A lot of people in the organization have been talking about the work Darrius Hayward-Bey has been doing in the offseason, and this week's OTA session was proof of that. Although the players are practicing with no pads and with little to no contact, Heyward-Bey was impressive in his route-running and displayed great hands—the two areas where he was most lacking last season. He has gotten a lot of praise from coaches and teammates, including Nnamdi Asomugha, who was beat badly on one play by Heyward-Bey. Said Asomugha, "that's the best practice I've seen from him here."
Head Coach Tom Cable added, "Darrius was really on today. But I thought a lot of things went into that. I thought the quarterbacks threw him a lot of balls on time. He caught the ball well, made a move after the catch, which I thought was most impressive. It was a very good day for him."
The offense as a whole has been impressive, particularly the passing attack. Most who were in attendance agree that Wednesday's performance was the most impressive displaying of passing the team has showcased in quite a while.
Seems like a big part of that has been Hue Jackson, who was as gregarious as ever. Jackson is hard on his offense players, but is not afraid to call out the defenders. It is quite the motivational tactic, for both sides of the ball.
An interesting tidbit by Asomugha on Jackson and the offense, "I don't think it's new plays. We always had all these plays. It's just that now we're running them. Last year, they were taking more time on their basic plays, whereas now he's going straight into everything and it's helping them out."
Jason Campbell took most of the snaps, and looked very impressive as far as mechanics go. He moved well and was fluid in his drop backs and delivery. With the JaMarcus Russell-era officially over and with Campbell entrenched as the starter (despite what the team is saying publicly), there is a definite fresh air of optimism on the field. If anything, it feels like there is nothing holding this team back or, no pun intended, weighing them down.
Richard Seymour is still a no-show while his contract situation is being worked out.
Bruce Gradkowski, Matt Shaughnessy, Isaiah Ekejibua, and Phil Hubbard were unavailable due to injury. Tommy Kelly and Chris Johnson were excused from practice, according to Cable.
OTA News & Notes
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