Observations from a campster ..
From another forum
Aug 02, 2012
By Coach O.
The one thing that has stood out so far, is in THIS offense, Schottenheimer seems to be very committed to using the MIDDLE of the field. They are running quite a few deep crossing routes, (15-18 yds) with their outside guys. They are also using the quick SLANT as oppposed to the "hitch" at or behind the LOS as was the staple of Shrumur's system.
They are are much more of an "attack" scheme, with even the "hot routes" being quick slants. (not WR hitches at or behind the LOS). They are really throwing a LOT of slants, to both the slot and wideouts. And mixing in play action 15 yd crossing routes. Something that has been missing since the Bruce/Holt days.Quick, Salas, and I'm am certain Alexander will be a huge threat on these types of routes.
Givens certainly is the fastest player on the team. And if you look at him, he is a cross between Avery and Gilyard. Similar body sytle (thin, wiry legs) of Gilyard, with similar body control. And straight line speed of Avery. He definitely shows more ability to adjust to the ball in the air that Avery, but his lack of size will make it tough in press coverage.
He has shown signs of being the player they hope he would be. His straight line speed is obvious, as is his quickness especially on the quick slants. As long as he has a lane to run in, he will run away from almost everyone on the field.
That being said, on more than one occasion during to first 3 days of camp, he has gotten behind the coverage, (in Redzone drills) hauled in the ball, only to have it knocked out of his hands on contact by the CB. Quick had ONE pass knocked out of his hands on the first day of camp when he caught a pass and Gordy raked it out of his hands. He hasn't had any of these issues since. (as far as DB stripping the ball out). Givens, conversely, has had it happen at least 3 times, he secures the ball, and as he is either going down, or contact is made by they CB, the ball comes out. It is VERY APPARENT to me, he DOES NOT LIKE CONTACT, has "alligator arms" when in traffic, and does not secure the ball after "catching" it.
He seems to struggle with press coverage, hasn't shown the ability to "get off the LOS" consistently. If Givens is indeed going to contribute, he will be asked to go across the middle in this system. So let's not jump the gun just yet, and start placing the "Isaac Bruce" comparisons on him quite so soon.
Yesterday was the first chance to see Hekker kick. After hearing ST Coach Fassel rave about his leg strength, but lack of consistency, it was fun to see him kick.
The assessment appears to be dead on. He definitely dispayed a powerful leg, when he turned the ball over, he had a few kicks carry 70 yards. The issue is being consistent. He tends to shank more than his share when trying to directional punt, especially to his left.
The encouraging part is, you can't coach leg strength. He either has it or he doesn't. Consistency CAN be coached. Better technique, and being more consistent in his drops will improve his overall ball striking.
Zuerlein, on the other hand, is one of the guys who you want to watch. Seeing him kick is akin to watching Pujols take batting practice. There is just something different about the sound of the ball coming off his foot. The height he gets on his kicks, even from 50+ is something you don't see from normal place kickers.
Jason Smith looks much lighter, has literally reshaped his physique, and is much quicker on his feet. He LOOKS like a different player out there. His body has changed, and its dramatic. He no longer has the "soft" look about him. He has trimmed down his lower body considerably, and his upper body looks strong.Technique-wise, I have already seen a change in his approach. Working mostly against C.Long, he is no longer lunging or off balance. He takes his drop step, and wait for Long to come to him, and then rides him to the outside. He looks quicker on his feet, and under control.
IMO, J. Smith looks to be one of the biggest surprises of the camp so far. And in a VERY POSITIVE way!
Two things jump out at me about Ojinnaka. 1) Based on his performance LAST YEAR, he should have made this team. 2) he has a history with Boudreau, and is familiar with what he expects, as is Boudreau familiar with what he brings to the table. Along with Turner, these are the kind of guys who have been in the league, have been on successful teams, and the coaching staff thought enough of them to go out and bring them here.
Not sure what Coach O's qualifications are, but I sure hope he's right about Jason Smith .. Ojinnaka too !!
Re: Observations from a campster ..
I hope he's right about Jason Smith, would be great if he could do something positive on the line for once.