Mangini had an interesting take on the practices. "I think anytime you get a group of people together that haven't worked together, including the coaching staff on the field, there's going to be some bumps. That's what it looked like. ... They were working hard. The tempo was good. The effort was there. It's just that I expected some better results."
First draft pick D'Brickashaw Ferguson looks larger, although perhaps not yet as large as his 6-6, 312-pound roster weight. There was no contact in the padless drills, and often he was playing "defense" and holding a blocking cushion as OL coach Tony Wise had other tackles playing offense. ... Biggest OT on the field: UCLA free agent Ed Blanton, listed at 6-9, 330.
Mangini declined to single out most players, but he did say of second-round QB Kellen Clemens: "He did have some moments in the afternoon practice where I really did see the things I expected to see: someone who was misaligned, he said, 'OK, over here, you need to be set here.' That presence, that understanding of what we're trying to get done, seeing the big picture, that's something we did see."
Some think late-first-rounder Nick Mangold may start out as a pro not at center but at guard. Mangold didn't express a preference. "I'm just excited to be part of a line and a team that wants to have me," he said. "I'll see where I fit in." Mangold handled the "first-team" offensive snaps, but he also lined up at guard and, for a few plays, at tackle.
Fellow Ohio Stater Anthony Schlegel, listed as 6-1 and 251, doesn't look as big. But in limited observations of drills, he moved well and forcefully to the hole. Schlegel also confirmed the stories that he hunted wild boar with a knife, but he said he hasn't done that for two years. The boar are in his home state of Texas, while Columbus, Ohio, is good for deer and quail.
Mangold said he doesn't really know second-round QB Kellen Clemens yet but that in the morning practice, "I feel he had great presence." Of having a different QB's hands under his butt, he said with a laugh, "That was OK, nothing awkward." ... Clemens didn't throw any deep balls in the 45-minute practice window reporters were allowed to observe, but he showed a quick setup and release in delivering the ball accurately on slants and out-cuts.
Mangini's loudest exhortation came during the drills where the LBs and DBs had to step once or twice in between bags, six in a row. "Stay off the bags!" the coach said, raising his voice not quite to a bellow. ... One violator who prompted that order: free-agent LB Blake Costanzo.
Brad Smith was perhaps the most visible participant in the p.m. practice. The four-year Missouri QB, getting his first experience as a wide receiver, had some good moments, some bad. He made nice hand catches and quick snatches on short stop routes and a nice over-the-shoulder grab further downfield. ... But he dropped in-cut, then slipped on the slightly slick turf from the previous night's downpour as the ball sailed over his body. ... Next: a shallow cross on which he juggled a Clemens pass once, twice, three times before dropping it, losing his balance and rolling into an athletic somersault. ... But he followed that up with a nice snag of a slant pass thrown behind him by invitee QB Jay Davis from North Carolina State.
Some fans have inquired about Smith's 40 time, which was listed as slow as 4.54 at one spot on nfl.com but as 4.46 in another area of the Web site. Smith cleared that up, saying, "My fastest time at Missouri was 4.36," he said. "At my pro day I ran a 4.38 and a 4.44. At the combine I was 4.46." He said the 4.54 probably was the scout holding the slowest stopwatch at his pro day.
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