"Today was probably our warmest one-a-day of training camp, our warmest day of practice out there. I thought that this was an excellent day of work for us. We haven't had any real hot days since we started and as I said to the players, this felt like training camp."
It was a long, warm practice. The player's could be heard asking for water often.
Offensive tackle Branden Albert left the field for the trainer's tent early. On the sideline, he kneeled often during drills with his head down. Whether it was the heat getting to him or something else is unknown, but he did not participate in team play.
Linebackers Monty Beisel and Demorrio Williams joined the team for practice after spending time on bike. It was Williams' first practice of training camp. Running back Jamaal Charles also joined the team after his time on the bike this morning. Zach Thomas, Kolby Smith, Tavares Washington and DaJuan Morgan did not practice team. . .they were on the bikes.
The spotlight has been on Dwayne Bowe since Haley said the coaches would find players who would do it "our way." Monday the first depth chart was released with Bowe was slotted as the third receiver behind Amani Toomer and Devard Darling. Today Bowe struggled during a receiving drill that put the receivers up against two coaches with blocking pads. He had trouble holding onto the ball so the coaches made Bowe repeat the drill seven times, until he got it right, but he never did. Is it a mental problem with Bowe or something more?
Kicker Ryan Succop has been consistent. He has made over 90 percent of his field goals, and was perfect today, hitting kicks from the 26, 27, 30 and 34-yard lines.
In special teams drills, returning punts was the focus, with wide receivers Rodney Wright and Quinten Lawrence playing returner.
The defense showed up to play and defensive end Alfonso Boone and linebacker Mike Vrabel stood out. Boone knocked down two passes and Vrabel covered well.
On the other side of the ball, the offense tested Haley's nerve. He made sure they knew they were standing around too much when they should be moving and blocking on the field. The quarterback-to-receiver connection continues to be a problem at all levels.
Although he currently sits third on the depth chart, quarterback Tyler Thigpen came out with the second-string offense and Brodie Croyle—who is second on the depth chart—led the third team.
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