By Brian ClarkÂ
This session was a much cooler (in regards to weather), and also slightly less crowded than the morning session. It seemed as if the practice was broken up into 2 parts:
â€¢ Working in specific units (Qbâ€™s, O-line, Secondary, Kickers, etc)
â€¢ 11 v. 11 Offense v Defense
There were some trends that continued from the previous practice:
Chad Pennington looked extremely solid and definitely looked comfortable in the system. He threw two INTâ€™s, both off of great plays by the defense (one by Barton stealing the ball away from Alvin Banks, and the other by Eric Smith getting underneath a deep post to LC). Despite the INTâ€™s he looked very good and it was reassuring to the diehard fans in attendance.
Kellen Clemens was still a bit off, but at least his spiral was tighter. He overthrew a receiver by about 5 feet over his head on one play and on another he threw of his back foot and left a jump ball for the receiver. Although there were a few weak passes, he did make some nice underneath passes, and he and Stuckey had a few nice out routes.
Now to the practice:
While each of the specific units were working on their own, I tried to focus on a few of the individual units to try to get a gauge on certain players.
Out of the LBâ€™s, Vilma, Hobson, and Harris were the fast out of the break, when they had to cover a receiver crossing underneath.. Vilmaâ€™s speed is noticeably the best, as once he looked the most dominant in 1 on 1 drills. Early in the practice when the LBâ€™s where Dâ€™ing up on TEâ€™s going out coverage, Bryan Thomas tripped and twisted his ankle when manning up on Stacy Tutt. He limped off to the side, got taped up by the trainers and came back on the field. There seemed to be no noticeable limp throughout the rest of practice. Also Schlegel got beat bad trying to cover Danny Ware in coverage (slow footed waste of a 3rd rounder IMO).
For the o-line, both Brick and Mangold were moving well, as was Bender. Clement looks like an absolute beastâ€¦he completely towers over the rest of the o-lineâ€¦great for path clearing run blocker.
In the 11 v 11 we were able to see some of the individual players step up a bit more. Stuckey made 3 nice catches including one shoestring catch while backpedaling (on a low Clemens pass), then turned around and ran for the end zone untouched. On two consecutive plays (that he was in), Danny Ware fumbled the ball and then dropped a pass wide open in the middle of the field.
For a change of pace, Bobby Hamilton absolutely plowed Alvin Banks (RB) on a running play, where Banks went flat on his back. It was good to see actual contact for once.
As the practice ended, players came over to sign autographs. The first player over surprisingly was Pete Kendall. Grant it, he looked like the angriest autograph signer ever but at least heâ€™s making the effort. Shortly after other players joined (Dyson, Barrett, Miller, Rashad Washington), and they were definitely more personable.
I donâ€™t know if anyone else mentioned this, but Mangini has lost a considerable amount of weight. Probably on the upwards of 40-50 pounds. He looks good, but I like my coach eating well and focusing on the game rather than his diet.
As a separate note, Leon Washington, who was practicing for the morning session, was not on the field at all for the afternoon session. I donâ€™t know if he suffered an injury or was excused, but Iâ€™m sure there will be answers to come in the next few days.
Overall it was a good practice and Iâ€™ll see any fans there tomorrow at TC.
To read my report from the morning practice please click here.