Day 4 started out not as hot, but quickly got hotter than previous days, both in temperature and action on the field.
Sadly, today most of the action ended up being on the far field and I had chosen a seat further down the berm so I didnt have an ideal angle for some things.
Here are my notes and observations, in the usual order: player specific first, then team and scheme notes, then general and random things.
For reference.. todays practice was helmets no pads..which means once again its hard to tell some things. This must drive coaches crazy.
First off.. some players didnt participate: Baldwin is the most noticeable. Second day in a row and his left leg is wrapped. Caleb Scott.. sporting jerey #10 didnt participate. Hes already a fringe player and missing a day is going to make his position even more tenuous..especially with 15 receivers on the squad. Moore was in active and that is too bad because he was starting to flash.
Brandon Marshall spent the first half of practice catching for QB drills rather than doing the rather more intense WR vs CB drills.. but he still took it seriously. When he dropped a pass in front of the crowd at one point, he dropped and did push ups then asked for another over the shoulder pass, which he handily caught.. His drop had elicited a reaction from the crowd so he appealed, and got applause for his catch.. not in a douchey way, he was just playing around. Watching him today I changed my opinion..earlier I had thought if he made the team it would be a bad sign about the young WRs..but now I think I want to keep Marshall. He is a different guy than in his youth, and I dare say, a leader in how he carries himself and a valuable presence. I hope there is space for him.
McDougald played FS safety and Alexander SS today as the nominal starters. Not really my preferred combination but it didnt show any liabities. I didnt really see it as having much upside either.
T2 is quickly becoming my favorite. He nearly had another pick today. He is the biggest ball hawk in the DBs..he got burned today on one play but he flies around and is always around the ball.
Wagner and KJ are obviously the starters..today the 3rd LB position was rotated between Mingo and Martin.
There was a pretty interesting / telling drill with 1 DB vs 1 WR , being thrown to by the QBs. Some quick results:
Jaron Brown beat Akeem King handily. Havent seen much to indicate King is going to make it..
Lockett was the best player in the drill.
Marshall ran a slant and again boxed out the defender handily.
McEvoy isnt having a great camp and Mike Tyson blanketed him in this drill.
Tre Flowers committed PI on WR Johnson during the drill and STILL didnt prevent the catch.
During a later drill for the second day in a row Reynolds made impact plays including a fingertip grab for a td.
Wilson threw 2 INTs today in drills that were semi-realistic.. once by Byron Maxwell in the Red Zone and another when Shaquem Griffin baited him. Shaquem is proving to be a bargain as a 5th rounder. They will find ways to get him on the field..he is a play maker.
I promised to try to check out the Line today and I did my best..though it cost me looks at the offense.
In one on one and two on two drills I came away with the following notes:
Duane Brown beat Marcus Smith II over and over again.
Avery Young looked good vs 2nd and 3rd team DL.
Quinton Jefferson beat his man every time in these drills.
Jamarco Jones surprisingly held his own vs everyone, including KJ Wright.
Ethan Pocic played kind of chippy and I was somehow surprised at that. Green objected at one point but it didnt "escalate".
In 2 minute drills Prosise is the favored back. Austin Davis got first reps after Wilson and the drill just went NO where. Tomorrow I would bet McGough gets his place back. Wilson ended his 2 min drill with a 40 yard TD to Jaron Brown, who showed well today for the first time so far.
That was it for players..
There were designed QB draw plays being called today. Ive wanted those for years.
Solari is SUPER hands on in coaching up his linemen and is really expressive with it. Im not an OL guy by any means but I would say Solari's approach suits the talents of the group we have.
And my random stuff:
Not much weirdness to be found today.. mostly limited to:
they played the Imperial March during practice as one of the songs.. that was random.
the DJ played an awful cover of "Summertime" (original by Will Smith) by ..someone. Man, just play the original.
The two older women next to me spent the second half of practice talking about how their friend believes the End of Days is coming so didnt join them at Training Camp this year. Seriously.
Ok.. tomorrow hopefully practice is on the near side field. Tomorrow is the last day I can attend..Wednesday I fly back to Tokyo!
Get your questions or requests for things to watch in tonight!