Tuesday at Shrine practice: East

Tuesdays practice was two hours in length which allowed scouts a longer period of time for viewing the prospects. East coach Joe Tiller pleased the scouts in attendance by making today's practice full pads. While the linemen on both sides of the ball remained physical today offered a better look at the skill players, especially the quarterbacks and receivers who have had a chance to develop a sense of timing with one another.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had the best day of the East's three quarterbacks.  Fitzpatrick displayed better accuracy and finally demonstrated arm strength.  He also showed the ability to avoid pressure and roll out but was not effective throwing on the run.  Kyle Orton had a much better day throwing the football as well, though he has the benefit of teammate Taylor Stubblefield catching passes.  Their comfort with one another became apparent today but Orton still had difficulties making plays when pressured.  And like yesterday, his deep throws continue to flutter.  Stefan LeFors made several plays with his feet during passing drills but his lack of arm strength was evident and he had difficulty completing many of his passes.

Once again one of the most impressive players for the East was Louisville receiver J.R. Russell.  Russell, the biggest receiver on the squad, ran excellent routes and showed the ability to get downfield throughout practice.  Everyone present took notice when he left a defensive back on the ground following after a double move downfield.  Another receiver who played well was Chauncy Stovall.  Though not as tall as Russell, he is much thicker and plays a more physical brand of football. Doing a nice job of keeping his body between the defensive back and the ball, Stovall extended his hands to make the catch all day.  Though not particularly fast Stovall's route running allowed him to get open on deep routes today.  Taylor Stubblefield and Josh Davis both rebounded from pedestrian days on Monday by running good routes.  Each player still seems to have a problem concentrating and dropped several catchable passes throughout practice. Dominic Robinson did not stand out today.  

Lehigh tight end Adam Bergen had a solid practice.  Though not the blocker Madison Hedgecock of North Carolina proved himself to be, Bergen made several nice plays catching the ball as teams took notice.

Ryan Grant had another solid if unspectacular day running the football.  Grant stands out with his hustle and did a nice job keeping his balance during full contact drills.  The best looking running back for either team so far remains Ryan Moats.  Moats left two defenders in the dust today during scrimmage as he juked around them on a screen pass, which got a rise from scouts.  Lacking just average size, Moats makes up for it with speed and quickness.  Jesse Lumdsden does not standout at all.  The easiest player to root for is Navy fullback Kyle Eckell.  Eckell hustles more than anyone on the field and plays tenaciously.  Unfortunately he is too small to play fullback in the NFL.  

Nick Kaczur and Jonathan Colon remain the class of the offensive linemen from the East.  Both blockers continued to play well in space and moved their opponents off the ball in run blocking situations.  Though Kaczur did not look comfortable today when positioned at guard, he did show the ability to get out to the second level and destroy linebackers.  Vanderbilt's Justin Geisinger had a much better day at guard.  His footwork was better during drills which allowed him to keep pass rushers at bay.  Yet when tried at his college position of tackle Geisinger looked uncomfortable as his footwork became sloppy trying to keep up with speedy edge rushers.  Illinois center Duke Preston had a nice day playing guard.  He held his ground in pass protection and played with more strength then on Monday. Minnesota offensive tackle Rian Melander had a tough time holding up today and did not look as sound as he did on Monday.  Jason Respert, Bucky Babcock, and Scott Mruczkowski did not stand out today.  Unfortunately for C. J. Brooks and Pete McMahon they did stand out as they got beat all practice by opponents.  

Defensively it was more of the same on the front seven.  Jay Ratliff continues to be unblockable during drills and was even allowed to line up at defensive end today.  Once place on the outside Ratliff showed the ability to beat tackles going inside, outside, or straight through them.  Albert Means also had another good day.  South Carolina's Darrell Shropshire was another that had a good day for the East.  Shropshire did a nice job coming off blocks and got penetration several times throughout practice.  When double teamed however, Shropshire was ineffective.  Darrell Reid of Minnesota won the award for most enthusiastic player of the day.  Reid was the first to volunteer for special teams duties and lobbied continuously to get more opportunities during drills.  He made an impressive play during scrimmage running down Ryan Fitzpatrick on a naked bootleg.  Simon Fraser continued to build on Monday's solid practice.  Fraser has difficulty coming off blocks but possesses a quick first step and gives a maximum effort until the play is blown dead.  Santonio Thomas continues to disappoint with his uninspired play.

Arnold Harrison continues to show superior speed and does a nice job getting depth on drops in pass coverage.  Unfortunately he appeared a step slow mentally diagnosing the action.  He also had difficulty coming off of blocks.  Leroy Hill of Clemson looked forceful against the run and did a nice job eluding blockers then getting to the ball carrier.  Pat Thomas continues to impress with his athleticism and intensity.  He and Kyle Eckell got into one scuffle on the sidelines today following a play in scrimmage.  Lionel Turner did not stand out.

While the quarterbacks and wide receivers benefited from getting used to each other on Monday, the defensive backs had a more difficult time.  Dominique Foxworth had possibly the best day among the secondary players on the East.  Foxworth did a nice job of reacting when the ball was thrown and displayed a good break on the ball.  Andrew Guman still struggled with pass coverage though he is decisive and forceful against the run.  Alex Green has almost no backpedal to speak of.  Markus Curry continues to show good coverage techniques but had a difficult time keeping his footing today.  He was also fooled several times on double moves.  Andre Maddox displayed a nice break on the ball.  Dustin Fox continues to play well but may be a step slow for the next level.  Sidney Haugabrook was unable to continue the momentum he started in yesterday's practice.  Though fundamentally sound Haugabrook is susceptible to double moves and was beaten several times today.


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