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Camp report ..
Jim Fadler’s Camp Report –Aug. 7
First thirty minutes of camp were once again devoted to special teams coverage. Today the emphasis was on kick coverage. the three kick returners that got the most reps were Given, Pead and Amendola. I got a really good luck at Zuerlein’s mechanics. I already commented that he isn’t all that big and he really doesn’t take an enormous swing at the ball to get the incredible distance he has shown so far. What he has is really solid mechanics and discipline. He always keeps his head down, doesn’t ever seem to vary his plant or swing. He gets really good hang time and today was really only punching at the ball to allow the return to happen.
They also worked on a punt drill where the ball was short kicked and the returner had to catch on a bounce. Amendola looked the best as expected on that.
Hekker is working as the holder for Zuerlein and late in the day he picked up the snap and rolled out a couple of times and threw the ball.
QB-They had a about a 10 minute interval where all the throws were deep and Bradford looked much better with a lot more on the ball and actually overthrew several.
In 7 on 7 Kellen Clemons will break the play continually and roll out to the right taking forever and extending what is supposed to be a quick hitting drill. I might add most of the time it seems when he does this its an incompletion. Rolling out in a structured drill to one side of the field takes away half of your options, defeats the purpose of the drill and just reinforces to me that his decision making is slow and Sam needs to stay on the field.
RB-Pead got the rap from some observers for a lot of drops Saturday during the Dome workout. There was corner fade in the end zone that was thrown to his right when he was going left that he spun around and dropped. Its a play that I have seen Matt Forte make several times but Pead dropped it. There really isn’t much to go on at this point. But I have noticed that he doesn’t really catch the ball in stride as well as you would like. Even if the pass is on target he tends to stop, catch it and then turn and run. Richardson got on the field today and looked a lot more fluid on pass routes. He is fast but not Pead fast.
Pead had a great run in 11 on 11 where he “lured” Laurinaitis in with a shoulder fake, got him to bite just a little bit and then floored it to the outside and was just gone. If he is even he is leavin’.
The Ivy leaguer Schweiger had a couple of nice moments.
WR-DX came onto the field late but warmed up and had some of the best plays of the day. He played out of the slot quite a bit in 11 on 11 and had one beautiful catch on a slant that was slightly overthrown that would have been a huge gain in a game. I did notice that if he went without a rep for a while he had to go off and jog or stretch to loosen up his legs.
Quick had some troubles in the red zone drills early and was stripped on a jump ball by the 5:09 undrafted safety Quinton Pointer. He came back in 11 on 11 and ended the practice with a sensational leap and grab in the corner of the end zone on a jump ball.
Unlike last week Givens ran his short routes with a purpose and caught a skinny post where he broke free and really used his speed. He also caught a couple of slants in the two minute drill. He has made progress .
Gibson did not practice but played catch off to the side. Smith looked slow on a couple of routes early in the red zone stuff and gave less than a good effort on a post that should have been a TD. He came back later and played better.
Mike Campbell looked better than Johnson today amongst the undrafted rookies.
TE-Kendricks ran his seam routes much more effort and speed. The day he was pulled from reps may have been injury related as he sat out the scrimmage and practice after that day. He seems to have concentration issues on his drops where he will jerk his head all over the place, move his hands back and forth and up and down at times. Today his technique was much better and he caught everything thrown his way.
All the tight ends lined up against the defensive ends today in pass blocking and overall it could hardly have gone worse. The only two that held their own were Cory Harkey a rookie from UCLA and Brody Eldridge a third year man from Oklahoma. If they had a QB back there Hekker might be starting Sunday. Later on they repeated the drill with a tackle in to help and the end was only chipping. That went better and hopefully that will always be the case. The blocking specialist Matthew Mulligan was especially bad.
Oline-The last time I saw Saffold play he was getting beaten regularly by Quinn and pounding the turf in frustration. Today Quinn was still beating him off the snap. Before Quinn would then duck and spin around or run around Saffold and get right to the QB. Today Saffold countered and was able to get enough depth on his drop to then slam Quinn into the turf.
The other lineman that really caught my eye and has before was Jose Valdez from Arkansas. He has really good feet and his pass drops are technically perfect. He has received some time with the ones off an don since camp started.
Dline-I think the best gauge on just how good the Rams front four is will come Sunday when they aren’t going against their own team any longer. Long and Quinn look fantastic but there is always a nagging doubt in my mind about this. Conrath is still the third tackle in but Laws is sitting out right now with an injury.
Linebackers-Haggan got praise and yells from the coaches on two different occasions. Josh Hull is getting some time with Dunbar with the ones. McIntosh so far gets very little time with the ones.
DB-Jenkins had at least four tipped passes and since my eyes tend to wander may have had more. He had one especially good play in the two minute drill where he jumped a short hitch to Salas and knocked it way.
Quinton Pointer is only 5:09 and a rookie from UNLV but I have watched him a lot and he has corner cover skills. He plays bigger and has been in on the special teams coverage units.
Rodney McLeod since the first practice has been abused time and time again in coverage.
Fletcher stayed with Givens on a 9 route at one point…that is pretty impressive after all the injuries.
Finnegan and Amendola get after each other almost every red zone practice. They get very physical with a lot of pushing and contact. Today Finnegan kept him out of the end zone on almost every rep.
Re: Camp report ..
Not competition between mediocre units(WRs) vying for a spot on the team.
This is two really good football players going head-to-head countless times for the first time in their careers. Its really the perfect match to improve both of their play for the regular season.
Looking for big things to come from both of their ways in the regular season.
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