~We are so used to only seeing our team compete once a week, and judging everything by their long term results, that it's easy to forget that its a day-to-day molding that shapes a team. It's 53 men trying to come together as one, all under a few higher-ups' watch (makes you wander just how tough it is to be an NFL head coach). It makes viewing the team in a strictly short term basis very interesting. These guys are out there every day practicing, while we're left to reserve judgment until we see them play a game. This has to be absolutely maddening for a player that thrives in practice, but cannot get it done in game situations. They are seeing them do well every day of the week but one.
~On the same subject, I find it fascinating observing Haley walk around the players while they stretch. Do they like seeing him? Does he say different motivating things to individual players? Do they push harder only while in his sights? It's weird watching them stretch, because you give one direction, but they're doing it in all different kinds of ways. Some want to show off how dedicated they are, while others are clearly exercising characteristics of laziness.
~I think we may have created a monster in Derrick Johnson simply by benching him the entirety of last season. It seems to have ignited his boosters today. He had a sack on Croyle, a pick of Croyle, and two big hits (one of which was a beautiful catch by Jake O'Connell). I can't imagine any possible way that D.J. isn't starting Week 1.
~The first play that we ran (and continued to run throughout practice) was a play designed to draw the defense offsides. Starts in goalline formation, the players shift out to 5 wide, then Pope in motion, finishing with Cassel giving a hard snap count. There was also a QB sneak option after shifting out to 5 wide.
~Another play to be seen was a fake field goal play that saw Dustin Colquitt roll out and throw right handed. He looked as confident as he does punting the ball.
~I'm starting to wander if Tamba Hali could be a true leader of this defense. I noticed him leading the team in sprints down the field a few times, and then turning back to slap hands with his arriving teammates. If his play improves, the way that I think it might this year, we could be looking at a true takeover player. I have a hunch.
~It's hilarious how the crowd just doesn't understand that the defense isn't tackling the offensive players. There were two or three times that big cheers were heard after Dexter McCluster "broke free" after realistically being tackled.
~Standout players (keep an eye on them this Friday): Derrick Johnson, Cory Greenwood (outside LB from Canada), Dion Gales (NT posted a sack), and Shaun Smith (playing both NT & DE, seems nasty).
~Disappointing players: Brodie Croyle (sacked twice, INT, hair out of place), Rudy Niswanger (bad shotgun snap), Javier Arenas (muffed a punt, good defensive play though).
>Error Bearer got in a bit of a scuffle. Couldn't quite make it out, but I heard it was with . It was underneath a large pile, but Berry got up feelin feisty.
>Jamaal Charles was running with the third team offense
>Dexter McCluster lined up at straight running back quite a bit
>Mike Vrabel lined up at Inside Linebacker in the nickel defense
>Brian Waters took a few snaps at Center with no other linemen present
>Leonard Pope is tall. He seemed to stick up a good three to four inches above everybody else.
>Nick Wright's post up at Uncle D's in St. Joseph was completely empty. People should go visit him.