Coach O's OTA Report 6/16/2014

Players not participating: Sam Bradford, Rodger Saffold, Scott Wells, Chase Reynolds, Michael Brockers, Kendall Langford, Sammy Brown, Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, Maurice Alexander, (may have been others, I overlooked)

Matt Daniels, LaMarcus Joyner, Jake Long participated in unit drills, no team drills.

Two big issues, HEAT, and shaking off the 3 day weekend. We were guests of the Rams, and were afforded the luxury of watching practice from the Board Room, and accompanying balcony. After practice, we were paid a quick visit by Head Coach Jeff Fisher, who thanked US for the support.

He is the one who mentioned the 3 day weekend, and needing to get their legs back especially in the heat.

Jake Long was involved more today than any other OTA practice to date. Per Coach Fisher, first time they have him with his helmet. He participated in some of the unit drills, and most all of the walk through stuff.

Zac Stacy left practice early with cramping issues, (IN THIS BICEP). Again, per Coach Fisher he had bench pressed 500 lbs earlier in the day, which is a Ram record for a RB.
Also getting 1st unit reps at RB were Benny Cunningham, and (WAIT FOR IT) Isaiah PEAD. Taking 2nd unit reps were Tre Mason and Trey Watts

Offensive Line:
LT - Hooey LG - Robinson C - Barnes RG - Joseph RT - Barksdale
LT - Bond LG - Person C - Jones RG - Washington RT - Van Dyk
Rhaney took reps at C, with both Barnes and Jones taking reps at G

In the interest of being thorough, both Britt and Quick had drops today. (wanted to beat Wagoner to it) One each. But overall, those two were the WRs who stood out more than any of the other WRs.

Quick had a couple of nice catches in the team drills, one deep ball from Hill down the sideline behind the CB and in front of McLeod. Made another highlight type play, closing on a ball on an “out and up” from Hill, and his closing speed on the ball was noticeable. He got behind McGee earlier in the day, only to have the ball underthrown by Davis, which allowed McGee to make up the ground and break up the play, although DPI most likely would have been called.

Britt showed his experience, and his ability to use his size and strength on a number of contested ball. He got deep on Woodard, and used his body to shield him off to complete a 40 yd pass.

Conspicuous by his absence throughout the team drills was Givens. When he did make an appearance it was in the Red Zone 7 on 7 with the 3rd unit.

Others who made plays, were Emory Blake, and TJ Moe. Also getting their fair share of reps, were Pettis, and Bailey.

Woodard and McGee were taking most of the 1st unit reps, with Cody Davis coming in when they went to the Nickel.

Defense mixed up the sub packages a lot throughout the day. Matching personnel groupings of the offense, there were time when they had 3 man DL fronts, with 3 LBs (30 Nickel) and 5 DBs. Other times they had 5 man DL fronts, with 3 LBs and 3 DBs. My guess would be to expect the unexpected from a G. Williams defense this year.

Shaun Hill makes plays. Might not look pretty doing it all the time, and his delivery isn’t text book. But the ball gets where it’s supposed to be, and gets there on time.

Austin Davis still seems to struggle in getting the ball out on time. IF his first read isn’t there, he looks totally lost.

Garret Gilbert passes the “look test”. Good size, good arm strength. But you can tell he is still feeling his way.

Bradford didn’t participate today. Will tomorrow and Thursday (according to Fisher), including the full team stuff. A Direct quote from the Head Coach: “Any defensive player who gets within 10 feet of Bradford’s legs will be fired!”

Take this with a grain of salt….. it was a PRACTICE in mid-JUNE, so any commentary is merely conjecture. But this team certainly looks more athletic, faster on both sides of the ball. All the reports of Greg Williams demanding effort and results was evident, especially in the 7 on 7 drills later in the practice.

Paul Boudreau and the OL were right in front of us towards the end of practice, and seeing him teach technique was fun to watch. Footwork for the entire unit, on a particular running play, depending on the def, front.

On a “fun” note. The offense ran the pitch reverse to Austin that he scored vs. Chicago on, and against THIS DEFENSE< was thrown for a 8 yard loss. C. Long AND A. Donald were both waiting for him to reverse his ground and he just cradled.

That’s an overview of what I observed. If anyone has any specific questions, I will do my best to answer them as they come.

Additional Notes:

---Gilbert's arm strength was fine. He did not throw anything deep. He was the odd man out in most of the team drills. Most of his work in the 7 on 7 came in the RedZone stuff, so no deep ball opportunities.

I like the way he stands in the pocket. Steps up when he needs to. He definitely has some tools to work with.

---Cunningham looked good, but its so hard to get a feel for how they are running the ball, when the lines are not in pads. There just wasn't much running room for anyone out there.

That being said, both Pead and Mason had a couple of nice edge rushes, that they were able to bounce outside for big plays.

---It was actually kinda strange. The first guy I saw when I got there was Quick. The team was heading over to the far field to start their stretching, and I noticed just how big he looks compared to the other WRS. Then I found Britt, and he makes Quick look slight. There is a reason why Kenny Britt is a physical force. He looks like a VETERAN WR, and if he does nothing more than lead by example of how to play the position in a physical way, Brian Quick will be better for it.

One of the things I forgot to note in my report, on one particular RedZone formation, they broke the huddle with Britt, Quick, Cook and Kendricks. Talk about an assortment of physical targets......

---Austin had a few "moments", but in all honestly, wasn't featured a whole lot. He did get a few carries out of the backfield.

---This was obviously my first opportunity to see Britt in person. And I have to say, seeing him, even before he lined up in the team drills, he just looks like a veteran, and his physical attributes are obvious.

He made a couple of "hands" catches with DBs challenging the ball, he just out muscled them. An I know you are still very skeptical, but the only other guy on this roster who is capable of doing that is Quick. He just has to do it more consistently. I will be the first one to admit it. But as I said in the "report", they were the two best WRs today. Does that mean it will be that way tomorrow? Your guess is as good as mine.

--Also, keep in mind, Bradford was NOT part of the mix today. But Shaun Hill showed me more in one practice than I saw from Clemens in two years. And I was not a Clemens "hater". I just saw him for what he was. Someone who would make plays, but was just not capable of making the throws when he needed to make them.

---Physically, you can tell Barrett Jones is in better shape. I took a bunch of pics of the OL, and focused on him as he was standing right below the balcony. He still looks like a kid compared to most of the other linemen, but he will be much more suited to hold his own come training camp.