The OTA Skinny: Player Progress

Lane Adkins gives you the scoop on which players seem to be jumping out during OTAs. Notes on the progress of Jerome Harrison, Travis Wilson, Alex Hall, Shantee Orr, Eric Wright, Paul Hubbard and more!

Progress glimpsed from the sidelines during off-season training activities...

  • Rex Hadnot has stepped in and assumed the role of injured right guard after the injury to RG Ryan Tucker. Hadnot is an imposing physical presence and could be a benefit in the rushing game. The downside is that he's not believed to be as solid in the pass protection as Tucker.
  • Third-year receiver Travis Wilson has done reasonably well in the first couple weeks of OTA's. Wilson is working hard and his route running appears crisper, but he continues to catch a few passes, then turn around drop a couple passes. With the high number of reps he is receiving with Joe Jurevicius gone, Wilson appears to be gaining some confidence and mentally grasping the situation better.
  • In individual running back drills, Jerome Harrison was lauded for his footwork, burst and timing with the quarterbacks.
  • Relative to last season, the difference in these practice sessions is like night-and-day for players such as quarterback Brady Quinn and defensive back Eric Wright. Quinn and Wright appear comfortable in their assignments and have visibly greater productivity and awareness on the field.
  • Speaking of Wright, he has made numerous plays on the ball in drills, which may speak to the team fully utilizing the athleticism of the defensive backs in the 2008. Wright has not been hesitant in the OTA drills and has been lauded on numerous occasions for his recognition and coverage ability.
  • A player finally popping onto the mainstream radar, A.J. Davis, continues to look solid in passing drills and is showing a knack for closing on the ball in flight. The knock on Davis has been in run support - we will not get a better read on his development until the pads go on and the hitting commences.
  • Rookie linebacker Beau Bell looks very comfortable moving towards the ball-carrier. Dropping back into coverage is where Bell will need to improve as he adjusts to the NFL. Bell will be active in practices this summer and requires plenty of work to be a three-down LB. As promising as Bell looks to be, passing situations are going to be a learning experience for the rookie.
  • Rookie receiver Paul Hubbard made a couple nice receptions out of the slot in practice. He catches the ball with his hands, rather than letting the ball get to his body. His length is obvious on the field and the rookie runs extremely well.
  • Rookie outside linebacker Alex Hall is an intriguing prospect. Long and lean, Hall possesses very good quickness at the point and is similar to starter Kamerion Wimbley. Hall appears to be a player that has the physical tools to play in this league, but clearly needs a lot of coaching attention refine his talent.
  • OLB Antwan Peek continues to be a beast. Peek has been consistently blowing up players and plays. A healthy Peek is going to make this summer interesting to watch, as the options are unlimited if he and Wimbley can create pressure.
  • Whereas Peek is very physical and quick, free agent signee Shantee Orr is cat-like quick and beats the linemen with this athletic ability. Orr is not going to start for this team unless something unfortunate occurs, but he does have a significant role due to his ability to disrupt.

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