Matt Jones was at practice tonight, and participated in some individual drills, but aside from that, spent the majority of the practice along the sideline nursing a slightly strained hamstring, and only got into one drill late in the practice. Ernest Wilford was not seen on the field during the evening session, so no updates are available.
Now, let's get to those drills.
11x11 (Part I – running drills)
The drill was a short 11x11 to work on the running game. All of the running backs got the chance to run off tackle on a couple of attempts. Each back looked solid working the perimeters. Fred and Maurice are clearly a cut above the other two backs but Toefield continues to push himself to separate from Alvin Pearman, and his work may net him a roster spot for another year when the dust settles on training camp.
They ran the 1x2 drills in the red zone this evening, giving them the opportunity to shoot for a touchdown on every completion.
Lester Ricard connected with John Broussard on a short pass over the middle in the end zone for a touchdown.
Byron Leftwich hit Dennis Northcutt, who has obviously become his favorite target, on a crossing route in front of Brian Williams. The coverage was spot on, but the pass was on target and Northcutt made a nice effort to shield the ball away from Williams.
Quinn Gray connected with Jimmy Farris on a curl route in the front of the end zone with Rashean in coverage, pulling in the touchdown pass.
Byron and Mike Walker were in sync on a fade route in the left corner of the end zone dropped right into his hands over the coverage of Rashod Moulton. It was perfectly delivered and a great effort was made to haul the pass in.
Tim Couch hit D'Juan Woods on a short out in the end zone for a touchdown.
Charles Sharon appears to have shaken the cobwebs free and is starting to regain the form that made him the star of mini camp and Optional Team Activities over the summer. His route running was significantly improved this evening, including on a post route in the end zone in front of Rashod Moulton, cutting precisely enough on the short route to get separation necessary to haul in Byron's bullet.
Quinn Gray hit John Broussard on a little out route in front of Jamar Landrom. On the play, Landrom came up lame, appearing to turn an ankle. It did not look to be too serious as he walked it off and participated later in practice.
Byron found Mike Walker again in the end zone on a slant route going over the top of Bruce Thornton on the play.
Quinn Gray showed some rust during the session, including one errant pass that was short and behind his intended target, Roosevelt Kiser.
Reggie Williams showed spotty hands on a crossing route delivered by Byron Leftwich. He got his hands up to make the play on what should have been an easy grab in the end zone. However, it almost appeared as if he was more intent to bat the ball down with his wrists than to catch it, and the ball fell incomplete.
Byron continued to pick on Rashod Moulton, throwing another fade to Charles Sharon going over the top of the corner back.
7x7 (Part I):
There were not a whole lot of highlights from this drill other than the usual work on the short passes over the middle to outlet receivers, or dump offs to running backs. The best play of the session was when Byron attempted to hit Jermaine Wiggins going over the middle, but Mike Peterson made a great effort to tip the ball up and over the Tight End, and right into the hands of Reggie Nelson.
The focus from my perspective was centered on the blocking drills with the running backs and linebackers. This was an entertaining drill last week that got quite spirited at certain points in the process.
It is clear that during this drill, our linebackers are really, really fast.
Justin Durant and Brian Iwuh really stood out in this drill, running by or through LaBrandon Toefield, Alvin Pearman, Montell Owens, and Maurice Jones-Drew. Iwuh was only stopped one time, and it was by Pearman, who had already been burned twice by the linebacker.
Greg Jones and Fred Taylor did a decent job of walking Daryl Smith and Mike Peterson by the quarterback, but Smith did manage to get around Jones on one play to get at the quarterback, and Peterson did the same against Maurice Jones-Drew.
Peterson put a great move on Derrick Wimbush, cutting one way, and then went back in the other direction, leaving Wimbush frozen as he ran right by him and got to the quarterback.
11x11 (Part II):
Reggie Hayward started the session with a quick sack of Byron Leftwich, getting the angle on Pashos and showing a quick first step on the play.
Byron connected with Jermaine Wiggins, who was lined up at Fullback on the play, then rolled to the outside, and grabbed the pass over the middle for a first down.
Khalif Barnes was flagged for a false start when Byron used the hard count to try to draw the defensive line off side.
Byron hit LaBrandon Toefield on a quick dump off, which was stuffed by Mike Peterson, who gave Toefield a little shoulder bump that flattened him in his tracks. Peterson clearly is ready for some real contact as he did this a couple of times during practice with the same result.
Byron actually ran what looked to be a designed scramble off the right side behind Pashos on a little bootleg. It was not the prettiest scramble by a quarterback ever witnessed, but he does not look like he is about to trip over his feet in the same manner that he did last year. Clearly, his running is much improved as a result of working with Shula, and getting the ankle issues resolved. Still, it is not something you want to see him doing even on a rarest of occasions.
The trend continued for the first play after Garrard took over under center as Justin Durant and James Wyche came from opposite sides of the line and met at number 9 for a sack.
Garrard scrambled out of the backfield on the next play after not seeing any open receivers to get the ball out to. The scramble went for a short gain.
LaBrandon Toefield showed some nice cutting, and a little burst as he sliced through the defensive line for a 5 yard gain up the middle.
Garrard completed a crossing pass on a short route to Jermaine Wiggins that went for a minimal gain (less than 2 yards).
Garrard tried to force a pass to John Broussard into triple coverage with Dee Webb, Scott Starks, and Kevin McCadam in coverage. The ball was thrown short into the seam, falling incomplete.
When Tim Couch took over the offense, his drive ended abruptly when Jeremy Mincey got by Ryan Gibbons and sacked Couch to start and end his drive.
Quinn Gray broke the trend of first play sacks by unloading a pass intended for Greg Estandia. The pass was thrown behind the intended target, and Chad Nkang almost intercepted it as a result, but could not hang on to the Gray bullet.
D.D. Terry showed some nice wiggle and speed around the corner as he got to the edge and turned up field for a nice gain.
Tony McDaniel got good penetration, deep enough to bat down a pass intended for Greg Estandia.
Tim Couch got back in and completed a short out to Derrick Wimbush just as the horn blew to switch to the next drill.
7x7 (Part II):
This was a drill that had a mix of the canned 7x7 drill and some red zone work.
Byron tried to hit Charles Sharon on a deep (45+ yards) sideline pass that was just beyond his reach. Sensabaugh had come in over the top to help Rashean Mathis in coverage, and almost got to the pass to intercept it, but was a half step off.
On the next play, Byron targeted Mike Walker on a slant pattern in front of Nick Sorensen. Walker showed why Sorensen is a nice special teams player, but a liability in coverage, leaving him stone-footed in the secondary with a slight turn of the hips.
Reggie Williams ran a dig route on a pass from David Garrard, and then turned on the burners (yes, the burners) to rip through the secondary, showing nice speed as he ran away from his defender.
In red zone drills, Quinn Gray nailed Greg Estandia on a nicely delivered pass over Scott Starks in coverage.
Tim Couch hit Matt Jones on a slant route over the middle for a touchdown.
Quinn Gray hit Alvin Pearman on the sideline, but Pearman took the ball out of bounds short of the goal line.
Byron connected with Dennis Northcutt on a short slant that came up just shy of the goal.
Leftwich then hit Mike Walker with the same play in front of Gerald Sensabaugh for a touchdown.
The red zone drill ended when none of the receivers could shake their coverage, forcing Byron to throw the ball through the back of the end zone.
11x11 (Part III):
Maurice Jones-Drew made the first round draft pick, Reggie Nelson, look foolish on a juke move in the secondary. Of course, Drew has done this to far better players in his short career, so making a rookie look bad, even a first round draft pick, is not what I would consider cause for concern.
Byron connected with a nice route running, quicker looking Reggie Williams on a quick out over the top of Rashean Mathis. Williams did a great job of using his size to beat the jam to get the angle on the ball.
Quinn Gray struggled with his accuracy, dropping a ball at the feet of his intended receiver, LaBrandon Toefield, on a short dump pass in the backfield. He was almost sacked on the play by Kenny Pettway, which may have contributed to his rushing the pass.
Tim Couch made a nice spin move on a screen pass to Alvin Pearman, faking one way, spinning the other, and delivering the short pass on target in one quick motion.
Quinn Gray showed some nice touch after firing some rockets during practice, going over the top to drop a pass over coverage on an out route to John Broussard.
Goal Line –
Fred Taylor made a spin move to shake off a tackle, and then found a crease in the line to punch the ball into the end zone.
Byron dropped a pass over the top of Brian Williams hitting Charles Sharon on a fade route in the back of the end zone.
LaBrandon Toefield took the ball right up the middle for a touchdown.
David Garrard attempted to hit John Broussard on a fade route, but overthrew him by a few yards in the back of the end zone.
Toefield attempted to repeat his run up the middle for a touchdown, but Mike Peterson plugged the hole he was trying to exploit, stopping him short of the end zone.
Montell Owens tried to punch the ball up the middle and into the end zone, finding a hole in the defense and getting the touchdown.
Derrick Wimbush attempted to replicate his success, but Tony McDaniel took exception to that, swallowing him up as he tried to get the ball punched into the end zone.
Garrard hit Montell Owens on a slant, but Owens tripped and fell short of the goal line.
Garrard finished the practice with a bootleg that he walked into the end zone untouched.
When the drill ended, the less than intense practice was recognized by Jack Del Rio with a special gift to the players. They had to run wind sprints at the end of the session.
Mike Walker had a solid practice with Matt Jones and Ernest Wilford on the mend. Northcutt and Byron continue to show a real connection developing between the two of them.
Hayward looked sharp during the practice session, displaying the same disruptive ability that drew the Jaguars to him initially. If he can avoid any setbacks, he appears to be well enough along in his recovery to be able to really help the team this year.
It is clear that the team needs to start hitting someone, so the first preseason game can not get here quickly enough. You can sense the twitchiness with some of the guys on defense as they are trying to contain their hits against teammates.
Camping with FBT: 08/07/07 - PM Session
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