From the FanPosts. This is outstanding. -Joel
The warm up at this practice was a little bit different than the warm ups of the past few years with Todd Haley or Romeo Crennel. Instead of warming up as one big group, the players rotate through a few different stations. At one station, the players walked through various exercises with both of their legs wrapped together with a blue strap.
During warm ups, the returners went and caught punts from the machine. Andy Reid stood by the assistant who was feeding the footballs into the machine. Knile Davis dropped a punt during this exercise.
For the brief time that the team worked in position drills, the offense was on the far field from the stands and the defense was on the close field.
The defensive backs and linebackers went through drills that were similar to what you’d see watching the combine on the NFL Network. For the linebackers, the drill focused on dropping back into coverage. The linebacker would run backwards off the line and move in the direction that the coach would point the ball, and then at the end would take a few steps back toward the line and attempt to catch the ball coming in their direction.
During the linebackers next drill, the players would explode forward at the snap and go around an assistant coach in whichever direction the coach indicated when the player got to them. Derrick Johnson was very vocal when he rushed forward in this drill. Since there wasn’t a lot of noise at this point in practice, you could easily hear him yelling from the stands when he went through the drill. Later on in practice you couldn’t hear him in 11 on 11 drill, but when he tackles a player from another team in actual games, it must sound to the opposing player like they’re being by a guy who’s yelling on a roller coaster.
During these individual drills, d-coordinator Bob Sutton paced the field, watched players and listened to what coaches were telling them. When it was time for the whole D to come together, Sutton signaled something to Al Harris, who looked to Otis Smith for clarification. Smith came over and explained whatever Sutton has signaled and said, and the DB’s joined the rest of the D in the middle of the field.
In corners vs. receivers, Flowers beat Bowe on an intermediate route. I didn’t see much of this drill because it was on the far field.
Before I made a trip up to camp this year, I had read and heard that Andy Reid spends significant less time in position drills and more time in the whole offense walking through plays, the whole D working together, and mostly the whole team working on one field in 7 on 7, 11 on 11, etc. That was true in today’s practice. The bulk of the practice centered on the offense and defense having opportunities to execute plays against each other.
The first portion of 9 on 7, Reid dialed in all running plays. Charles took the first 7 snaps from Alex Smith. On his first run, Charles was stripped by Kendrick Lewis just seconds after the whistle blew the play dead. After Charles ran his 7 plays, Smith faked to Knile Davis and ran to the right around the pocket.
Chase Daniel and the second team came in on the next play. One of his interior linemen, Ryan Durand, ended up on the ground during their first play out. Andy Reid yelled: “Get up off the ground! Keep your feet moving!” On the next play, Edgar Jones hit Knile Davis hard. Davis had to walk it off a bit but was in on the next play.
When the second team offense came out and the third went in, a running back coach told the second group (mostly looking at Knile Davis), “Stop second guessing! When we make a decision, go with it!”
First 11 on 11 drill
Next, the team came together for their first 11 on 11 portion. The team cranked up some music which seemed to create some energy and hype. The fans knew it was about to get real. The first song was Welcome to the Jungle. Someone in the stands next to me wondered out loud if it was Andy Reid’s playlist.
In the first play of 11 on 11, Smith was under pressure but found Jamaal Charles who got some yards after catch. All of us in the stands liked it. Smith hit Wylie on the next play for about 10 yards. On the third play, Tamba Hali flew past Branden Albert and would have had the sack, but Alex Smith hit Dwayne Bowe for probably about 10 or 12 yards on the right side near the sideline. Fourth play: Smith pump faked and then hit Dexter McCluster in the middle of field for a gain of around six yards.
On Smith’s fifth play, Anthony Fasano made a diving catch for 15 or 20 yards in the middle of the field. The crowd liked it. Next was a short pass to McCluster in which he spun out of a tackle for what would have been about a ten yard play.
When Reid dialed in the next play, Smith walked back to the huddle, put his hands on his sides and looked down for just a couple of seconds like he was thinking. Andy Reid said. “Eyes up!” It seemed that he didn’t want Smith thinking too much out there. Rather he wanted him to communicate and execute. On that play, Dunta Robinson was in Smith’s face with pressure before Smith dumped it off to Charles.
The next play brought the biggest cheers so far in practice: Smith threw to Jonathan Baldwin on the left side (probably a route around 15 yards). Baldwin was in tight coverage with Kendrick Lewis on one side and Brandon Flowers on the other. He caught the pass and managed to stay in bounds.
When Chase Daniel was up, he hit Moeaki twice to start, then threw to Knile Davis. On Daniel’s third play in, he was under a lot of pressure. Edgar Jones and Frank Zombo were pretty much standing there, stopped, looking at him for a few seconds before Daniel threw.
Smith came back in and his play was blown dead and counted as what would have been a sack if he weren’t wearing protective yellow. He ran with the ball anyway after the play was blown dead. On the next play, Braden Albert stood his ground in a fierce match up with Tamba Hali. Hali ended up on the ground when he and Albert ran into the pressure coming from the other side (maybe Houston?). Albert helped Hali up.
Next play was a Smith incomplete to Bowe on the right side, then a nice play to McCluster. Albert barely got to touch Hali on this play, but Smith had stepped up on the pocket and bought himself time to avoid the would be sack. On the very next play, Hali would have flattened him if it were a real game. Next play, Smith threw deep right to Donnie Avery who didn’t pull it in for the completion. If the pass had been deliver a few inches closer it probably would have made the difference.
11 on 11 ended and they practiced just a couple of long passes with little to no pressure on the QB. Smith overthrew Bowe and Daniel overthrew his target.
Next, they did some 7 on 7. Smith hit Fasano in traffic, short to Jamaal, short Fasano.
When the third team was in during 7 on 7, an assistant coach noticed that a WR was not lined up correctly and yelled “It’s called a seam route! Get out there!”
Smith came back in. Flowers had a nice break up on a Smith to Baldwin pass. Then Quintin Demps intercepted Chase Daniel. Buddy Jackson had a nice break up on Frankie Hammond Jr from Tyler Bray.
Red Zone Work
The above drills transitioned into the offense and defense working against each other in the red zone. The first team offense started on the 30 yard line with the goal of getting into the endzone and not settling for a field goal. The music was back on, but it didn’t seem like Andy Reid’s play list this time—it was censored rap.
Smith was in and Kendrick Lewis and others vocalized enthusiasm when Smith had to throw it into the dirt at one of his receiver’s feet because he couldn’t find anyone open. Next assistant DB coach/former Green Bay cornerback “intercepted” a Smith pass in the endzone that didn’t find its receivers. It came right to where Harris had been standing. The defensive backs loved this. Reid spent some time talking with the O after this play before the next one started, but the play clock was ticking so they had to get back to the line.
A one-handed Dwayne Bowe catch in the end zone drew applause from the crowd. Bowe had been in tight coverage and Smith delivered good ball placement.
On another Smith drive for the end zone that started at the 30, he hit Fasano for 17 yards or so, which got them to the 4 because I missed the play before that. From the 4, Smith sent McCluster in moton and then found Fasano in the end zone for the TD. The crowd laughed when Fasano punted the ball out of the end zone near where Andy Reid was standing (who didn’t seem to notice or be bothered).
In Chase Daniel‘s time up, they made some progress but settled for a field goal in which Succop just pretended to kick the ball.
With the third team, Shaun Draughn had a nice run and broke several tackles. Tyler Bray had a tipped pass intended for Jamar Newsome that was picked off by Otha Foster the Third (OF3) and taken back for a defensive touchdown. The coaches blew it dead when the offense had no more chance of catching him.
Chase Daniel went in against the first defense.
Dontari Poe stuffed Knile Davis at the line, the whistle blew, Davis was still fighting to stay up, and Poe brought him down hard. It was a nice initial stuff at the line by Poe.
Tamba Hali and Eric Berry “sacked” Chase Daniel. Were right in his face and it would have been a dog pile had it been a real game.
On Smith’s last time in, he ended with a touchdown pass to Dexter McCluster who was open in the middle of the endzone.
On Stanzi’s time in, he got his team off the field with a TD throw to Franki Hammond Jr.
After redzone work, the special teams group worked on punting. McCluster caught the first set of punts and Devon Wylie caught the second set of punts. The defense on these plays wear yellow covers on their helmet since that unit is made up of both offensive and defensive players. One guy's yellow cover fell off and the ST coach was waiting for him to put it back on to start the next play and said "Come on yellow hat!" He also seemed to get onto a guy for knocking Colquitt to the ground. Either that or he was telling me him good job (couldn't hear), but I think he was ticked.
Other notes: Dontari Poe is still a big dude, big presence on the defensive line.