QUICK HITS –
As I've said before, Herm Edwards really likes to move around during position group drills, but it appears to me he really relishes the coverage drills featuring linebackers and defensive backs. He knows where everyone should be on every type of pass route, and knows what everyone should do when the ball is thrown. He doles out equal amount of praise and constructive criticism throughout the session. The Chiefs needed a coach with his expertise in pass defense five years ago.
Justin Medlock continues to look very consistent with his field goals. This afternoon he was five out of five, nailing the last one from about 52 yards out.
Will Svitek may be the man for now at left tackle, but Herb Taylor has quietly impressed in limited duty. He had no problems with Kendrell Bell today (who still disappears more often than not) and even did an admirable job of handling Jared Allen at times. He's definitely got the quick feet necessary for the position.
Napoleon Harris looks much more comfortable getting his deep drops in the Cover 2 zone than Kawika Mitchell ever did. It's second nature for Harris to turn his hips and run downfield.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
The Chiefs faked a handoff, but Jared Allen didn't bite. He read the quarterback, got himself in position, jumped high and intercepted the screen pass before setting sail for a sure touchdown. The short version – Allen intercepted a screen pass and scored. It was a play reminiscent of the dominance that Miami's Jason Taylor showed last season.
Michael Bragg's freaky athleticism finally combined with instincts today. He read Brodie Croyle's eyes and dove in front of an unwise pass, picking it off before getting to his feet and heading for the opposite end zone. He would have easily scored.
Kris Wilson may be the starting fullback, but from time to time he flashes that downfield ability he displayed in college at Pittsburgh. Near the end of practice today he made a tough catch in a 2-minute drill near the end zone, gaining about 25 yards down the middle of the field on a strike from Brodie Croyle. Greg Wesley came up and smacked him as he made the reception, but he held on.
Rod Gardner just keeps making plays. Today he hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Damon Huard, securing the ball with a corner draped all over him in the right corner of the end zone. It wasn't an easy catch by any means. The one thing that keeps standing out to me more than anything with Gardner is his hands. He's catching everything. His toughness stands out as well. It's difficult to knock the ball loose from this guy once it hits his hands.
Cornerback Justin Phinisee really stood out today. In one-on-one receiver versus cornerback drills he outmuscled Ean Randolph at the line and completely destroyed the play. Later on in 11-on-11's he came up and stuck Randolph again on a wide receiver screen, and showed great alertness in a two-minute drill, moving upfield to tackle running backs on the receiving end of dump passes. He's a bigger guy, but has plenty of athleticism at the same time.
Will Svitek looks completely comfortable at left tackle to me. He held his own against Jared Allen all afternoon, and he's an absolute wonder to behold in the running game. He dominated Donnie Edwards on one play, and nailed Turk McBride after pulling to his left on a play-action pass. I don't think he's in over his head at all if the Chiefs end up starting him in Houston.
Jeff Webb stood out today for the first time. He looked like the best wide receiver in one-on-one drills by far, running precise routes and beating Will Poole and Dimitri Patterson for a couple of catches. He went on to record a few more receptions in team drills.
Brodie Croyle's stock is dropping. In addition to the awful interception he threw to Michael Bragg today, he had a few passes batted down at the line of scrimmage and threw an ill-advised pass in the two-minute drill over the middle into a crowd. It was easily batted down by linebacker Keyaron Fox. He's just looking a little more hesitant and late with his release, which might be a side effect of the defense coming together. Damon Huard has looked like the better quarterback recently.
"Back up! Get over the ball!" – Defensive line coach Tim Krumrie, emphasizing the need to stay out of the neutral zone to Turk McBride.
River Falls Recap – Tuesday, 8/7, PM Practice
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