River Falls Recap: 8/4 PM Practice

The Chiefs held a longer single-session practice Tuesday afternoon, starting at 1:50 p.m. and concluding at 4:30 p.m. River Falls continues to provide excellent football weather with a high of 75 degrees and virtually no humidity today. The fourth day of practice was low-key for as long as it was.

Newly signed wide receiver Amani Toomer practiced today and was thrown out with the first-string for a few reps during 11-on-11s. Another new player to join the Chiefs on the field today was linebacker Vince Redd, who was picked up off waivers from New England.

Linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive end Glenn Dorsey joined the team for practice after spending the first few practice sessions in conditioning boot camp.

The offense spent some time in 11-on-11 action against itself as it practiced roles and play responsibilities for each position. The drill was run at quarter speed.

With a large rubber hoop laid near each sideline, the safeties and cornerbacks challenged each other in a blocking drill. One blocker waited in each hoop with a blocking pad for a defender to make the corner around the hoop, attempting to get past the block for the tackle.

The team gathered on the middle practice field at 2:25 p.m. for a team warm-up and stretch. Afterwards, they split for position-specific drills.

The offense lined up at the plus 20-yard line and the quarterbacks practiced handoffs with the backs. Upon completion of the handoff each player had to sprint 20 yards.

Making sure to pick up their feet, the offensive line ran drills over short barriers. Tackle Damion McIntosh noticeably had trouble with the drill and struggled to get over the barriers for a run that required the players to stay low and take wide steps between the barriers. McIntosh spent the first days of practice conditioning after failing the conditioning run test.

Running backs shot through a spider cage to work on protecting the ball while running.

The defensive line practiced bursting off the line against the run. Linebackers tested their ability to read the pass and cover the change in direction made by a ball carrier.

Pairing up, the tight ends and quarterbacks practiced completing outlet passes. Three cones were set out for receivers to run their routes around. Effective cuts were a must during this drill. Footwork, rather than receiving, was the focus.

The offensive line worked through metal cages that forced them into proper run-blocking form.

Four cones were set in a box formation for the running backs. They ran various patterns inside and around the cones.

Tight end coach Bob Bicknell gave one-on-one instruction, demonstrating the fundamentals of blocking and ripping around the block.

The quarterbacks gave pitches to the running backs before joining the receivers for a short-range passing drill. Nick Sirianni, Offensive Quality Control Coach, gave the running backs outlet passes after the quarterbacks left.

In another one-on-one drill, the defensive backs practiced cutting receivers off near the sideline, preventing routes down the field.

Kicker Ryan Succop practiced his kickoff approach without any coverage.

At 2:56 p.m. a horn signaled and the defensive and offensive lines matched up. The offensive line worked on run blocking while the defense worked on closing the gap.

Once again, the quarterbacks and receivers ran the drill in which all four quarterbacks launched simultaneous passes to four receivers. The receivers do not know who the pass is coming from.

At 3:02 p.m. 7-on-7 drills began, at half speed without tackling.

Defensive tackle Ron Edwards and defensive ends Alfonso Boone and Alex Magee seem to have claimed the starting positions on the defensive line so far. Defensive end Bobby Greenwood has made an appearance with the first string but has been coming out with the second string the last couple of practices.

Quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Tyler Thigpen continued to lead another session of 7-on-7 while quarterbacks Ingle Martin and Brodie Croyle joined a group of wide receivers to face linebacker coverage. It appears as if Thigpen has claimed the second spot on the depth chart so far, but Croyle has been receiving some reps with the second string during drills while Thigpen works with the third.

Succop was three of four on field goals. His first attempt from the 22-yard line on the left hash mark was blocked. He was good from the 25, 27 and 30-yard lines on the right hash mark.

At 3:23 p.m., 11-on-11 play began, without tackling. Running back Jackie Battle has been performing well and has taken reps with the first string behind Larry Johnson. Croyle led the second string.

Situational drills began at 3:48 p.m. The offense started the drill off without the defense, which later joined for end-of-quarter and red-zone situations. Todd Haley stressed moving into field-goal range.

Wide receiver Bobby Engram continues to show leadership on the field while Devard Darling is being called out for dropping passes. With Toomer signed, Darling needs to step it up if he wants to make the roster.

Wide receivers Quinten Lawrence and Rodney Wright are favorites for punt returner.

Punter Dustin Colquitt got in a handful of reps during a punt return drill. Long snapper Tanner Purdum gave out some high snaps to Colquitt. There's some work to do because many of Colquitt's punts would have been blocked during live games. His punts are getting off too slowly.

Safety DaJuan Morgan, linebackers Zach Thomas, Weston Dacus and Demorrio Williams did not practice today, instead working out with the strength and conditioning coaches. Running back Kolby Smith, offensive guard Wade Smith and tight end Brad Cottam joined them.


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