First off before I get started credit to Phil Sullivan and Glenn Naughton for allowing me to represent the site at a closed practice. Here are my initial impressions, sorry it took so long NYC traffic stinks:
– Players in shells & shorts.
– Practice ran 2.5 hours.
– Don’t know if the turf is new but there was a ton of slipping which affected WR’s and CB’s throughout the day.
– It seems like Tom Hackett the UDFA punter was released to make room for Fitzpatrick so there will be no “punt off” with Lachlan Edwards.
– Speaking of Edwards he has an impressive leg and good directional ability. But has to work on his consistency, which is to be expected from a rookie.
– Brant Boyer our new STC has implemented a three station coverage drill. Where in each station he works with 2-3 players individually to beat blocks and strip the ball out before they move to the next station.
– Boyer has also worked on improving communication in special teams. This was evident when he would randomly move buckets (which simulate an opponent) around and expect the everyone to know what adjustment they should make.
– Since I was on the sideline I didn’t have a good vertical view of the middle of the OLine & DLine. So I won’t comment on the big guys in the middle, that will change on Saturday & Sunday when I’ll be in the stands.
– There was a ton of mixing and matching so there are no clear cut #1’s yet.
– Revis, Forte and Carpenter dressed but didn’t see action. Also I didn’t see Giacomini.
– Wilkerson and Devin Smith were dressed but watched from the sidelines.
– Bowles already has the team working on situational football. Today there was a 3rd down period and a red zone period.
– Marshall & Decker where in mid-season form. Marshall was making “stupid” one-handed catches like they where no big deal.
– Pleasantly surprised by the play of the young CB’s today. Juston Burris, Dexter McDougle and yes Dee Milliner were all impressive. For someone so big Burris had better coverage skills than I expected. McDougle was physical in coverage and had two INT’s of Fitzpatrick. And Milliner flashed the ability that made him a top 10 pick. He also showed good awareness by stripping out the ball from Robby Anderson (WR) causing a fumble. The big question is can he stay on the field?
– Nice first impressions made by two young WR’s, Robby Anderson and Jalin Marshall. Anderson’s problem is his lower body, his legs look like pencils. But he gets open and isn’t afraid to go over the middle. Marshall gives off a “Chrebet vibe” where whenever it’s 3rd down he seems to
be open and makes a catch.
– Jordan Jenkins had a nice first day showing impressive athletic ability when he picked off Fitzpatrick. He dropped into coverage tipped the ball in the air and then made the INT.
– The Canadian import Freddie Bishop had a rough day. Getting caught out of position on a couple of run plays and hearing it from his position coach.
– I won’t savage him but Fitzpatrick had a bad day. He threw at least 3 INT’s, fumbled a snap, threw to no one on one occasion and turned the wrong way on a running play. He needs to make up for all the time he missed.
– Smith was solid, what was good to see was he was doing the “little things”. Like using his voice to get the defense to jump offsides and looking to one side of the field before throwing to the other.
– Petty was up and down. He made some nice throws but he was also picked off by Rontez Miles and Deon Simon (NT) off of a tip by Claude Pelon (DE).
– Hackenberg shows the raw elements on why you would draft him but he’s not ready. He wasn’t throwing as wild high as was previously reported but he still has misreads which is to be expected.
– Juston Burris
– Dee Milliner
– Dexter McDougle
– Marshall & Decker
– Jalin Marshall
– Jordan Jenkins