Notes of Note: Weds PM Practice

I think most pro football fans know that what coaches and player say to the media isn't where the action is. It's on the practice fields, and that's what Lane Adkins focuses on during camp. Here's what happened this evening, with signs of progress from a couple of potentially critical components...

Who Practiced, Who Didn't...

- TE Steve Heiden (knee) did not practice and was on the sideline observing drills.

- WR Kevin Kasper (hamstring) did not practice and was jogging and catching balls off the JUGS machine following the session.

- FB Lawrence Vickers (hamstring) did not practice and was walking around on the field during the session.

- OLB Antwan Peek (knee) did not practice and was not out observing the session.

- OG Seth McKinney (ankle) did not practice and was on the field observing the session.

- C Marvin Philip was not at practice.

- WR Braylon Edwards (coaches decision) did not practice with the team.

- DE Corey Williams (shoulder) did not practice and was on the field observing the session.

- NT/DE Shaun Smith (knee) returned to practice after sitting out the morning session.


Individual drills were a little more interesting and competitive in the Wednesday afternoon practice session. The players appeared to go at one another a little more physically and the coaches pushed a much more rapid pace with more intense expectations that in some recent drills.

- The running backs and tight ends battled in one-on-one passing / coverage drills early in the afternoon session. The result of the drills could be at best described as mixed. RB Jerome Harrison (quick and explosive in and out of cuts and catching the ball), S Brodney Pool (tight coverage and an interception) and OLB Alex Hall (tight coverage, using length to his advantage in the passing game) stood-out in drills, while rookie RB Travis Thomas missed a couple passes due to his inability to get his head turned around quickly enough. Throughout the session miscues were the norm, as TE Brad Cieslak ran a good route, but dropped the ball, OLB David McMillan was beaten twice in coverage, and QB Derek Anderson threw an interception to Pool, when TE Kellen Winslow's plant foot slipped on the slightly damp turf.

- In a brief 7-on-7 drill, QB's Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn overthrew receivers running the go-route. Anderson missed WR Donte Stallworth while CB Brandon McDonald supplied tight coverage. Quinn overthrew Winslow with CB Eric Wright running stride for stride with the tight end. At the end of the session, rookie CB Damon Jenkins was draped all over KR/WR Josh Cribbs, forcing Quinn to check-down. At that point, WR Travis Wilson suffered a rare drop of a pass during this training camp. Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski responded by giving the receiver some extra coaching.

- Following the drop, Wilson was solid throughout the remainder of the session. With wide receivers Braylon Edwards and Kevin Kasper watching the session from the sideline, Wilson received an opportunity to line up with the starting offense. Wilson was noted by many on the offensive side of the ball throughout the 11-on-11 drills for running some very good routes run and making solid receptions. As the session progressed, the more the quarterbacks went to Wilson.

- Rookie TE Martin Rucker continues to gain reps with the first and second-team offense and has not disappointed. Over the course of a week in camp, Rucker has settled in nicely. He is finding the seam and soft-spot of the defense and catching everything thrown his way.

- The second-team offensive line (notably over RG) had some trouble with the blitz up the middle and stunts coming from the blitz. OLB Shantee Orr beat LT James Lee twice to his outside shoulder with the speed rush. Orr simply got to the outside quickly and Lee did not have the positioning or athletic ability to fend off the OLB.

- Rookie WR Paul Hubbard has plenty of work to do to become a legitimate receiver at the pro level. His routes are rounded off and he does not pick up the ball well in flight.

- The speed and quickness of LB D'Qwell Jackson was on display on more than one occasion in the Wednesday session. In 11-on-11 drills, Jackson stuffed an option play by Cribbs cold. Later in the same drills, the inside linebacker met RB Jamal Lewis in the hole on a trap.

- Veteran Andra Davis has shown the ability to get to the outside of the tackles quickly and get off blocks. While the offense has not run the ball often, Davis has been around the ball consistently in such situations.

- Following the practice session, Winslow, Vickers, Kasper, Steve Sanders and Darnell Dinkins all spent time with the JUGS machine.

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