QUICK HITS – If today's practice was any indication, Chris Hannon appears to be the third wide receiver. He worked with most of the starters, opposite Samie Parker, while Eddie Kennison sat out. Damon Huard also received significant snaps with the starting offense today, as Brodie Croyle worked with the #2's.
Defensive line coach Tim Krumrie never lets up on his troops. At the beginning of practice during position group drills, he instructed the defensive linemen that they were lining up in the neutral zone and jumping offsides too much. He continued to harp on this point later during 11-on-11's. It's truly entertaining to watch Krumrie go about his business each day.
Speaking of Krumrie, I noticed he made Tank Tyler repeat his rep during sled drills this morning. He's not letting up on the young man one iota.
Donnie Edwards also sat out practice today, and Kendrell Bell was his replacement with the starters at weakside linebacker. I'm not sure if that means Keyaron Fox is simply Derrick Johnson's backup or if the Chiefs don't think he's as good as Bell, but I've been impressed with the young linebacker. He needs a chance.
Head coach Herm Edwards really likes to cover all his bases. It seems he's been working with different position groups every day in the early portion of practice since camp began. Today he was with the defensive backs, enthusiastically teaching technique.
As promised, I observed cornerback Tyron Brackenridge closely today. He continued to work with the rest of the starters in the nickel defense (and received some personal attention from his head coach), but didn't see a ton of action. Here's what I saw:
Brackenridge vs Webb – stayed with the wide receiver down the sideline and forced the quarterback to look elsewhere.
Brackenridge vs Hannon – couldn't get off a block on a running play.
Brackenridge vs Parker – blocked into the secondary.
Brackenridge vs Parker II – This time the corner blitzed, and though he didn't get there in time, I liked the way he disguised his intention before the snap. I had no idea he would blitz before the snap.
Obviously, there's not a huge sample to go on here, and I missed some of his action in 7-on-7's. Hopefully he gets some more time this afternoon.
Justin Medlock made three out of four field goals this morning. He connected from 37 yards and twice from 42, before missing from that distance due to a high snap.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Bernard Pollard's going to be a good one. Today he made a great play in 11-on-11's, and came screaming down from his safety spot to kill a pitch play. Pollard stuck running back Kolby Smith for about a five-yard loss and probably could have sent him flying had it been a real game. I don't think the Chiefs are going to miss Sammy Knight's dependable run support if Pollard keeps making plays like that one.
Rich Scanlon may be buried on the linebacker depth chart, but he flashed today in 7-on-7 drills. Damon Huard dropped back and attempted to thread a pass to Jeff Webb, but an unidentified linebacker tipped it and Scanlon gobbled up the ball before heading downfield.
Quarterback Brodie Croyle contiues to read the blitz correctly and get the ball to his hot reads. Today the Chiefs defense came tearing after him but he calmly finished his drop and fired a strike to tight end Mike Pinkard for about 20 yards. Cool, calm and collected.
I've been critical of quarterback Casey Printers, so it's only fair I give him props today. For the first time since I arrived in River Falls, he looked like an NFL quarterback. Today he stopped holding onto the football and got rid of it quickly, and completed most of his passes, including a nice touchdown in the left flat to fullback Boomer Grigsby. That's right, Boomer scored a touchdown. Everybody limbo.
I charted almost every pass Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard threw today. By my count, Croyle hit 10 of 17 passes with three drops. Huard hit eight of 17 with one drop. And again, Huard was working with the starters today.
The difference in arm strength really makes a big difference. I didn't see a defensive back get a hand on any of Brodie's balls today, but Patrick Surtain tipped an early Huard pass and another one was intercepted later.
Running back Marcus O'Keith continues to impress. He's got good vision, finds the holes and runs equally well inside and outside. Today he made a nice play where he came down the line of scrimmage and stopped on a dime before cutting up inside and accelerating downfield. He also caught everything thrown his way – the running backs are all doing an outstanding job in the receiving game in camp.
Derrick Ross fumbled again. Herm Edwards shook his head again in disappointment. Enough said.
I'm beginning to get bored with these wide receivers. Chris Hannon caught one pass today, but that was it. Samie Parker didn't even look for a pass coming his way on one play, and later dropped a ball that hit him right in the hands after he got open on a nice 15-yard dig route. Jeff Webb was nowhere to be seen. Brad Ekwerekwu looks as good as any of these guys. He made a nifty touchdown catch in the right corner of the endzone today, on a pass from Brodie Croyle. It was actually called incomplete, but it was close.
Priest ran sprints before practice as usual. Afterwards he worked with quarterback Jeff Terrell, catching short passes out of a mock backfield.
"You're lining up in the neutral zone, and you're jumping offisdes! FIX IT!" – Defensive line coach Tim Krumrie, demanding perfection from his players.
"Neutral zone! Neutral zone! If you don't wanna think about it, I WILL!" – Krumrie, using an age-old teaching technique known as "repetition for emphasis."
River Falls Recap: Wednesday, 8/2 AM Practice
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