The Day's Drills

Everything is a drill. Regimented, planned and executed, or at least that is the hope. The coaches spend countless hours preparing a game plan for the day and hope the players will execute it. Of course, those that don't play up to standards, will be released. The day's best and worst among other highlights.

Jesse Chatman was the guinea pig in running back blocking drills. He was hand picked by the coaches as they used him to demonstrate different techniques on blocking blitzers. The emphasis was on keeping the blitzer in front of them and not letting their hands slide out in what would be considered a holding call. The backs then squared off against each other and practiced blocks and staying with their man through the block.

Andrew Pinnock looks absolutely huge, like a linebacker. He was wearing what appeared to be boxers shorts pulled up so high you could barely see his number. During the blocking drills he kept his man at bay with ease, despite the obvious speed difference between the two.

After blocking drills the running backs went into motion drills. They practiced resetting at the line at the snap.

The heavyweight match pitted Toniu Fonoti versus Courtney Van Buren and the first go round saw Fonoti manhandle the rookie in a running drill as VB tried to hold his footing with the blocking pad in tow.

Raymer was spending some time at guard today and looked good moving Kevin Breedlove off the line to open a running lane.

Mike Scifres booted three consecutive kickoffs within five yards of each other, but not quite deep enough to get it in the end zone for a touchback. Lining up a field goal from 60 yards out however proved to be within his distance. The ball went through the uprights with about 10 yards to spare!

Mackenzie Hoambrecker meanwhile was practicing the line on his kicks. He lined up along the end zone line on the side field and sailed kick after kick along the line trying to keep it straight and not necessarily worrying about length. Most lines were on target on the day.

David Boston looks unbelievably fluid out on the field. His stride and route running seem effortless and he gets separation quickly on his cuts. Tony Okanlawon knocked him down on one post pattern. Boston made the catch with his toes on the sideline and Okanlawon, in an effort to knock him out of bounds knocked the star receiver down, tumbling.

Later Boston seemed to dwarf Sammy Davis as he settled into a pocket in front of him and used his body to shield Davis from getting a hand on the ball. On the play the offensive line picked up a blitzing linebacker coming up the middle, and thus opening the lane where Boston sat.

The line wasn't always so lucky. Ben Leber came on an outside blitz and came in untouched on Brees. Good thing this was just a drill, Brees would have been cremated.

Tim Love also made a beautiful move on a stunt to get inside before pulling up on the play. Lemon breathed a sigh of relief at that, briefly seeing his life flash before his eyes.

Leber was not always so lucky. He dropped into pass coverage on Josh Norman. Brees pulled the ball down and stepped up in the pocket giving the hint he may take the ball and run with it. Leber bit, letting Norman get the extra step he needed and Brees hit him in stride.

Brees had another ball intended for Boston but Ray Lee Johnson swatted it down at the line.

Tim Baker almost had his head taken off on a bullet pass from Rob Adamson. Baker was able to haul the pass in, luckily.

Reche Caldwell had a nice day catching a few passes from Drew Brees and snagging the first catch of the day, stretching out to snare a Cleo Lemon pass.

Kassim Osgood again showed a lack of concentration when he turned to run before securing the ball in his hands. Visions of Tim Dwight in our heads…

Lemon had a rough day. He slipped and fell while going into his five step drop, then fumbled a snap from Kevin Breedlove who was manning center at the time. LaMarcus McDonald was quick to jump on the loose ball.

Later Lemon threw a fade route to the back of the end zone but released the ball about two seconds too early going incomplete.

While throwing passes against a complete defense the occasional run was thrown in to keep the D honest. On one or two such plays, the defense was all over LaDainian Tomlinson, especially on the toss plays going wide. Still LT showed nice cuts through the day and is on target for the season.

Today's gameball goes to Caldwell for hustling, running nice routes and catching most that came his way. He got a lot of looks today because he was open and rewarded the quarterbacks with receptions.

Sprints

For those of you who remember the poor 40 times of Osgood, he came in second to Brian Sump in a sideline to sideline sprint drill to end the practice. There were about 15 players lined up racing and Sump was the winner of the day in that regard.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net or via the following link: Denis Savage

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