Linebackers Mike Vrabel and Zach Thomas did not participate. Vrabel was seen after the scrimmage in workout clothes. After leaving practice with an injury yesterday guard Tavares Washington was not present during the scrimmage.
The quarterbacks were up and down today. Even Matt Cassel had his share of bad throws, including a fumbled snap. Cassel had trouble connecting with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and threw two interceptions down the left sideline. Tyler Thigpen was telegraphing his passes, making it easy for the defense and missing open receivers. Brodie Croyle made his appearance with the second-string offense and Matt Gutierrez got in a few reps with the second and third-string offenses, hitting a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Not all was bad, as the quarterbacks had some nice scrambles and touchdown passes.
Wide receiver Amani Toomer fumbled after a 13-yard completion from Cassel on the right sideline, and caught a 17-yard pass down the right sideline from Thigpen. Wide receiver Devard Darling showed up to play, making some big catches and playing with enthusiasm.
The second-string defense rushed the passer well. In back-to-back plays defensive end Glenn Dorsey and outside linebacker Tambi Hali would have sacked Croyle had they been playing in a real game.
Tank Tyler made an appearance at nose tackle with the first string, playing aggressively. Offensive tackle Branden Albert demonstrated his ability, showing heart and never quitting on a downfield block that allowed running back Jackie Battle to pick up eight yards up the left sideline.
Battle is showing why he should make the 53-man roster. He ran hard today and had two touchdowns, one on which he leapt over a pile of blockers and defenders from the 5-yard line and into the end zone. Running back Jamaal Charles also showed up on a shifty 20-yard touchdown run.
After missing his first attempt from the 23-yard line on the left hash mark, kicker Ryan Succop hit the rest of his field goals with a long of 57 yards.
Wide receiver Jeff Webb struggled, dropping more passes than he caught. Webb's play has put him near the cutting block during camp.
Dantrell Savage fought for yards during the scrimmage. Although he was shut down early on, he came back during the second half with some nice gains.
Overall the defense seems to be playing cohesively and had numerous stops. Newly signed defensive end Tyson Jackson had some reps early on with the first-string. Coaches are definitely evaluating his potential and ability to contribute in this system. He's rusty after missing a week of crucial practices, but improved from yesterday's practice and had a couple nice lockouts against his opponents.
Cornerback Brandon Flowers' play showed that he isn't scared, when he laid a nice hit on tight end Jake O'Connell on a pass up the middle. O'Connell will be sore tonight.
Running back Javarris Williams saw the wrath of Todd Haley after an apparently lackluster run. A wide receiver also got a piece of Haley's mind when he did not know what to do during a play. Haley called for someone to take his place.
The scrimmage ended with another conditioning run as rain began to fall.
River Falls Recap: 8/8 PM Practice
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