From the FanPosts. Good stuff. -Joel
Ha, my first Fan Post so be merciful! I'm just another rabid fan/armchair QB/Madden enthusiast set free for a day in St Joe.
I got there right at 8:15 and walked up on the D-Line warm ups. I want to stress there's a lot going on at training camp. Usually 2 fields going at once, unless they're scrimmaging. The furthest field can only be viewed from the endzones, so when they suddenly moved red zone practice to the far end...I was S.O.L.
I wanted to get a look at some of our new offensive additions. My general impressions and quick notes:
1. Eric Fisher isn't very big compared to the rest of the O-Line. Muscular, yes. Bulk, no. I expected a 6'7" monster. He's a rook and needs to grow a little. I'm not worried, just think he will not be in beast mode to start (and maybe even end) his rookie season. Think Jeff Allen's rookie year. Flashes. Hope I'm wrong.
2. Anthony Fasano. ALL DAY. Not the best wheels, but he blocks well, posts up well, gets open, and catches EVERYTHING in range. I thought when we signed him he was average. Not so.
3. Knile Davis. Kinda as advertised. FAST. Small hands?? Still a problem. Fumbled (to himself) once at the goal line. Dropped a couple passes he shouldn't have. One was a heartbreaker. On a red zone misdirection play, he slid unnoticed into the right flat, was cruising all alone for the apparent easy score, Alex simply dropped a perfect pass into his hands...and he bobbles it. He was also stuffed for loss a few times. One particular TFL he was absolutely ABUSED by Dontari Poe. (Dontari looks like he grew a mean streak over the off season.) Davis isn't particularly shifty, nor does he have great vision. Give him a hole, though, and he's GONE. He had at least one TD and several nice gains.
4. Travis Kelse. I caught him the day after he had a groin injury. He did practice some, but I thought he looked less than 100%. He caught a shoelace sideline pass that was pretty impressive. After that, I really didn't notice him. No worries. Fasano and Moeaki picked it up.
5. Donnie Avery. I know he supposedly has the dropsies. I didn't see it. He's every bit as fast as Wylie, but bigger. On the early pass from AS, Avery was flying down the sideline...just gone. Alex put just too much into the throw. I'm guessing about 30 yards from the LOS...guessing because I was in the endzone, but it was a moderately deep ball. Avery tracked it perfectly, dove fully extended to try to bring it in and it looked life it just touched his finger tips. Crowd moans. Later Avery caught a pretty Daniel pass over Agnew. I saw speed and effort today. I am FOR using Avery to take the top off the defense.
6. Alex Smith. Yup. Most of the day he was a field general. I liked how he directed the team at the line of scrimmage. He pointed out defenses, called audibles, shifted his offense around. Were all his passes perfect? No. His accuracy is excellent in the short to maybe medium range. He threw a couple low balls. Then again, he also had some really outstanding throws. From the first scrimmage and against the ones, he smartly moved the ball downfield, hitting Sherman, Fasano, and Wiley on consecutive passes. (In order: Sherman short pass, right flat, rumbling down the sideline for about 15, Fasano for another 10-15 on a hook, then split the D with a beautiful post to Wiley for 6) The offense was fast paced. This offense is fast paced. As the day wore on I felt I needed an assistant to try to keep up with which defense Alex was working against (ones, twos, or threes). Reid likes to mix it up so the ones aren't always playing against ones. Overall impression of Smith was good, though. Thank you very much Mr Dorsey. By the way, McCluster, Sherman, Fasano, Moeaki, Bowe, Dex, and Baldwin were on fire today. Alex's short game was very, very good. Let me repeat that. The short passing game was very, VERY good. Okay, drink, gargle, swish, spit. Look Ma, my teeth are stained red.
7. Chase Daniel. May I withhold judgement? His day was not as good. Hit or miss. Held the ball too long at times. Tucked and ran too often. (It's just my opinion, may it always be kinda humble...) I would like to point out one glaring fact: our scrubs on the offensive line are sad. If we suffer more than two injuries on the O-Line this year it is OVER. Light bulbs need to be turned on, coaching must happen, etc. There was a lot of pressure from the pocket collapsing.
8. Tyler Bray had a good day. He was on fire early. Threw 2 consecutive TD passes in 7 on 7. The second was 30 yards on a rope. Ohs from the crowd. Later, in full scrimmage, he was maybe as good as Chase. (But, without the tuck and run part.) He had a pick 6 by Otha Foster III (Otha's second pick in as many days). I was madly scribbling notes and missed the first part of the play...it may have been tipped. Oh, and Foster is fast....just sayin, cuz he left people for 80 yards. Bray is as previously described by just about everyone. Cannon for an arm. Questionable accuracy when hurried.
9. Frankie Hammond. His jersey number is 85. I had to look it up, twice (cuz, I'm slow sometimes). The reason he made the first 53 man roster is: well, probably because he can freaking catch. Two spectacular catches today. The first early in 7 on 7, on a deep touchdown throw from Bray. The last a fade, by Stanzi, for a leaping touchdown. He's playing on the threes...which limits his reps...but, this will probably change. I looked up his vitals when I got home. 6'0" 190lbs, 4.44 40, 33" vertical doesn't really separate him from the pack...but it doesn't hurt either. I don't recall seeing Hemingway's number today...was he playing? There's a LOT of also rans in this year's WR corps. It will be interesting to see who makes the cut.
In other news, here's some other tid-bits I saw:
Our front 3, Jackson, Poe, and DeVito are the obvious starters. Jackson and Poe on sheer size. DeVito rejoins them in agility, strength, and has maybe the best technique. I'll wait to see them in action against another NFL O-Line to pass judgement. Regardless, the assistant coach running the early defensive drills wasn't coaching them up at all...just attaboys. Bailey got a couple attaboys while I was watching them practice getting under pads, break contact, and then penetrate. Other players got instruction.
I mentioned it earlier, but our primary receivers were on fire. Bowe caught a pass with his bicep...screw one handed...he brought it in by curling it...and for a touchdown. McCluster was going deep, medium, short, and, I swear...submarine. Let the 1,000,536 ways countdown begin. Moeaki was doing his best to match Fasano, who had to have set a consecutive passes caught record for preseason...and also for 30 yard celebration punts from the endzone by a TE. Baldwin re-found his mojo, twice spinning the ball like a top after circus catches. Sherman is already a favorite Smith check down target. I will say this: KC is a passing team now. That wasn't a tornado siren...it was an air raid siren. (But, no, really we do run too...and we USE a FB.)
Um, my opinion, but I think our second string D-Line and LB corps are MUCH better than our 2nd string O-line. Pressure, all day. A.J. Hawkins was getting some looks at center. He hiked one which had Stanzi leaping 2 feet in the air to save.
Stanzi looked shaky to start practice then kinda gained steam. He had some really decent passes. At one point in 11 on 11, he jumped up, then kinda shot putted a pass to Jordan Roberts over a collapsing pocket. Next play he found Copper with a pretty pass across the middle for a nice gain. He also hit Bellamy deep down the left sideline on a fly route. Overall, he had a couple touchdown passes (one each to Hammond and Harris) and no picks. Without comprehensive data, I'd estimate he completed over 60%...including the shaky start.
After the practice was officially over, the jugs machines came out. Receivers and LBs were catching footballs and tennis balls fired from ten yards away. In the endzone, Bray and Stanzi were getting some additional work. For what it's worth, one of the security guys said he heard they were being evaluated for the 3rd string spot. (Thank you, Capt Obvious, ouch, that's mean.) Stanzi, apparently, still has a shot anyway. Regardless, both of them were throwing to Shoemaker and the evaluating coach. He would direct the throw then they each would make it as specified. Don't ask me...I don't know who won. It was pretty much neck and neck, then I saw Trent Green walking away from the VIP tent and scrambled over to get my jersey signed. Mission accomplished. Peace out.