It is clear who the leaders are at the practice as Brandon Weeden has control of the offense, along with established players like Justin Blackmon, Josh Cooper, Jeremy Smith, Grant Garner, Jonathan Rush, and Nick Martinez. On the defensive side there is Jamie Blatnick, Richetti Jones, James Thomas, and Markelle Martin.
I'd love to sound more like a pessimist and say the offense doesn't look outstanding, but it does, esepcially for a second summer workout. Everybody knows what they are doing.
Weeden still throws like an NFL quarterback and Blackmon still does those things he does with great ball skills. One thing noticed among the newcomers is that Josh Stewart (5-10, 165), out of Denton Guyer, has really good ball skills and it shows up.
Of the other offensive newcomers fresh in town, running back Herschel Sims, from Abilene, Texas, came in heavier than expected as we confirmed he weighed in at 205 pounds. He is in the midst of getting comfortable with the practice routine.
Offensive line product Devin Davis of Nacogdoches, Texas is a tall skinny kid at 6-5 and 260 pounds. But a good amount of time in the weight room and at the training table should fill out that frame.
There is plenty to notice on defense between both veterans and newcomers alike. You start with the leaders. Jones and Blatnick could be the name of a law firm, but attorneys, most of them, don't have gunned up biceps and muscled up frames like that duo. The pair make good leaders in leading the defensive line practices.
Cooper Bassett told me he weighed 268 pounds before the practice and he does look solid. Add a solid 10 more pounds and he would be a great slide three technique and nose in the speed package.
James Castleman weighed in at 298 pounds and shows good work ethic. He needs to look at Jones, Blatnick, Bassett, and Nigel Nicholas to take cues from.
Of the newcomers, the one that looks most ready to play is the one that likely will be most needed to play and that is Blinn (Texas) Junior College linebacker Alex Elkins. Elkins came in a solid 6-3, 235 and runs well, looks good in shorts going through drills and is a known solid tackler from his time in junior college including spectacular play on special teams. He is a speedy weakside linebacker.
Demarcus Sherrod is out of Decatur, Ga., and he definitely looks like a linebacker. Lyndell Johnson, out of Plano East, is a solid 6-3, 210 pounds and working at linebacker. North Richland Hills, Texas standout Nico Ornelas will be looking to beef up in the weight room and training table as he reported at 195 pounds.
In the secondary everybody is looking good, although Lavocheya Cooper is missing from his knee injury in the spring. Newcomer Jonovan Griffin from McKinney Boyd is small but quick. He is a good looking athlete as far as how he plays without pads.
It is real easy right now to spot the newcomers because they are the guys that have not been through at least six months or more of Rob Glass's program. You can see the difference it makes.
The program continues again at 6:30 Friday morning as the veterans and newcomers have their first Friday date with stadium steps and then an end of the week lifting session.