The weather made everything unusual today, including the practice schedule. The typical afternoon practice was moved up by several hours and nailed to the end of what would ordinarily be a shorter morning practice. “Players love that,” Coach Zorn said afterward. “It’s a longer practice, but it’s just one time.” At this point, I worry about anything that disrupts the routine, but I’m a worrier like that. Anyhow, a few reports from a rainy, cold day out at the practice fields.
- The best news about practice today is that there were a lot more guys there. Returning to full practice were Randy Thomas, Pete Kendall, and Carlos Rogers, and for limited work were Jon Jansen, Todd Yoder, Kedric Golston. So that was an improvement over yesterday.
- Possibly the only one, though — Chris Cooley, who described the weather today as “awful”, said that yesterday’s practice was one of the best in a long time. “Guys were moving well,” he said.
- I had to run inside to take care of things a few times during practice, and it seemed like every single time I came back out, Fred Davis was doing something impressive: blocking, catching a ball, or even just showing some speed on routes. “I’m hoping to get some plays during the game this week,” Davis said. “I feel like I’m more in tune with it now, because when you play more you don’t just visualize it, you get to do the actions. That helps a lot more.” Coach Zorn complimented Davis again after practice, and said it looked like he was playing fast and “enjoying himself out there,” a sentiment that Davis agreed with. “It’s always fun when you’re playing, man. I love football.”
- Not only Davis, but the rookie wideouts received some post-practice love as well, especially Devin Thomas, whom Zorn described as “definitely improving.” Malcolm Kelly, meanwhile, had a mixed practice. I saw him drop one well-thrown long pass, but he used his height to snag a throw that looked to be over his head. Unfortunately, the impressive catch was on a toss from Antwaan Randle El as he returned the ball after a play, but it was something good. “It’s concentration more than anything,” Kelly said of what’s changed for him as the season progressed. “I felt pretty good. I’ve gotta pay more attention to the small stuff, but I’ll be cool.”
- It can be tough to judge such things, as you all know by know, but the defensive line really seemed to be locked in during their drills today. They were moving fast, cutting and moving crisply, and at least LOOKED like they were listening to defensive line coach John Palermo. (There’s no way to know if they were listening, but I figure that looking like you’re listening is — if nothing else — an excellent first step.) “It was a great practice today,” said Demetric Evans, “we got in, did some good work, and got out.”