I've read the J&C and GBI over the last few days along with the help of purduebuzztap on Twitter in an effort to glean info, perhaps connect a few dots and assess the state of Hope's team just days into his tenure as head coach...Here's what I've gathered thus far:
-Lack of crisp play is a theme, now. I think we all knew it was going to happen...but let's hope this doesn't continue. Whether it's over-zealous receivers dropping passes, a ton of guys throwing up on the brand-new turf, RB/QBs struggling with exchanges or minor fights breaking out, this team is clearly going through growing pains. Hopefully these frustrating drills in the early stages of the season lead to a team that play with purpose when it counts.
-I'm bothered by this, but it seems Purdue's morale-leader might not be on the field as often as many had hoped and is still far-from-confident in his surgically-repaired knee. Hope has been slow to speak glowingly on Jaycen Taylor's progress and today came right out and mentioned Taylor's importance to special teams and his role in specific situations. The good news is, from everything I hear from players, Taylor will be nothing but positive as he helps Bolden, McBurse and others prepare for more carries as he tries to get himself back to being confident in his lower body. More telling that Hopes words, or lack thereof are those of Taylor when he talks to the press.
-Jason Werner is still not completely-confident in his oft-injured back...but, he's practicing with the ones. I'll admit it as I have before- I love this guy...and have talked to him on multiple occasions, so I'm rooting hard for his success and even moreso for his health in the long-term. I'm glad he's not pushing through the little tweaks and tightening and is coming back slowly. I hope and pray he makes it through this season healthy and in a football uniform. Much like Taylor, the young guys on the team will greatly benefit from Werner's leadership on the field and on the sidelines.
-While Keith Carlos may be wearing #1 this season, it looks to me like he won't even be a starter at WR. Granted, we haven't seen the new receivers in a scrimmage situation yet, but if the head coach likes someone, they'll probably end up on the field...The guy that Hope continually showers with compliments is Antavian Edison. While there is no official depth chart that has been published, he's a "one" at this point.