"We practiced hard," he said. "And at the end, that's as hard as I've seen a team run gassers.
They were competing with each other. Those guys ran hard. And I told them, that's a big part of what we're going to do. We're going to need to close people out in the fourth quarter. And the only way we're going to do that is to run right to the bitter end of practice. I was proud of them, the way they ran at the end of practice."
Fassel was growing increasingly angrier with first-round holdout William Joseph. The coach even hinted that if his number one pick stays away much longer that he might phone him.
"I'm annoyed that some people think it doesn't matter if they're here on time or not," he said. "They say, 'If he shows up a couple of weeks late, he'll still make the team.' I want to win football games. He hasn't played one snap in the National Football League. What else has he been doing? Let's go."
Lost in all the Ron Dayne/Dorsey Levens hoopla has been the fullback battle being waged by Charles Stackhouse and Jim Finn. Fassel said it's been too close to call in the early going between Stackhouse, the better runner and receiver, and Finn, who's clearly the better blocker. "It could come down to who helps us most on special teams," Fassel said. "I don't want a fullback that can't help us on special teams."
Fassel reiterated his desire to give backup QB Jesse Palmer plenty of work this summer.
"This is a big year for him to prove to us that in the future, and if Kerry went down, that he can go in and win football games," Fassel said. "I like Jesse, but I'm also looking for constant improvement.
"Right now, he's getting the same amount of reps as Kerry. In the preseason, he will get more reps than Kerry."…
The afternoon session was highlighted by excellent catches from Amani Toomer and Ike Hilliard…Jeremy Shockey and Micheal Barrow engaged in their usual post-play banter…A day after being ripped into by Fassel during practice, OT Jeff Hatch rebounded and had a solid day of work.