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Tuesday Morning- The North
showed a nice arm and better fundamentals, especially with his footwork setting
up to throw but still, his ball placement is lousy dropping into the pocket (he
holds the ball waist high) and his accuracy was wild. Garrard seemed to pre-determine where the pass would end up
and threw it regardless if his receiver was in the middle of double coverage or
wide open. Josh McCown did nothing to impress today as he was
directing his throws and did not react well when pressured.
He does a solid job scanning the field and looked off the safety in the
pocket. Kurt Kittner's
day could be best described as inconsistent; he takes an extra step throwing off
a three-step drop, which slowed his release, and constantly forced his passes
into coverage. The throws lack zip
and he tried to direct the ball too much.
was used early in practice to return punts and looked consistent, showing the
ability to handle the ball and even catch it fluidly on the move.
When handed the ball as a runner he showed good moves, shake-n-bake and
great vision with a lot of patience mixed in.
Westbrook is small but used it to his advantage as he runs low and gets
lost behind his linemen. He also
caught the ball well. Lamar
Gordon showed well today. He
is a patient runner with good vision and finds the running lanes quickly getting
through them and has the speed to turn the corner.
He does not adjust well off the initial hit and was not used much as a
receiver out of the backfield.
worked hard all morning, diving all over the field to make the tough reception,
fighting off defenders. Overall he
looked good but not in the class of Daniel Graham.
Graham played with speed, intensity and did well all day.
He ran great routes and constantly beat opposing linebackers trying to
cover him. Though his blocking is
nothing to write home about it is not because from lack-of-effort rather, pure
As tough a practice Woodrow
Danzler had yesterday the same cannot be said for Antwaan Randle-El.
This morning as the former Indiana quarterback looked solid in every
aspect of his game. First, as a punt returner, he handled the duties well
and caught all the punts when waiting for the ball.
He had some difficulty judging the punts and was making to many last
minute adjustments, but overall he was passable. Randle-El was then even better when used as a receiver; he
caught the ball well all day long, went over the middle, extended and pulled the
high pass out of the air. He also
ran good routes and came back to the ball, extending his hands and plucking the
pass naturally. Randle-El needs to
get in a little more in-tune with his quarterback but overall it was an
excellent showing. Another receiver
that drew raves for his play today was Marquis Walker, who caught everything in
site, dominating opponents. Walker
uses his is great size and strength to get off jams or box out opponents and did
a fine job catching the pass in stride. Cliff
Russell of Utah played with good speed as was expected and made a few
difficult receptions on the sidelines but does not show the strong hands or
ability to pluck the high throw out of the air and dropped a few.
Herb Haygood, who drew rave reviews yesterday had a very
inconsistent practice and mishandled a lot of easy passes.
Ashley Lelie was at practice hanging out.
We spoke with him at length and presently he is in Atlanta working out
full-time with Chip Smith. Lelie
said they are doing a lot of seven-on-seven drills and some explosive weight
lifting to improve his strength and speed but not bulk.
Improve his speed? Lelie
told us he has run a 4.22 forty, which is what he's looking to duplicate
before the draft. He is undecided
about running in Indianapolis during the combine and is trying to set up a
pro-day workout but surprisingly, is not doing much work on his route running.
To our minds no linemen looked as
good as Chester Pitts; he is fundamentally sound, has excellent
footwork and plays with good technique until the whistle blows.
He also showed surprising strength at the point and buried Dwight Freeney
the first play in drills. Pitts
however does not show the great blocking range and we are still a bit unsettled
about him being a full-time left tackle. Eric
Heitman drew much praise from the coaches today and he worked hard,
playing with both strength and leverage. He
never got beat at any point and held his ground all practice. Victor Rogers also played very well today.
Rogers is a solid natural athlete with good strength who destroyed
opponents when he plays with solid fundamentals, the problem is Rogers does not
stay square and gets turned which leads to him getting beat.
That happened on one play but Rogers listened to the coaches the
following snap and drove Ryan Denney five yards off the line of scrimmage, which
had scouts clapping. Richard
Williams made his debut here today and his upper body strength is
apparent, so apparent as he looks almost top heavy. He is strong at the point
but needs a lot of technique work as he does too much shifting of his shoulders
and is not good with his hands. Jonathan
Goodwin of Michigan was another that played with good strength and
power, overwhelming opponents all practice.
Ditto that for Ed Ta'Amu who drove opponents off the line
but had difficulty finishing his blocks as he has a tendency to duck his head. PJ Alexander was complimented by coaches for
his techniques and style but must improve his playing strength.
Alexander spent most of the day at center.
How intense is this week? Victor Rogers and Eric Heitman had blood
stained uniforms by the middle of the session.
Matt Hill did not distinguish himself and looked
looked good in morning drills, showing solid footwork and lateral movement
skills. Later on in scrimmage his
quickness and explosion off the snap were evident and though he went hard he
still gets wired in blocks with opponents rather easily.
We spoke with him after practice (an interview we will post next week)
and he told us he is intently working out and getting ready for the combine.
Another we spoke with at length who had a good practice was Akin Ayodele
of Purdue, obviously the best athlete of all the defensive linemen from the
North. He is fluid and fast, covers
a lot of ground and was quick off the snap but like Tripplett, had difficulty
getting off blocks once engaged with opponents.
Ayodele told us during an interview (which we will post next week) he has
been doing linebacker drills in case teams want him to move off the line of
scrimmage but has not been told he will do so here this week.
Nate Dwyer does not have the sane athleticism as Ayodele
but still looked solid today. He is
explosive off the snap and a hard working, hard-nosed prospect that plays with a
nasty attitude. At one point he
went after LeCharles Bentley after the whistle, only to be separated by coaches. Dwyer has difficulty in any direction other than straight
ahead and is slow to shed blocks as well. Dwight
Freeney was quick and athletic but could not get off blocks in scrimmage
and was hammered by Chester Pitts and at one point was handled by Tracey Wistrom.
Later on Freeney sat on the sidelines with an injury to his left ankle.
Anthony Weaver is strong, athletic and does not get beaten
by blocks but you just get the idea it takes a while for everything to sink in
with him as he shows no explosion or suddenness to his game.
He was consistently a half-step behind the opponent off the snap and
rarely beat anyone. Weaver has
great potential and upside but is a ways from meeting it.
Gregory Scott showed athleticism, hustle and quickness all
morning but is technically unsound and does not do a good job playing low with
leverage and made himself a target all day for opposing linemen.
looks a little rusty playing off the line of scrimmage after lining up in a
three-point stance all year but shows great speed and explosion. He now needs to fine-tune the instincts.
James Allen did well reading and anticipating run plays
also showing the ability to play off blocks but just lacks and quickness or
"zest" to his game.
was one of the better defensive backs for the North and made several impressive
picks in practice. Rahsad
Bauman looked solid in drills all morning and though small, did his best
to play a physical brand of football and prove to scouts he would not be
intimidated by bigger opponents; for the most part he succeeded. Kevin Thomas of UNLV had a solid practice
looking fluid and smooth in his hips and was quick turning back to the ball
making plays against the pass. Lamont
Thompson looked real good all practice. When placed in man-on-man coverage assignments in drills he
more than held his own and did a great job all day covering deep centerfield
when playing safety. He moves well
sideline-to-sideline and shows excellent footwork.
had a bit of an inconsistent day. He
kicked a few beautiful moon-shots that got great hang-time and perfectly
spiraled through the air and to his credit, he is quick getting the ball off his
foot but on more than a few occasions the ball quivered through the air and he
punted for poor distance. He was
nowhere near the level of Nick Harris last year.
Ryan Denney and Grant Wistrom
were both used to long snap and though not great, improved as the day progressed
and showed some potential. The snaps lacked zip getting to the punter but the
were accurate and easy to handle.
Circulating the field: The Titans have been shopping Terrell Owens; it
seems they expect to pick him up in the expansion draft and are asking a first
and third round pick for him!