It was another hot one out there, and with most of the practice on the field in front of the bleachers, sitting in the aluminum stands felt like being roasted, even though it was the morning sun beating down on us.
The players wore shorts and shells in a low contact practice. Tonight is a closed practice, so I assume they will be strapping on the full pads and going at it.
Hamilton did not practice, and Baker returned to practice.
There was a lot of skill drills going on- just working on catching the ball (WRs and DBs), blocking techniques, and using hands on the defense.
Westhoff was a big part of the practice today, as they practiced kickoffs, punting, keeping their lanes, gunners downing the ball inside the 10, and a lot of reps where getting on and off the field in a timely manner was emphasized.Â They did a few onside kicks, too.
Westhoff was very vocal, and I love it when he runs the show. Everyone knows he is a great Special Teams coach, and he’s got the EF Hutton thing going- when he says to do something, everyone listens.
They ran 11 on 11s and as the lange report mentioned, Nuge hit a long one thru the skinny uprights. I knew it was 50+, but didnt realize it was 57.
They were working on getting the FG team on the field quickly, as though it was right before halftime, and the same with getting the punt team on the field quickly. Westhoff, was calling the plays one play ahead, and he let everyone know which guys he expected to get out there next.
Both of the QBs looked sharper than they’ve been. As already mentioned, Chad hit Justin with a long bomb off a play action, and he generally looked sharp. I thought Clemens looked sharper than he’s been as well, and also looks to be getting more comfortable with running the (second team) offense.
Eric Smith got some reps with the first team D, and on one blitz he came in clean and would have smashed Chad if it was for real. A couple of the coaches werent happy that he was able to get in there so quickly, untouched.
After the first set of 11s, they broke off into groups for major instruction.Â There was no classical music today, but they played the Jacksons’ ABC, which seemed to be a reminder that they were getting coached up.
I went back to my training camp roots, and followed the OL today. Other than westhoff, Wise was very vocal today. Interestingly, they broke the OL into two subgroups- the right side OL and the left. Wise worked with the left side, and was grooming Brick and Clark to move together in sync, varying the assignments, and getting them real familiar with playing side by side.
On the right side group, Mangold was working with Moore and Clement doing similar things. While this was going on, the DL was working on shooting gaps and hand technique.
Then, they put the OL against the DL and were rotating against each other mano a mano. Brick had no problems blocking Hobson coming off the edge, and Pouha and Clark had a few good tests against each other. Wicker was abused by a couple of guys. Bender had mixed results, and was also getting coached up by Lomas. Wade Smith was very involved in a lot of reps on the OL and some on ST, too. I am not seeing the truth to the “Kendall is getting reps with the first string” thing. Clark has really been da man for the most part. Wise doesnt even bother coaching up Kendall. He just lets him get his reps in every so often.
After this, they went back to 11 on 11s where both Clemens and Chad moved the team into field goal range and Nuge knocked it through.
Stuckey practiced with his right knee wrapped.Â Frisby had a good day and made a couple of nice catches.Â Wallace Wright getting even more kudos from Westhofffor his ST play.Â Clemens was getting work as the PK holder for Nuge.
And Juan Wong was there, too.
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