A cold, overcast day, but the team seemed genuinely pleased to get back on the practice field for a spirited, chippy practice.
- The offensive line was fired up today, in position drills and in the full team work, firing off the line and getting in some good hits. As always, you hesitate before taking anything all that specific from practice, but it seems like the O-line is responding to the recent criticism in the way you’d like to see.
- The defensive backfield was having a little bit of an awkward time at points — Chris Horton and DeAngelo Hall both dropped interceptions that had gone right to them, and Horton also slipped and fell on coverage at one point. By the end of practice, things had righted themselves, with Fred Smoot having made up for the earlier drops.
- And Carlos Rogers caught the ball cleanly earlier in practice, albeit not in coverage. Still, I know everyone gets excited when that happens and I was able to capture the moment, so there it is.
- The rookie wide receivers are becoming visibly more involved. Today was the first time since Malcolm Kelly has been healthy that I thought that Devin Thomas had the superior practice — Kelly dropped a couple where it looked like he had beaten the coverage, while Thomas was getting himself open better than I’ve seen — but they’re both beginning to look like they’re earning the trust of the coaches and QBs.
- Coach Zorn was asked after practice if they were competing for snaps, but he downplayed that aspect of things. “They’re both on their own. Devin is still a little ahead of Malcolm, and Malcolm is still catching up,” he said.
- Injuries, and there were plenty of them:
- Guys who didn’t practice: London Fletcher, Kedric Golston, Andre Carter, Marcus Washington
- Guys who were out at practice taking “mental reps,” but did not physically participate: Chris Samuels, Pete Kendall, Cornelius Griffin, Clinton Portis
- Coach Zorn noted that Portis looks a little better, and that Ladell Betts “looked great” — which squares nicely with my notes, where I have that he was cutting well and showing better speed than I thought.
- Zorn also described the injury situation on defense as “Very scary with our front four, and I don’t know who’ll make it back.” Which is not altogether exciting as we face the Giants. Something to watch as the week develops.