- If you believe in momentum and energy, today’s practice seemed to carry over the energy from the end of last week, which would have to be considered a good thing. “It felt very similar to last week, where we really got going in practice,” said Antwaan Randle El. “Everybody was working trying to get ready for Arizona, knowing we’ve got a chance to go 2-1.”
- The offensive line vs. defensive line is rapidly becoming my favorite drill to watch. D-line coach John Palermo and O-line coach Joe Bugel are both there, coaching their respective guys up, and whichever linemen on both sides aren’t participating form a loose circle and shout encouragement and derision at the active players. It’s not always easy to judge “winners,” per se, and more often than not the lineman who looks more succesful on the first attempt is beaten in the rematch, but guys making notable plays today included Chris Wilson and Lorenzo Alexander for the defense, and Randy Thomas and Stephon Heyer for the offense. On a stunt drill, with the defensive end crossing to rush from inside the tackle, Andre Carter managed to come through completely clean, which was impressive. When the horn blew to end the drill, though, I thought the offensive line had overall had a slightly stronger performance. They definitely looked much more chipper and enthused than the D-line, so make of that what you will.
- Having a surprisingly good practice, at least from a flashy showtime standpoint, was practice squadder Devin Aromashodu. He had at least two catches that drew sincere calls of approval from the watching players, one of which involved somehow twisting himself above and between two defensive backs — all of which would be completely insignificant except that Malcolm Kelly was limited and James Thrash did not practice at all. Kelly expects to practice tomorrow and is confident that he’ll play Sunday, but Thrash has a high ankle and seems to be less certain.
- Jason Campbell looked sharp, and appeared to be getting rid of the ball quickly. He also looks more aware in the pocket lately, and had one particularly nice play where stepped up away from the rush and hit Devin Thomas downfield with a long pass.
- Fred Davis continued his string of nice practices with the second team, and would also be a potential weapon if the team is thin at receiver this week.
- Durant Brooks was getting plenty of work in practice today which might have been taken to indicate that the team is concerned, but Zorn is standing by his punting man. I haven’t had any reservations about thinking that he is going to get better and better. “He’s been working hard, he’s got a great head on his shoulders,” Zorn said after practice, adding, “This is not a tryout for him; he’s our punter.”
- It’s not often that you get to see the NFC Defensive Player of the Week practicing with the second team, but Zorn stayed true to his word and returned Reed Doughty to the starting lineup. “We’re very proud of [Chris Horton’s] play, he was recognized for it around the league, and he just has to keep himself ready. Reed Doughty is back in there, over his illness, and we expect Reed to play just as well.” (Also, for those of you who were concerned, Horton confirmed for me that he holds no hard feelings toward Randy Thomas for the prank, so it is absolutely fine to be amused.)