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Re: Notes from Saturday's practice
First scrimmage of the day:
Play #1: Ward beats Deshea by five yards, but Batch throws it behind him on a deep out to the left. (Ben is sitting out the scrimmages today)
Play #2: Willie Colon makes a nice block on a Donovan Woods speed rush to give Batch time and he hits Moore on a swing pass to the right side for a tidy 7-10 yard gain.
Play #3: Kendall Simmons and Mahan pick up a stunt on the line nicely to buy Batch time, he hits Ward on a curl in front of Carter for a 10 yard gain.
Play #4: Gerran Walker is open on a deep out but Batch checks down and misses Carey Davis out of the backfield wide, behind him.
Play #5: Darnell Stapleton makes a nice blitz pickup and Dixon throws to Baker who is double covered closely by Grant Mason and Roy Lewis, but Baker makes a great catch to pull it away from them for a ten yard gain at the left sideline.
Play #6: Kyle Clement spanks Matt Lentz and stuffs a play before it can get started. Just overpowered him with great leverage under his pads and threw him off to the side.
Play #7: #13 beats Travis Williams on a 5 yard out and Potts hits him on the numbers.
Play #8: Potts missed Moore who was blanketed by Deshea. Potts should have never tried to make the throw.
Play #9: Parguet stuffs Paxson and Potts has all day to throw. He throws a 5 yard out to Baker who makes a diving catch (the catch of the day so far) to haul it in.
Play #10:Kendall Simmons does a nice job to stop Aaron Smith, and Nate Washington blows by the secondary and is wide open on the post pattern. Batch throws a perfect 40 yard bomb to Washington who is 5 yards behind the secondary and he drops it.
Play #11: Batch hits Baker on a 5 yard slant. Baker had beaten McFadden with a nice head fake out. I notice that the pass protection is leaps and bounds better today than the first practice…..of course, Woodley is in street clothes.
Play #12: Batch hits Sweed on a quick 5 yard out, the ball bounces off Sweed’s hands and McFadden makes a spectacular diving interception to snag it just before it was going to hit the grass.
Kickoff drills. Drummond and Bloom are taking kicks. Both catch the ball very well. Drummond shows better judgment on touchbacks. (They vary the depth of the kicks)
Timmons and Mundy are teamed as a pair of kick return blockers whose job it is to pick up the other teams gunner. On the first play, they have trouble with Ike Taylor who’s acting as the gunner, he beats them back to the point of the block and splits them.
Martavious Prince, Jordan Reffert and Kyle Clement form a wedge in front of our return man, then the coaches try a second line of Clement, Darnell Stapleton, and Doug Legursky. The second line looks smoother in their movements.
Spaeth and Cody Boyd for a pair of gunner blockers, and they do a nice job of stuffing Foote who’s acting as the gunner.
Anthony Madison and Micah Rucker are teamed up. Madison basically blocks the gunner on his own as Rucker is slow getting back and looks lethargic.
Nick Eason and Patrick Bailey are paired. Eason really gets back well for a big man. Destroys the gunner.
Then the coaches try Bailey with McBean. McBean is quicker than Eason getting back, but doesn’t have the same punch at the end of the play.
Heath Miller and Timmons are paired up and they look surprisingly pathetic as Carey Davis beats them far easier than any other pair has been beaten so far.
Bailey and Limas Sweed are teamed together, and they are slow getting back to the point of the block, but they bury Russel who’s acting as the gunner, knocking him to the ground, the first pancake block of the drill.
Play #1: Moore on a nice blitz pick up. Nate Washington beats Ike Taylor on an 8 yard out and Batch hits him in the numbers….and Nate catches the ball! Yay!
Play #2: Mendenhall runs a sweep left and cuts back through a nice hole between Marvel and Essex. He really does a nice job of setting up that end to think he’s going outside to make it easier for the tackle to get that kick out block.
Play #3: Ike has Washington covered like a blanket, but Batch throws it to him anyway. Washington outjumps Ike, but doesn’t come down with it as Ike rips his hand away at the last second.
Play #4: Parker gets a handoff to the right, but McFadden blows into the hole and stuff the play. 2 yard gain.
Play #5: Dekker makes a nice catch on a ball a bit outside and high on a 10 yard out in front of William Gay. Nice pass from Dixon on the play as he was rolling out to his left and had heavy pressure from the inside.
Play #6: Dixon hits Bloom on a 10 yard crossing pattern out of the slot. Bloom makes the catch, but Grant Mason pokes the ball out of his hands from behind before they get to the sideline. Fumble.
Play #7: Gary Russel runs behind the right guard, but Martavious Prince and Reffert are there to stuff the play for a yard or two gain.
Play #8: Potts can’t find anyone open, checks down to Russel who is very tightly covered by Travis Williams. The ball bounces off their ankles.
Play #9: Nice inside shuttle pass from Potts to Reid who was coming across in motion. Haven’t seen much of Reid in the scrimmages.
Play #10: Moore is swinging out of the backfield and appears to be the primary target, but he’s decked by Hoke. Potts then throws to Washington who beats Deshea on a 5 yard out.
Play #11: Mendenhall blows through a hole on the right side. Since the backs are not allowed to be tackled, not sure how much yardage that would have gotten. Anywhere from 2-5 yards.
Play #12: Marvel stuffs Silverback to buy Batch time, but Batch misses Baker who was wide open on the right sideline. Timmons was in the backfield on an inside blitz but probably a hair late.
They practice a pooch punt from the field goal formation. Not sure if this is just during practice, but the outside guys on the field goal blocking team are Ike and Deshea.
Drummon, Moore and Bloom return the punts, and to be honest, I can’t tell who the best option will be. We’ll have to see in games. Drummon has some moves, Moore is smooth and takes the best angles, and Bloom is just really quick.
The team moves to 7 on 7 and line drills. I stay with the 7 on 7 this time.
Ward beats Silverback on a 5 yard slant, Ben hits him ½ stride behind.
Miller blows by Farrior and is wide open, down the seam in the middle and Ben hits him in stride. Sweed was five yards behind Carter on the deep pattern, but a little too late. Remember how Plaxico was a little slow getting off the line, then was real fast once he got in full stride, Sweed is similar. He is having a bit of trouble getting off the line because his hands aren’t strong enough to push corners out of the way, and he’s too big and gangly to juke them at the line. He needs a year in the weight room. But, once he’s in the open, the only one of our corners who can hang with him in full stride is Ike.
The 7 on 7 reveals Reid’s issue too. He can’t get off the line either. And that’s bad for a slot receiver. So, forget all that gushing I did about him in the first practice report. He still looks great when there’s nobody on him, but put a defender in front of him, and the only move he seems to have to get off the line is to outrun the defender and try to loop around.
Ward beats McFadden on a 10 yard out. Travis Williams had Nate Washington blanketed.
Grant Mason and Travis Williams have Baker double covered, Ben checks down to Moore swinging out of the backfield.
Bruce Davis finds himself covering Ward, and it’s not fair. Ward beats him on a down-out-and up. Gerran Walker was even more open underneath, but Ben opted for the tougher, longer throw. I can’t tell how good Davis is because, at this point, he has no clue where he’s supposed to be. He keeps looking around him, looking at the guys inside for help, but he ends up doing a Riverdance jig where he stands. LeBeau’s defense confuses the crap out of another one.
Sweed beats Maddison on a deep curl and Batch hits him in the numbers.
Batch forces a throw into Cody Boyd who is well covered by Mundy and Williams, but Boyd uses his body well to make a 5 yard catch at the sideline.
Bloom is covered well by Madison, Batch has to throw it away.
Baker fakes Gay out with a nice head fake and beats him on a deep out, Batch hits him in the numbers.
Bloom beats Timmons out of the slot on a deep 15 yard out. Potts throws it very low, but Bloom scoops it off the grass.
Pots has nobody to throw to and checks down nicely to Justin Vincent. Vincent drops the ball.
Baker beats Gay on a 10 yard out, Dixon hits him in the numbers.
Madison and Foote are all over #13, but Dixon tries to force it in. Bad decision. Should have been intercepted.
Rucker beats Gay on a 10 yard curl. Dixon throws it wide left, but Rucker has a very nice reach, snags it.
Latsko beats Williams on a 7 yard out and Ben hits him in stride. Spaeth had also beaten Bruce Davis down the middle deep.
Washington beats Roy Lewis on a 15 yard in, Ben throws it behind him, but Washington makes the catch.
Ben pump fakes Travis Williams out of his jock and Baker blows by him, but Ben throws the ball behind him, and it bounces off his back shoulder and goes thirty feet in the air, Roy Lewis makes a diving attempt at an interception, but just misses.