directional punts. Bulls booted about 50-yard punt right. The ball bounced at the 20-yard line and rolled to the 6. He hit a punt left which bounced out at 17.

Nothing is written in stone yet but defensive starters Stephen Anderson, Donovan Travis and Steve Erzinger were on the top kick coverage team.

Junior linebacker Josh Jones, Army’s main punt returner last season, and sophomore cornerback Josh Jackson fielded punts. Slotbacks Pat Mealy and Malcolm Brown were back for kickoffs.

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