For the first time in a while, the only players wearing green jerseys at practice were the quarterbacks. Jared Mitchell and Ace Foyil were both at practice this morning donning their offensive white and defensive purple, respectively. It also appeared that the only players missing from practice that are not known to be seriously injured were linebackers Jacob Cutrera and Perry Riley and tight end Richard Dickson
The offensive linemen were once again working on pulling drills. The line was split in half and each side worked on pulling and getting out to block the sled, which was supposed to be an outside linebacker.
When Herman Johnson took his turn Coach Studrawa got on him for having his head too high. Johnson said he wanted to go again.
"That's what I like about you Herm, you want to go again and get better," coach Studrawa said. "I don't have to tell you to go again, you want to do it yourself."
Will Arnold was participating fully in the drill, and while he may have moved a little slower than the other lineman, he did not appear to be limping or in any type of pain.
The defensive linemen were lined up 1 on 1 across the field with each other working on hand placement and pass rushing moves. With Riley and Cutrera once again absent from the linebacker group, Shomari Clemons was working with the linebackers once again today.
The defensive backs were doing a drill that helped them work on catching up to a wide receiver that had beaten them and turn around in time to make a play on the ball. Everyone did a good job of getting themselves back in position and making a play on the ball except John Williams.
After his second time through Coach Mallory barked out "Williams that's the second time you've let the receiver catch the ball on you." After this drill they went to working on different coverages and reads during the play. The field was divided in half again, with Jackson as the corner, Steltz as the safety, and McCray as the nickel on one side. The other side was Zenon at corner, Taylor at safety, and Chad Jones at nickel. Jai Eugene was one of the receivers running routes against them.
It may have just been that the coaches wanted to get Jones extra work at nickel because he was also running there when the second team defensive backs went through the drill. On a side note, today is Aug. 15, the deadline for Jones to sign an MLB contract.
Back over to the offensive side of the ball, the running backs were once again working on catching passes out of the backfield. When it was time for them to work with the quarterbacks, they worked on running the option out of the shotgun again.
And speaking of quarterbacks, last year around this time there were reports of Matt Flynn's arm getting tired and him having "camp arm." I'm not saying this is happening again, but Flynn did not throw many passes today in the 15 minutes the media was allowed at practice. He threw a few early on, but most of the time he was standing on the side with his chin strap unbuckled watching Perrilloux, Lee, and the rest of the QBs throw to the receivers. Again, this could very well just be the coaches wanting to get the other guys extra reps.
When the receivers went with the quarterbacks, they worked on running hot routes when the cornerback blitzes. When the ball is snapped and they see the corner blitzing, the receivers make a call out to the quarterback and run a quick hitch-like route where they take three steps at about a 60-degree angle toward the sideline and just turn around for the ball.
Coach McCarthy was very particular about this route and got on a couple of guys for drifting over to the sideline too much. RJ Jackson was participating in drills today with his right thumb heavily taped, and he appeared to aggravate that thumb after catching a pass. He shook his hand and looked at it for a little while, but stayed in the drill. When the receivers were by themselves they worked on going in motion prior to the snap in three receiver sets.
In the first group, Chris Mitchell lined up as the X receiver wide on the left side of the field, while Lafell and Doucet were on the right side with Lafell wide as the Z receiver and Doucet in the slot as the Y. The next group was Toliver lined up wide as the X on the left side, while Byrd and Jared Mitchell were on the right side with Byrd lined up wide as the Z and Mitchell in the slot as the Y.
That's a wrap for the
morning session. We'll be back later this afternoon with a report on the