Well, so far in practice that has sort of been the case. Posluszny has dressed for the early practices and has not worn the red cross jersey, signifying an injured player who is to receive no contact in drills. "Paul isn't exactly happy with this precautionary approach by the coaches. He understands it, but he doesn't like it," an observer explained.
Posluszny is participating in individual drills at "half speed," at least that is what the coaches have agreed to allow him to do so far this spring. He is not currently participating in the group unit drills, but more on this later.
"Paul is supposed to be going half speed on his drills, but you know Paul, the guy can't do anything halfway," one observer shared. "It's sort of comical to watch though. His offensive assignment on the read drills is supposed go easy on him on coaches orders. Paul is in the guys' face tough yelling 'come at me hard' and 'don't give me this weak $@#%.' Of course it's tough for the player matching up with him — does he listen to the coach who told him to go half speed or to the 238 [pound] linebacker in his face?"
Posluszny is running individual drills that work his read abilties, lateral shifts and stance, and engagement technique, among other skills. Though he is not on the field for the unit drills, don't think he's not participating from the sideline. As we shared in an earlier defensive report, Sean Lee is filling in for Posluszny as the starting outside linebacker on group drills.
During these drills Posluszny "is like a coach out there, sitting on the sideline and giving Sean an earful when he makes a mistake. There is no better guy to coach the spot than Paul." According to observers Posluszny is working with other guys like Jerome Hayes and Tyrell Sales on identifying tendencies in the offense to make better reads and their technique off the snap, but he is particularly focused on Sean's play.
"He is focused on Sean — one because he's holding down his spot, which Paul takes pretty seriously — he has a lot of pride in his position, and two because he sees what Sean can become as a player," one practice observer said. "Sean is doing great, though ... well maybe not so much in the eyes of the Butkus winner."
Posluszny continues to work out with the unit and is a clear leader of the 'backers, even in his "half speed" state. As one observer shared, at the conclusion of the first day's practice many of the guys were clearing out and rather than heading home to watch some NCAA basketball, Posluszny grabbed the younger guys in the weightroom, sat them in a circle and worked on their reaction speed passing one of the heavy medicine balls around.
"I actually think the injury was a boost for him," one observer explained. "Having lost some mobility with his knee this winter, he seemed a bit frustrated and anxious to be ready for spring, so he got out that frustration in the weightroom. Now he's up to 238 [pounds] — he is scary. If you thought he was good last season, just wait. I am excited to see what he can do once he is at full speed."