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vrabinec 08-07-2008 11:59 AM

Wednesday's practice notes
 
While the rest of the team is going through walk-throughs, the kickers are booting kickoffs. Teeing it up at the thirty with a bout a 10 MPH wind at their backs, Ernster puts the first one about 3 yards deep in the end zone.

Reed kicks one to the 2 yard line.

Ernster puts one 8 yards deep into the end zone. Heís kicking it farther than Reed, but the trajectory is about 20 feet shallower at its highest point than Reedís kicks. So, Iím not sure how much weíd gain by having Ernster kick off instead of Reed.

Reed is the only one who practices the on-side kick. He drops 3 right where he wants them, then hits one too far, out of bounds.

Ernster puts one 1 yard out of the end zone, but again it was more of a line drive. Still, if the ballís going out of the end zone, pretty tough to return it.

In the walk-through, Washington makes a fancy one-handed catch. Too bad he canít do that with his shoulder pads and helmet on.

Aside from the good hands people, the on-side kick first team has Fox, Humpal, Frazier, Madison, and Mason. Might bode well for them, if youíre rooting for any of them to make the team.

After stretches, the team splits and I go off into the farthest corner to watch the DBís. Itís all the way across 3 fields, so Iíll miss a couple of the first plays when they go to the scrimmage. Troy is there in street clothes. I was hoping to see them going through some drills, but for 10 minutes they have walk-throughs on rotating coverages. Nasty stuff. Iíd hate to be a rookie trying to remember all that crap.

While theyíre doing that, the defensive linemen are hitting the three man sled as groups. Of course Hoke comes up to take the hits with the first line. Paxson takes the nose for the second line between Eason and Kirschke. With McBean, Prince and Clement running as the third line. The third line doesnít hit the sled anywhere near as hard as the first two lines.

The linemen then switch to delivering a two-handed jam to the man, then clubbing him aside. The RDE hits with his right arm, the LDE with his left. The nose tackles take turns on each side.

Paxson is very quick, he hits the man hard and has a nice club, but at the end of the delivery, he doesnít push the man behind him with the same authority that Smith and Keisel do. Still, he looks pretty good.

Prince has bad form, heís slapping the man instead of clubbing, his arm is coming across his body in a push motion instead of being stiff, straight out and used as a club. Coach Mitchell has some words with him about it.

Casey Hampton is off on the lower, fourth field. Heís in shorts and an un-numbered jersey, and a helmet, running maneuvers by himself. Heís coming out of his stance and cutting like a wide receiver, I guess to get his legs under him. It looks like heís lost about 20 pounds since I saw him at the first practice, another 20 and heíll look like he did last year. Another 50 and heíll be back to his rookie form. Even with the extra weight, heís the most agile of our defensive linemen. Kinda makes me sad to think that, just like Levon Kirkland, the only thing that stood between him and a shot at the Hall of Fame was the tickle of Twinkies on the tonsils.

Ike leaves the practice briefly to go to the bathroom (too much info?)

On the far field, theyíre running post patterns, Dixon misses Sherrod, a couple yards behind him.

They try it again, and this time Dixon hits him in the numbers. Heís getting on the same page as the receivers more and more. As he does, you can tell heís far more of a natural passer than someone like Kordell was. He has a better motion, looser arm, he looks more like a QB.

Potts hits Ward in stride.

Dixon hits #13 in stride (still not sure who #13 is, heís a tiny white guy whoís pretty shifty and sure handed, but has no shot of making the team)

They practice rolling out. To the right first. Ben hits Miller in stride.

Batch hits Spaeth in stride.

When Dixon rolls out, heís smooth like a wide receiver, he hits Sherrod in stride.

They roll to the left, and Dixon throws one behind Sherrod.

Ben hits Miller in stride.

Batch throws one behind Spaeth.

Dixon hits Miller in stride.

Potts throws on at Sherrodís ankles.

The DTís are taking on the double team. Hoke holds his ground and splits the double team. (of course, keep in mind this is the other defensive linemen acting as blockers, so the guys may look a little better holding their ground in these drills than they would against real offensive linemen.)

All of the linemen look good holding their ground except McBean. He may be the most athletic of our defensive linemen, but unfortunately he is also the worst football player of the group. Too bad.

The inside linebackers are zig-zaagging through 4 full sized dummies, clubbing them as they go though to simulate fighting their way through traffic. Timmons is very quick though the line and hits the dummies hard.

Humpal is even quicker through the line, but doesnít hit the dummies as hard.

Farrior is smooth and flawless, he times the hits just right and strides perfectly to get through as fast as possible while inflicting the hardest blows. Then he clowns around by stomping one of the dummies that refuses to stand on its own.

Foote looks good in the drill, heís quick. Not quite as powerful as Timmons or Farrior, but but better than the other ILBís

Fox is weak at hitting the dummies. I think the coaching staff has a tough decision to make with him. He is clearly the toughest of our special teamers to block, but he is also a problem as a linebacker if heís forced to come in the game. If we get a couple injuries and he has to come in, opponents will attack him with great success IMO.

The defensive backs finally start their drills. They have a grid of strings set up to simulate going through tires like we old-timers used to do. Travis Williams is very quick through the tires, quicker than Mundy who struggles a bit.

#21 missteps a bit. Thereís no defensive #21 on my roster, just Moore. So, since thereís no #25 out on the field, Iím assuming Clark is wearing #21 for some reason for now. He has the most sure hands of the DBís as they are thrown the ball after getting through the grid.

Ike is the smoothest and most powerful of the DBís going through the grid.

Anthony Smith is very quick through the grid. Iím really ticked off at him right now for what he does later in the practice, but I canít deny that he has great footwork. Of the safeties, heís the only one whose footwork is as good as the cornerís.

Williams goes through again, and looks very good, smooth, fluid.

Assuming Clark is #21, he doesnít look too quick stepping through the grid.

Mundy almost trips, his footwork is worse than just about anyone.

Grant Mason does trip up, gets his feet tangled in the string. He better hope he makes an impression on special teams, because heís clearly not on the same agility level as the other guys.

The DBís turn to tackling drills, tackling the sled. Mundy hits the sled too high with his butt up and his back bowed. The coach gives him some instruction and he comes back and looks better doing it, but heís still a bit too high.

Anthony Smith misses the sled, it glances off the tip of his shoulder and spins him around. The other DBís get a chuckle out of it and give him some crap. He comes back and hits the thing hard with good form. Just lost concentration the first time I guess.

Roy Lewis really hits the sled hard. Good form, gets his butt down and picks it up. Heís not much on footwork, but he looks like a solid tackler.

On the middle field, the tight ends are blocking on the OLBís, the drill is simple, the tight end tries to get outside the OLB and hook him. Miller hooks Donovan Woods and seals him off.

They try Arnold Harrison against Miller, and Miller seals him off too with perfect form.

Patrick Bailey beats Speath. Speath looks a half second too slow getting out of his stance to effectively get outside the OLB.

They go again, and Speath does a better job, doesnít get him completely sealed off, but gets in good enough position to make it difficult for Bailey to make the play.

Dekker is quick and gets in position to block Bruce Davis, but Davis is too strong for him and gets around anyway, Dekker has to hold him.

They try again, and Davis beats him outside.

Woodley tosses Miller aside like heís a rag doll.

Spaeth canít get outside position on Timmons. Not sure what Timmons is doing working out with the OLBís.

Miller hooks Andre Frazier and seals him off.

Dekker and Bruce Davis stalemate. Davis doesnít get turned, but Dekker gets him tied up.

They try again, and Davis throws Dekker side and gets outside.

the line.

vrabinec 08-07-2008 12:00 PM

Re: Wednesday's practice notes
 
First scrimmage:

Play #3 (missed the first 2) I see the end of a play where we had some sort of secondary breakdown, and Ben hits Ward deep for a touchdown.

Play #4: Receivers are covered, Washington canít shake loose of Gay, Ben scrambles to his left and tries to hit him anyway but the pass is too low and wide left.

Play #5: Ben hits Washington on a 10 yard slant in front of Mundy.

Play #6: Baker fakes outside and beats McFadden on a 7 yard slant, Batch hits him in the numbers.

Play #7: Stapleton stuffs Martavius Price on the bull rush, and Batch hits Bloom on a crossing pattern out of the slot.

Play #8: Starks stuffs Martavius Prince, again on the bull rush. Baker is open over the middle, but Batch throws it way behind him and Patrick Bailey drops the interception.

Play #9: Tony Hills does a nice job blocking Price. Batch hits #13 in stride on a crossing pattern and #13 drops the ball.

Play #10: Batch drops back to pass and doesnít see anyone open. Sweed is three yards behind Anthony Smith, trying to get Batchís attention, but Batch takes off to the right and runs out of bounds. Looks like Smith is still letting people get behind him. If thatís the QB and top receiver of the Patriots, Colts, Bengals, Browns, Texans, Cowboys, or Giants, 9 or our games this year, itís a certain touchdown.

Play #11: Timmons beats Hills like a drum on the backside blitz and is in Pottsí face before he can see Baker breaking open over the middle.

Play #12: Farrior comes on the inside blitz and is in as Potts throws into triple coverage on Baker. Incomplete. Bad decision.

They practice kickoff returns. Reed kicks it 3 yards deep in the end zone (donít get excited, thereís a tail wind and itís a lot easier with practice balls that are scuffed and soft) Mendenhall is back to take the kick. Interesting. Usually, when Cowher used to want to toughen up a rookie skill position player, heíd have him field kicks and punts for a while. Wonder if Tomlin is doing the same thing here.

Bloom fields a kick and brings it back. I know they arenít going full speed after the return guy, but Bloom puts on a spin move thatís so ridiculously quick it makes me giggle.

Next scrimmage, starting at their own 10:

Play #1: Mendenhall runs left. Clark comes up on the blitz and is in the hole. Marvel rolls Keisel out of the play.

Play #2: Ben hits Miller on a 7 yard crossing pattern.

Play #3: Ben hits Washington for 7 on a comeback at the sideline.

Play #4: Ben hits Miller over the middle again, but Carter comes up and knocks the ball out of Millerís hands before he can tuck it away.

Play #5: Mahan is blatantly holding Hoke (even the coaches call it out), and Willie runs through the hole on the right, but only for 2 yards as the ILBís pile it up. Bring it back.

Play #6: Mendenhall sweeps left but thereís nothing there. Our backup RDE and ROLB are doing a good job of controlling the line, but I canít see who it is because the fat lady and he chubby son in front of me are standing and waddling out of the bleachers, going for a dozen hot dogs no doubt. Mendenhall cuts it all the way back to the other side, and Woods is out of position because he was giving chase, and Humpal is tied up in traffic inside. Big gain.

Play #7: Marvel stuffs Kirschke on the bull rush. Baker beats Gay and Batch hits him on a 10 yard out.

Play #8: Mendenhall sweeps left. Starks is in at left tackle and he rolls Kirschke to open a nice hole. Starks looks much better on the left side than he did on the right.

Play #9: Mendenhall sweeps right and Colon opens a nice hole.

They practice field goals:

Ernster gets the ball down nice and quick, looks like a solid holder. Reed punches a couple through. He doesnít miss a single kick all practice.

They practice the pooch kick, and Moore bobbles one. Iím getting a bit worried about his hands on the kick returns. Thatís the second or third time Iíve seen him bobble the thing.

Reed punches a 48 yarder through.

They line up to try a 53 yarder, but itís a fake. McFadden is the gunner, and heís not fooled at all. Heís right there to make the play.

The special teams coach simulates time picking down by counting down from ten and the snap goes off without a hitch and Reed boots a 38 yarder.

The linemen go off to the center field for the one-on-one pass rush drill. I guess they moved the drill from under the pines by the fans so some loser like me doesnít listen in on the conversations. Silverback loops wide around Marvel. He got around him, but it was a really wide trajectory.

Keisel looks like a little boy running into his father when he goes up against Kemoeatu. I may have been pleased with Essex at left guard, but Kemo is something else.

Mahan does a good job of stopping Hoke. Stood him up.

Simmons stuffs Aaron Smith with perfect form.

Woodley blows right by Colon like he wasnít even there. I must sound like a broken record saying that, but I havenít seen anyone block Woodley one-on-one yet. In the scrimmage, the offense was double teaming him.

Marvel stuffs Keisel, doesnít give an inch.

Kemo stuffs McBean.

Paxson beats Mahan with a nice swim move.

On the near field in the 7 on 7, Holmes toasts Ike on a 15 yard crossing pattern and Ben hits him in the hands.

Woodley beats Colon with a rip move.

Gay is all over Nate Washington on a post, Ben checks down to Moore.

Silverback tries a fake speed rush outside then cuts in, but Starks stuffs him.

Kyle Clement beats Essex with a nice rip move. Clement is starting to get my attention. Donít know much about him, but heís a player.

Hartwig stuffs Hoke who tries a rip move.

Lentz stuffs McBean who tries some move that Iím not sure what it is.

Martavius Price takes a shot and beats Lentz by popping him head on then jamming him to the side.

Starks stuffs Bruce Davis. Davis tried a rip and a pretty decent spin.

Davis takes another shot, tries to rip inside, but Starks swallows him up.

Batch hits Baker on a deep post pattern.

Sweed beats Madison inside and Batch hits him on a 7 yard crossing pattern. Sweed is running much better inside routes than he did in the first practice. He seems to be learning quickly.

Patrick Bailey puts a beautiful swim move on Lentz and beats him inside.

Woodley blows right past Parquet on an inside power move.

Baker beats Deshea on a deep crossing pattern, but Batch misses him.

Bruce Davis beats Hills with a speed rush outside.

Batch look to throw to Bloom, but Deshea has him covered underneath. Batch checks off to Speath and hits him in the hands, but Carter comes up and knocks the ball out of his hands.

Woodley blows by Parquet on the outside speed rush.

Potts hits Speath on a 10 yard slant behind Farrior.

Bruce Davis beats Hills with a nice rip move.

The coach tells them to go again, and this time Davis tries an outside speed rush. Hills does a better job of getting his feet out there to get in position, but heís off balance. Davis could have pulled him over forward but doesnít try and Hills makes the block.

Hartwig stuff Clement on the bull rush.

Dixon hits Baker on a skinny post, beautiful pass. Just wait until you see Dixon in the pre-season game. Yeah, heís gonna screw up at times, but youíll love the passes he hits when heís on the same page as the receiver.

Keisel beats Parquet by punching into him, then yanking his arm down and sliding around.

Silverback blows by Hills on the outside speed rush.

On the near field, Ben hits Ward on a deep crossing pattern. Ward has tucked away the ball and is turning to go back to the line for the next play when Anthony Smith comes up and decks Ward. Iím furious. Now, I know Ward is no angel, but that was nothing short of a sucker punch. Ward stays on the ground for 10 seconds and the coaches immediately pull Smith off the field. The crowd is quite, but they coaches and players are across the field from us and I canít hear anything thatís said, but Tomlin goes over and I see flame coming out of his mouth. Then LeBeau goes to work on Smith. He never raises his head to look at them, he just kneels there. Athletically heís the second best safety on the team after Troy. But this guy has issues between the ears. Iíve been a supporter of his, but Iím losing that battle with myself right now.

Ben hits Miller on a short skinny post down the middle.

Spaeth makes the catch of the day, a one handed over the shoulder grab (left handed none the less) on a deep post pattern to the right. He had a Ĺ step on Timmons and Ben laid it in there perfectly.

Ike has Holmes blanketed on a deep crossing pattern and Ben checks down to Moore.

Clark has Reid covered out of the slot. Ike jams Sweed at the line and doesnít let him get off. Ben checks down to Latsko.

vrabinec 08-07-2008 12:01 PM

Re: Wednesday's practice notes
 
Last scrimmage:

Play #1: Screen left to Ward. Kemo is out in front and canít find anyone to block. Of course, itís not all his fault as nobody on the defense wants to be the one that takes him on. Kemo finally rolls Foote who was late getting over to the play. Nice 10-15 yard gain.

Play #2: Paker runs off-tackle left, but Clark blows the play up before it gets started. Parker is still not running 100%. I donít know at this point whether heís holding back because itís practice or if he isnít right yet, but had this been the old Willie, he would have gotten the corner on Clark and had a 20 yard run. If he canít turn the corner on Clark, heís gonna have trouble making those long runs weíre used to seeing.

Play #3: Kemo blows Hoke off the line 3 yards, but the ILBís collapse nicely. Moore skips into the line, not sure what he was doing.

Play #4: Hartwig does a nice job of sealing off the left side, and Parker cuts through on the right. Timmons comes over from the back side and keeps it to a 4 yard gain.

Play #5: WR screen to Sweed. Mundy reads it well and comes up to slice through and keep it to a 3 yard gain.

Play #6: Russel runs right, but Timmons beats him into the hole from the back side. No gain.

Play #7: Reid comes back out of the slot and Dixon fakes the reverse left then takes off on a naked bootleg right. Donovan Woods bites on the fake like a Large Mouth Bass on a Minnow, and Dixon sprints around the end for a long gain, maybe even a touchdown. For a rookie, Dixon really has good ball handling skills, sells the fake well.

Play #8: Vincent tries a plunge up the middle, but Humpal slides nicely into the hole and stops it at the line.

Play #9: Bruce Davis blows by the left tackle and is in on Potts before he can throw the ball, Davis bats it back into Pottsí face.

Play #10: Simmons loops around Miller on a short pull to the right, Woodley gets caught on an inside rush and Miller drives him down the line. Moore cuts outside for a long gain.

Play #11: Moore up the middle for a couple yards. It looks like Hartwig is running with the first team line now. Donít know if thatís permanent.

Play #12: Kemo has Hoke blocked, and Russel runs left behind him. But Farrior sniffs it out and comes across from the other side to stuff it at the line.

PisnNapalm 08-07-2008 12:13 PM

Re: Wednesday's practice notes
 
Wow... Thanks for the notes. :)

revefsreleets 08-07-2008 12:28 PM

Re: Wednesday's practice notes
 
A) Love what I'm reading about Kemo
B) Love what I'm reading about Woodley...knew from his days as a Wolverine he was going to be special
C) WTF is up with Smith? I was hoping he'd get his head in the game
D) Thanks for the camp notes...they are the best I've seen anywhere...

DACEB 08-07-2008 01:16 PM

Re: Wednesday's practice notes
 
great stuff, Living in mass. I really appreciate this!

The Duke 08-07-2008 02:02 PM

Re: Wednesday's practice notes
 
too bad about mcbean, but there's still time

Quote:

Keisel looks like a little boy running into his father when he goes up against Kemoeatu. I may have been pleased with Essex at left guard, but Kemo is something else.
lol, glad to hear that. the man's a beast.

dixon and davis sure seem to have improved after their slow starts, can't wait to see them in action

Blitzburgh_Fever 08-07-2008 02:23 PM

Re: Wednesday's practice notes
 
Thanks for the notes again Vrabinec. It's a bit disconcerting that two days before a preseason game we're still playing musical chairs at C, LG, and potentially RT. Ah well we still have a month before anything serious.

Is Woodley seriously that good?

Hopefully Kemo continues to step up nicely.

Is Foote still lining up with the first team, or are he and Timmons switching? Is Timmons getting any better on run plays?

If Bruce Davis had to come in and play, do you think he could keep up with the defense? He's showing flashes, but I guess I'm wondering if he's athletically or mentally way behind, at least noticably.

Is Mendenhall still hesitating too much in the backfield? I remember him saying as soon as you saw a hole you had to punch through it, wondering if he's taken that to heart yet.

Thanks again for the awesome reports! :tt02:

tony hipchest 08-07-2008 03:19 PM

Re: Wednesday's practice notes
 
Quote:

#21 missteps a bit. There’s no defensive #21 on my roster, just Moore. So, since there’s no #25 out on the field, I’m assuming Clark is wearing #21 for some reason for now. He has the most sure hands of the DB’s as they are thrown the ball after getting through the grid.
clark wanted to switch his number to honor sean taylor. NFL said he couldnt switch but hes allowed to wear it in camp.

excellent, excellent stuff. :thumbsup: thanks!

ive read all your notes and it really seems ben, farrior, miller, and woodley have been perfect and timmons and harrison have been excellent.

is it really as good as it sounds?

Dino 6 Rings 08-07-2008 03:53 PM

Re: Wednesday's practice notes
 
Fantastic Notes, wtf is up with Anthony Smith...he looking for a trade?


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