The event: The Warriors’ first scrimmage of spring practice.
Breakdown: 60 plays — 34 runs (including six sacks) and 26 passes (including two negated because of penalties).
The good: Inside receiver Scott Harding is making a case for the Warriors to use more three-receiver sets. A day after dropping a wide-open TD pass in a limited-contact scrimmage, Harding came back in the full-contact scrimmage to grab four of the five passes thrown in his direction, including one that resulted in a 58-yard TD. The Warriors think Harding is so sure-handed he is now the backup holder. QB David Graves did a good job, completing 9 of 13 for 147 yards, with throws to nine different receivers. He wasn’t intercepted. Graves was 8 of 8 on passes to the slots, backs and tight ends. The offensive line, down to single digits because of injuries, did a good job on run-blocking, particularly in the red-zone segments. The competition is intense between centers Ben Clarke and Kody Afusia. Speed back Will Gregory is proving to be a good between-the-tackles runner; he scored two TDs. In implementing the 5-2 scheme, defensive coordinator Thom Kaumeyer emphasized that he did not want robots. Translation: The defensive players have the green light to become playmakers within the concept of the defensive scheme. The defense made six sacks, forced a fumble and intercepted a pass.
The not-so-good: The wideouts caught only one of the six passes in which they were the primary target (there was a drop and four overthrown passes). There were two costly offensive penalties, with one wiping out wideout Trevor Davis’ 40-yard gain, and twice the offense had only 10 players on the field. Dante Johnson made a nice interception of a Jeremy Higgins pass, but then was stripped of the football on the return. Ball security goes both ways.
Most wanted: For the first six practices, Tavita Woodard was one of the Warriors’ top defensive ends. The past three, he was one of the top tight ends. Woodard made two tough catches on crossing patterns in which it took a group effort to bring him down. He has the hands, size and grittiness needed for a tight end in this offense. His work at TE was supposed to be a one-day experiment that keeps getting renewed. Defensive line coach Lewis Powell, meanwhile, waits. “Lew is mad at me,” head coach Norm Chow said. “I said, ‘I wouldn’t respect you if you didn’t protect your guys.'” Kaumeyer avoided the debate, saying the decision is made above his pay grade.
Most dependable: Kicker Tyler Hadden is healthy and confident. He converted all of his FG attempts yesterday. In the “game-winning” drill, special teams coordinator Chris “Demo” Demarest wanted to set up for a 48-yard attempt. Hadden requested a 50-yarder, which he easily made. “Kicking is a big confidence thing,” Hadden said, “and I feel confident now.”
The grade: “This was the first time we did this,” Chow said. “Overall, it was OK.”
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The Warriors’ 2012 version of the haka makes its public debut in an event tonight.
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Happy birthday to Mr. “America” — (Jesse) James.
And happy birthday to Dr. Elizabeth Ignacio, one of Hawaii’s greatest surgeons who is skilled in the operating room and the aisles of Trader Joe’s.