One of our camp correspondents Ryan James has filed another report. Was was at yesterday’s practice. Enjoy. -PA
It was a hot one today! Monday is supposed to have a heat index of of 113 so I made sure to get out and get me an umbrella for tomorrow. Today the practice felt just like yesterday’s practice. Before the stretching took place, Coach Zorn had the QB’s, C’s and RB’s doing snap and hand-off drills. Rodney Hudson #61 was snapping to Cassel who was handing off to Charles. Darryl Haris #66 was snapping to Tyler Palko who was handing off to Jones. Jon Asamoah #73 was snapping to Ricky Stanzi #13. There was not a third running back for Stanzi. Charles has been running with all the ones this year! This is a change from last years camp, where Thomas Jones was running with all the ones! I expect to see more Charles this year than Jones.
A lot of position specific drills to start out with. I started with the Defense today to see what Romeo was doing with them and the energy on the defensive side of the ball is definitely greater than the offensive side. There is some great audio of Coach Crennel encouraging the defense as they run through the bags. The videos are a must watch! Keep an eye out for number 71 and you will be able to see how big Allen Bailey is. He came over and signed my football and I am not exaggerating when I say that his arms were the size of my head! It has become an early camp tradition for Eric Berry to do a roll after pushing the bags down at the end of the video so don’t miss it.
I was interested in seeing some of WR drills as well today. Jerheme Urban had a stellar day. His routes were crisp and he caught everything including a one handed catch that was thrown behind him during a drill. Everyone is talking about the ‘Killer B’s” (Bowe, Baldwin and Breaston) but Urban is quietly solidifying a starting spot. Baldwin is constantly talking with Bowe and other veterans. I am impressed with his work ethic. Coach Haley even gave him some 1-on-1 pointers after a drill. Veran Tucker had a less than stellar day. Overall I am happy with what WR Coach Richie is doing with the wide outs.
It is evident that Eric Berry is the leader of the secondary. He is the most vocal person out there. While I was watching their DB drill where they are having to recognize pass routes, Berry was calling out keys and communicating with the other DB’s, which led to him jumping a route and picking it off. He is also the most entertaining for the fans. During the same drill, he was yelling out the call “ZEBRA, ZEBRA, ZEBRA” he then turned to the fence where I was standing and pointed at me and said ‘ZEBRA”. It got a laugh out of the few of us that were over there.
Just like yesterday, they ended the practice with an intense 11-on-11 small scrimmage. There was no contact, just crowding the ball carrier. The first play out of the gate Cassel hit Baldwin on a deep streak where Baldiwn got to display his hops as he went up and got the ball at the highest point against Javier Arenas. McCluster was all over the field today. Catching a deep pass down the sideline and a great show of hands as he caught a ball in traffic over the middle.
The autograph session at the end included: McCluster, Cassel, Dorsey, Bailey, T. Jackson, Pioli, Haley and Stanzi. In fact after practice, Coach Zorn pulled Stanzi aside and was working individually with him. Haley finally yelled over and said, “Hey Zorn! Let Stanzi go. He needs to get over here and sign some autographs for these Iowa fans!” It got quite the ovation.