Quarterback Brad Johnson wants to play a lot in Monday's preseason opener against Oakland, and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell would like to see his starting quarterback on the field as much as possible.
But both know that Johnson won't see much action in the first preseason
"I've had a ton of reps in practice," said Johnson, who expects to play at least the opening quarter and maybe the first half. "The biggest thing is just having my legs underneath me and being in condition for the first (regular-season) game."
Coach Brad Childress said he'll discuss playing time for his starters after Sunday's practice, but Bevell said that Johnson knows the system well enough that he'll be ready for the opener Sept. 11 at Washington.
"When you're talking about the offense as a whole, with the new additions on the line, with Brad with the receivers and with the running backs, they all need to work together," Bevell said. "They have to start to jell and form an identity."
HUTCHINSON ON TOP
Kevin Williams has played against so many guards that the defensive tackle doesn't like to rank the competition. But after two weeks of practice, he knows where teammate Steve Hutchinson ranks.
"He's at the top of the chart," Williams said.
On consecutive one-on-one pass-rushing drills, Hutchinson completely stonewalled Williams.
Right after that, center Matt Birk squared off against defensive tackle
Pat Williams, and Birk won the first drill, Williams the second.
Backup center Jason Whittle left practice Thursday when his heart rate reached 180 beats per minute, and while that sounds serious, it's almost something that Whittle expects.
"It's happened four times in my life," he said. "The first couple times, it scared me.'
Whittle said it's happened once a year for the last four years, and
Thursday he said he went off the field sat down and had a drink of cold water. He's had his heart checked a couple of times, and he's not concerned. In fact, he said he hasn't felt this healthy in four or five years.
Receivers Marcus Robinson and Koren Robinson returned to practice
Friday. Marcus Robinson missed two days with a sprained neck, and Koren
Robinson sat out Thursday with a knee problem. Running back Ciatrick
Fason, who suffered a concussion on Tuesday, was not in pads Friday and worked out on an adjacent practice field.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Defensive tackle C. J. Mosley put a big hit of running back Wendell
Mathis during a nine-on-nine drill, and safety Greg Blue laid out tight end Jeff Dugan after a reception, continuing a strong camp for the rookie from Georgia.
"That's how I've made a name for myself," Blue said.
The best catch of the morning practice was turned in by Josh Davis, who made a leaping reception from Tarvaris Jackson along the sideline.
Jason Carter also made a nice catch, stabbing the ball from the behind him, knocking it up in the air and catching it before the defensive back arrived. For the second consecutive day, linebacker E.J. Henderson made an interception, using his vertical jump to snare the ball before going out of bounds.
Johnson Wants Action Monday Night
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