The Pit's everywhere. Here, part of the Pit is pushing the carts around in full view of spectators.
They were wearing shorts and that is new for a Monday practice…The other shorts practices were Fridays and the opening practice… Late last week the team practiced protections against blitzes, first team vs. first team. They did more of the same Monday… The offensive line has had problems with blitzes lately and the practice is needed… Mike McIntosh is starting to look like his old self, if you can call it that. He is making the great plays he was making last year… Kyle Morgan was back out playing with a non-contact yellow jersey.
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There was a little more split safety coverage today, or so it seemed. It was probably a Cover-2 as compared to a Cover-1. The safeties were playing the hashes instead of one in the middle of the field.
THINGS I LIKED: The quarterbacks were going to the H-back especially when the defense was running three linebackers and using one of them to cover the H-back… The starting secondary guys, when on the sideline, often yell out to the backups in where to line up o the line of scrimmage or not in man coverage… Derrick Harvey, Brandon Siler, and Jeremy Mincey were menaces for the offensive line.
THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE: It looked like Dane Guthrie pulled up with a little limp on a long pass route in the middle of practice. He continued to play on. He's been nursing a hamstring pull since the first day of practice … I didn't see Jarvis Moss Monday.
HIGHLIGHTS: The one-on-one drill had a few highlights. Jemalle Cornelius had a great one handed catch over Reggie Lewis. Dee Webb was a victim of Dallas Baker and Bubba Caldwell and great passes from Chris Leak. Vernell Brown blanketed Kenneth Tookes and forced an incompletion. Baker came back with another nice catch on a corner pattern, again in front of Dee Webb… In pass-skel Vernell Brown broke up the first pass of the session, forcing Chad Jackson to give up the ball.
PLAYS OF THE DAY: With Cornelius Ingram playing the H-back and motioning to the backfield, Josh Portis took a shotgun snap and droped back to throw a deep post. Dallas Baker finished his skinny post past Nick Brooks, making what would have been a touchdown catch.
Portis at quarterback and Ingram lined up in the slot.
Jeremy Mincey dropped into coverage from his defensive end position and the defense sent a linebacker on a blitz. The pressure made Chris Leak get rid of the ball too quickly, right into the waiting arms of Mincey.
Tony Joiner made an out-stretched interception of a Chris Leak deep ball late in the team period of practice. Leak overthrew Chad Jackson on the play, but not enough to keep it from Joiner.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Brandon Siler was everywhere. He had sacks, he had batted passes, and he had pass breakups. He was congratulating his defensive mates every time they made a play. He had a very solid day and helped the defense control the practice on the day.
THINGS HEARD AND SEEN: The defense dominated all day. They seemed to controlled almost every phase in this man's opinion… Coach Billy Gonzalez as all over the receivers today for any little thing they were doing. He was very vocal on things such as route running, turning up field and running with the ball, and catching the ball the correct way. Coach Gonzalez also jumped Dane Guthrie for not carrying the ball correctly after the catch. "Reach out and catch the SOB", he yelled on one exchange.
The defensive line from today's practice as featured...
Coach Meyer, not happy with the way the offense was looking, made everyone clear the field. Then he told the first team offense to come out. When the first team guys did, he yelled again, something to the effect that they weren't playing like the first team offense and then sent them back. Then he called them out again and they came out quicker and a little more ready to play… Kyle Jackson was dinged up for a couple of plays and DeShawn Carter replaced him, even with a healthy Terrance Holmes… Earl Everett was back today from his family funeral… Coach Meyer had to take some time to line up Dane Guthrie, right where he wanted him in a slightly new alignment.
Gavin Dickey (bruised heel) was out at practice on crutches as was walk-on quarterback Matt Kynes… Markell Thompson was still absent from practice… First team kickoff returners were Bubba Caldwell and Tremaine McCollum. Second were Chad Jackson and Jemalle Cornelius, and third were Dallas Baker and Markus Manson. DeShawn Wynn jumped back there and returned a kick.
QUARTERBACK STATS: Leak: 27-47-2 INT; Portis: 13-19; Ingram: 6-9.
Faces in the crowd included Guss Scott, Neal Anderson and Taurean Charles