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2023 Reese's Senior Bowl: Top Observations from Day 1 as Luke Getsy leads American Team

Nicholas Moreano Avatar
February 1, 2023

MOBILE, Ala. — With the sun beating down on Hancock Whitney Stadium, the sound of pads popping could be heard throughout the American Team practice.

Not much music was played and the rest was minimal in between drills on Tuesday morning. The structure was extremely similar to a Bears practice, and that made sense because Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy was calling the shots as the head coach for the American Team.

Instead of calling offensive plays, Getsy was making an effort to be present for his players and giving a concerted effort to work with several different position groups.

It’s a juggling act that is new for the 38-year-old coach.

“Yeah, for sure,” Getsy said. “We’re doing all that stuff. I even catch myself in the middle of practice taking a second to step back and actually evaluate a little bit rather than trying to coach, and then the coach comes out. Just trying to balance all that stuff, just trying to collect all the information that we can.”

I asked Executive Director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl Jim Nagy what stands out about Getsy, and he said that Getsy “can command a room.” That was apparent with how smooth the practice went, especially when compared to the National Team practice.

At the end of practice, the American team crowded around center field to watch three reps of one-on-ones. At stake for the offense and defense was 15 pushups. The units were tied at one apiece going into the last rep. SMU wide receiver Rashee Rice lined up against South Carolina’s Darius Rush. The quarterback missed Rice and the offense got to work.

“We just did the big guys first,” Getsy said. “They just did a pass rush and then we transitioned to the skills. So then the backs had to go against a linebacker, tight ends went against a safety and the receiver went against a corner, one on one throwing the ball in the air. So just an opportunity to compete, just get a little bit of O versus D.”

A lot happened on Day 1 of the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl practices. Here are some of my top observations from Tuesday’s practices.

National Team

For the first practice, I primarily focused on offensive and defensive line play.

The first note that I wrote down was about Ohio State right tackle Dawand Jones.

“O-line 79 is fucking huge.”

That’s not an exaggeration either. Jones measured in at 6-foot-8, 375-pounds and has the largest wingspan in Senior Bowl history. I have never seen a bigger football player in person.

One of Jones’ best reps of the day came against Georgia Tech’s Keion White. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive end tried to use a speed rush to get past Jones, but the gigantic offensive tackle was step for step with him in one-on-one drills.

Another player who stands out on the offensive line is North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch. Just look at the guy.

He also showed some good pass blocking reps against Oklahoma State’s Tyler Lacy, who had a pretty good practice. Mauch had two “wins” against Lacy in back-to-back reps during team drills.

Mauch wasn’t perfect, though. After Mauch sat out a few plays, Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore beat him in a one-on-one pass rush rep.

I also want to highlight Arizona State defensive lineman Nesta Jade Silvera and Wisconsin’s Keeanu Benton. Silvera is listed at 6-foot-1, 307 pounds. He’s compact and that plays to his advantage with leverage and driving opposing offensive lineman backward. Benton showed some quick, violent hands in his pass rush moves. Just look at what Benton does to North Carolina offensive lineman Asim Richards.

American Team

To change things up, I focused more on the skilled players, specifically the wide receivers and defensive backs.

Two clear-cut winners stand out for me: Houston wide receiver Nathaniel Dell and Kansas State Julius Brents.

Let’s start with Dell. He is only 5-foot-8, 163 pounds. But, man, he is smooth with his routes and knows how to create separation. Defensive backs had a hard time covering Dell all practice.

On the other side of the ball, Brents was outstanding in coverage. One-on-one drills are supposed to be heavily favored for the offensive player, but Brents was equaling the playing field with his ability to stay connected to opposing wide receivers.

He also plays with some swagger. There was a rep in one-on-ones where Brents essentially ran the route for the wide receiver and forced an incomplete pass. Brents yelled after the rep, but the referee threw the penalty flag and Brents was shocked with the call.

Two other players I want to highlight are Princeton wide receiver Andrei Iosivas and Miami cornerback Tyrique Stevenson. Iosivas is listed at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds. I liked what I saw from his route running and his ability to catch the ball cleanly.

As for Stevenson, he plays physical. He was flagged a couple of times for being a bit too “handsy,” but he still was in good position in a majority of his reps in one-on-ones.

Stevenson did get matched up on Iosivas for one of the one-on-one plays, and despite Iosivas running a double move up the field, Stevenson was there step for step. Iosivas still ended up making the catch. It was a good rep for both players.

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