So I went up to St. Joe's this morning and went in with the mission of really observing the quarterbacks and wide receivers, and I also tried to pay attention to the new offensive and defensive schemes that the new coaching staff is implementing. Anyways, most of my observations are gonna be on the quarterback, receivers, tight ends, and defensive backs (mostly cornerback). And ill give you my impression of the new schemes on offense and defense.OFFENSIVE SCHEME
Aside from everything that has been said it doesn't look like we're gonna throw the ball 40 times a game. Andy Reid is smart enough to know that he has an elite talent in running back Jamaal Charles and will utilize him a lot in his scheme. Even though there will be a lot of running, there will be a lot of passing from my impression of practice I think the Chiefs will roughly pass it 55% and run it 45% of the time. This doesn't look anything at all the offense Reid ran in Philadelphia, he is definatley fine tuning this offense to its strengths which will be more fullback power run plays and more jumbo, two tight end sets. From what I saw I think Reid is trying to mix his offense in Philadelphia with some San Francisco esque offensive scheme to create a hybrid between the two.
I saw one formation that I know I never saw in Philadelphia but see alot coming from Jim Harbaugh's offense in San Francisco which is the "Far" formation, they used this formation quite a bit. While using double tight end sets and even some jumbo sets, we all know Alex Smith loves him some tight ends so I believe Reid is tailoring this offense to Alex Smith's strengths.
We are gonna see a lot of power run formations that we didn't see in Reid's offense in Philadelphia, I also saw another formation used today that is used by San Fran which is the tackle over formation where there is a fullback two tight ends and one receiver, however the Rt and Lt both line up on the right side this is a very effective run formation and I got to see Charles run with this formation very successfully.
However, don't be surprised if we go shotgun a good amount and spread them out, I saw a good amount of 4 wide receiver sets from the gun, and the most used formation out of any formation was the shotgun split back where knile davis and jamaal charles were in the backfield while mccluster was in the slot and bowe and baldwin outside, expect to see alot of wheel routes from charles and davis in this formation.
Speaking of halfbacks catching balls out of the backfield I saw alot of motioning of halfbacks into the slot in under center formations, and even saw charles and davis out wide on occasion look for charles to be motioned to the slot of quite a bit this year. Mostly though this is a hardcore West Coast offensive scheme that will utilize the short and intermediate passing game as an "extension" of the run and to strech the field horizantal as opposed to vertical. However, expect there to be occasional deep ball here and there. It also seems like Knile Davis will get his fair share of touches and mostly I was pretty impressed, I think he will be more of the inside runner while Charles will be more of the outside runner.DEFENSIVE SCHEME
The defense looked to actually have the upper hand on the offense today, this observation wont be as detailed though. From what I saw I believe Sutton will use more of a 1-gap attacking style 3-4 instead of the soft 2-gap used by Romeo. Expect a ton of blitzing from everywhere, everyone will be blitzing. This defense looks to be a risk-reward defense, but expect this team to get burnt sometimes, and rather also forcing turnover other times. It seems like Sutton really favors more man blitzing than zone blitzing, I honestly never saw him run one single zone coverage in 11 on 11 drills and the corners were almost always pressing. Sutton usually likes to keep one safety deep while blitzing and that safety was usually kendrick lewis or demps. I see this defense becoming top 10 if Sutton can find the right balance between being aggressive and conservative, however if Sutton makes the blitz over-kill for the defense I could see this defense being the same and possibly even worse.QUARTERBACK OBSERVATIONS
Sigh... I guess perhaps he just had an off-day or something because he looked extremely underwhelming to me. Yes, he is an upgrade over Cassel, but franchise quarterback? Not so much. Again, this is just one day so I'm not really judging one day on the bigger picture, Alex Smith could indeed become that elusive franchise quarterback we have been trying to find. But he just didn't look like he was on his game today. He missed a lot of easy passes he should have made and also made some really poor decesions, he had two really bad interceptions. There was one instance i saw where he evaded the sack and had a blocking tight end come out of his block for an easy 7 yard dump off where he straight up missed the tight end... you can't have that from your starting quarterback. He was just really flippant with his throws, when he hit the person he did hit them in stride. Also, he does hold on to the ball too much which is a bit concerning. No need to hit the panic button yet though.
Maybe he just had a really good day or something, because I have been hearing Chase Daniel hasn't been looking really good, however today he really impressed me for a number 2 quarterback, he looked light years better than Cassel to me. But practice is practice and he has only had 7 throws in a real game, so I'm not gonna jump to conclusions. He doesn't hold onto the ball too long, and when he throws it he hits the receiver in stride. He is also very consistent with his accuracy. He actually also had a nice deep ball to McCluster and then another one to Avery during 7 on 7. He did have one interception though that was tipped at the LOS. Overall I think he outperformed Alex Smith today.
Yes, he does have a cannon. But he didn't impress me at all, still looks like he has a long ways to go. I do think he will make the roster though.
I'm gonna be nice and say this guy is as good as gone let's just say that.
WIDE RECEIVER OBSERVATIONS
Bowe is bowe you know what you're gonna get from him, great route runner and good hands for the most part. Saw a good battle between him and Sean Smith where he came out on top. Legitimate number #1 receiver.
Just not good, let's say that. Maybe its just me but Baldwin looks a little soft around the edges and perhaps a little out of shape, he just looks slow and clunky. It baffles me that a man of his stature has trouble breaking the press, Sean Smith really destroyed him at the LOS, and he even had trouble breaking press against Jalil Brown and Brandon Flowers. He looks just slow out there, and he dropped an easy slant route he should have caught during full scrimmage that would have been a touchdown. Just not good, I'm really expecting more of the same from him this year I predict he'll be benched pretty soon.
I saw him get completely shoved to the ground at the LOS during one on ones if I can recall. But it was Sean Smith, so really no biggie. I think McCluster could potentially have a breakout year for us playing strictly in the slot, Alex Smith is good enough to be able to hit a small target like McCluster in stride for some YAC. He is even appears to have worked alot on his deep routes where he has really improved. I think this year could be McCluster's year. Never saw him in the backfield I think he will be used strictly from slot this year.
From what I saw he looked solid. Really nothing special though, has some trouble breaking the press, but he really isn't a bad 4th option. Can he be a reliable #2 receiver? Probably not.
I really liked what I saw from Wylie today working on the outside, he can break the press quite well for a little guy, and his pretty dependable with his hands for the most part. Has good speed and runs pretty good routes. This is my dark horse candidate to become our #2 receiver.
Honestly didn't stick out to me that much, but he looks dependable he will never be a big play threat, but has steady hands, could turn into a good possession receiver if he progresses on his route running.
The dude is fast and is quick as lightning, I saw him make a double move on a dback during one on ones which is impressive. I think he will definatley make the roster.
Looked like our best tight end form what I could see has a knack for getting open and making the tough catch. I can tell he is our most athletic tight end by a pretty good margin also.
ANTHONY FASANO & MOEAKI
Didn't really pay attention to either of them.DEFENSIVE BACK OBSERVATIONS
Let me just remind you all that Brandon Flowers is still a really, really good corner.
I think this guy is gonna thrive in Sutton's defensive scheme, he looked dominating at times pressing receivers he went toe to toe with Dwayne Bowe pretty well during one on ones where the offense is usually supposed to win. I think we could really see him breakout this year and become our new "Brandon Carr" and perhaps even better I think his ceiling is that high, his only real weakness to me is his speed which can make him vulnerable to getting beat deep, he really reminds me a lot of Seattle Seahawk cornerback Brandon Browner.
Didn't really get that great of a look from him, but he really didn't stand out. Did he even practice?
Brown kinda impressed me he was able to stay at most every receivers hip pocket (even Bowe), besides getting torched by McCluster during one on ones which can happen when your up against Dexter McCluster so no worries. Overall, I walked away really impressed,
Thorpe really needs to improve or he's gonna get cut he just made it too easy for receivers to get open against him during one on ones, although I believe he did pick off Alex Smith during team drill.
There are my observations... thoughts?