From the Morning Session
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Throughout training camp Senior Writer Nick Wagoner will provide a daily glimpse into some of the happenings at training camp.
- First things first. There was quite a crowd on hand and it was nice to see that after seeing the dwindling crowds in Macomb last year. The attendance for this practice was 1,134, more than last year’s opening day two-practice total of 797 (319 am, 478 pm). That is quite a turnout for a Thursday morning. I can only imagine what it will be like this weekend, especially is the weather holds out.
- On to the football…If there was one standout from the morning session it was defensive lineman Damione Lewis. Lewis was unstoppable in the one-on-one drills, having little trouble blowing past whoever was put in front of him. At one point, Lewis manhandled Tom Nutten and followed it with an explosive spin move past Rex Tucker. It remains to be seen whether Lewis will play inside or out, but he probably will do some of both. He has shown out like this in camp before only to have a disappointing season, but with this as his contract year and his apparent improved conditioning and quickness, he has a chance to have a big year on a line that could certainly use the depth.
- Steven Jackson is in terrific shape. He is already better than he was at any point last season. The knee seems to no longer be a problem and the burst is there. During a nine-on-seven drill Jackson burst up the middle and leveled defensive end Anthony Hargrove with his shoulder. With Jackson’s combination of size and speed, he could quickly elevate himself to that of Mike Tyson at his prime level. You know that level where you say the only way you would get in his way is for an exorbitant amount of money.
- Speaking of guys in great shape, defensive end Leonard Little is as fast as ever. His burst is there and his moves are already sharp. If Hargrove can take some of the heat off, Little could get back to his elite pass rusher status.
- One player who immediately catches your eye when watching the one-on-one pass rush drills is Vontrell Jamison. An undrafted free agent out of Clemson, Jamison is 6’6, 277 pounds with a long reach. He doesn’t have a lot of pop off the line, but once he gets his arms on the blocker, he can move them around. Jamison could be an early sleeper to land a roster spot.
- Mike Furrey looks like he has played safety his whole career. He just looks natural back there. He didn’t do anything spectacular in the morning session, but if you didn’t know he played receiver last year, you’d think he has been playing in the secondary forever.
- Perhaps the most exciting matchup to watch in the line drills was Orlando Pace against Hargrove. Hargrove’s rising talent against Pace’s established stardom made for some interesting results. Hargrove might not have gotten the better of Pace, but he more than held his own. The two went against each other about five times and, at least three of those times, Hargrove was able to clear space against the Big O.