The Arizona Wildcats opened up Wednesday night's practice for observation thanks to new Wildcat Club perks or something, so we all got to stay and watch the entire practice for a change.
What we saw was Anu Solomon take just about all of the first-team reps at quarterback the entire night.
The order was crystal clear throughout practice. It went something like this:
2. Jerrard Randall
3. Jesse Scroggins
4. Connor Brewer
5. Brandon Dawkins
Don't know if it was just set up like this for that particular practice and it's constantly changing, or something more. Another open practice on Saturday should clear that up. Coach Rodriguez did say after practice that he thinks by this time next week, there will be a noticeable separation by one or two guys, and he wants two guys he can run with when the season starts in three weeks.
Scroggins did look better than Randall during semi-live action. Randall is still overthrowing his target more often than the rest of the quarterbacks. Brewer has his moments, but then other times, he makes bad decisions. He also struggles to get the ball to the outside as quickly and accurately as the others.
Tevis and Phillips hurt
Jared Tevis was a non-participant in practice due to a hamstring injury. Nate Phillips was in a green jersey (limited contact) while he deals with a shoulder bruise.
Other notables that were not participating fully included cornerback Devin Holiday and defensive lineman Dwight Melvin (concussion).
DaVonte' Neal's new role
While it seems Neal is the main guy in the kick and punt return game, it looks like he will also be participating on another special teams squad.
Neal was taking reps as the holder on field goals early in practice, which could make him the fastest field goal holder in the history of football.
"DaVonte' and Josh Kern, we're working those two guys out," coach Rodriguez said. "Josh is an ex-quarterback, and DaVonte' had done it before so we're trying those two right now. They're our top two."
I'm in love with the different types of sweep plays that the quarterbacks are working on with the wide receivers during practice. Today, the QBs would send the receiver in motion, take the snap in shotgun, and as the receiver was running in front of them, they would just lightly shove the ball out in front of them. Neal, Samajie Grant, Tyrell Johnson, and Kaelin DeBoskie continue to be the top options for those types of plays.
First team defense
With Tevis hurt, and Tra'Mayne Bondurant on the sideline not in pads, this is what the first team defense looked like:
Defensive ends: Reggie Gilbert and Dan Pettinato
Defensive tackle: Jeff Worthy
Linebackers: Scooby Wright (MLB), Keoni Bush-Loo and Jake Matthews
Cornerbacks: Jonathan McKnight and Jarvis McCall Jr.
Safeties: Will Parks, Jourdon Grandon and Blake Brady
A couple wide receivers-turned-defensive backs Cam Denson and Abraham Mendivil each picked off a pass during practice.
A couple of beefs
During 7-on-7s, David Richards and Patrick Glover got into a little bit of a skirmish, ending with Richards punching Glover's helmet. Richards still earned player of the day honors though.
Players of the Day: O: David Richards D: Scooby Wright #HardEdgeCamp— Matt Dudek (@AZ_Matty_D) August 7, 2014
The other player of the day, Scooby Wright, seems to have some sort of beef with DaVonte' Neal on the field as well. The two of them got together on a couple of occasions and were trading shoves well after the play each time.
Running back battle
Do not be surprised if Terris Jones-Grigsby and Jared Baker split carries evenly as we head into the year.
"It's neck and neck," Rodriguez said of the competition. "I haven't seen a lot of separation between them."
Arizona's next open practice is Saturday night. Also, be sure to watch what happened at the end of this practice, when the offensive linemen were fielding punts.