God what a beautiful Morning, though I'm very glad I'm in the stands and not on the field. Its not going to be comfortable for the players.
I showed up around 10, just in time to start to see some of the group and individual work. Some people play "where's Wally", I play "where's BB" and as usual it took me a few minutes to spot him.
Got to see some great drills today;
The OLBs were working with the Ss on outside run support, with the TEs and RBs.
Its important to keep in mind that most of these drills are designed to be EITHER the O or D, but there is a lot of coaching going on on both sides, since even if you are working from "scout sheets", you can still work on your own techniques. A block is a block is a block, even if the drill is designed for the defense. In fact there is so much coaching going on that it is hard sometimes to figure out who the drill is designed for.
At any rate, here is what I thought. Pierre Woods is the best at sealing the edge. Thomas is immovable but sometimes gets tied up waiting for the runner to get to him. In other words he initially beats the blocker, but occassionally loses that control in the moments before the RB reaches him. Tully was inconsistent, and got to "tied up" with the TE too often. The new guy didn't look all that bad, and was constantly being "coached up" by his coach and BB.
BB was on Thomas' and TBC's case to "lock out", meaning to fully EXTEND his arms to keep control. Too often they collapse as they fighting for position with the TE. This is why we often hear the term "hand placement", easy to explain, very HARD to do. BTW - BB was very active in this drill speaking both with individual LBs and TEs
THE key element in all LB play going back.....a hundred years...right to today is creating "separation". Back in my day, before OLmen were allowed to extend their arms, the LBs tool to create that separation was the "forearm shiver". It was a sharp short blow, with the forearm into the chest (or facemask) of the on coming blocker. It was good to create that nansecond of "air" which allowed the LB to find the ball and get to it. Back then a 5-2(Okie) LB was told that if he wasn't in on EVERY running play tackle he wasn't doing his job. This was very effective UNTIL the rules changed.
The forearm shiver was a lot less effective because offensive blocking became more of an sumo wrestling event than contact sport (sorry if my bias is showing). The object of an offensive lineman WASN'T to plant his face in the DLmans chest and DRIVE him in a certain direction. Instead it was to engage him and control him and ultimately get him to TURN his shoulders, while the RB read this a reacted accordingly (Hey I said it would be easy to explain, not short,
The way OLBs do that today is with hard "punch" with his hands UNDER the shoulder pads of the offensive lineman. Then he EXTENDS those arms to contol the offensive lineman until he releases him to get to the ball. Ever wonder why BB keeps looking for TALL guys to play OLB, its more he's looking for guys with LONG ARMS. (which usually come with tall guys). as you can figure, Long arms are a BIG advantage to the OLB who can master the technique.
Really sad when this drill ran its 10 minutes and they moved on.
More hitting in an 11 on 11, which was live for the first few steps. Decided to watch some of the OLineman since its impossible to see them during group since they work in an area the farthest away from anyone. First I wanted to take a special look at Orhenberge. That didn't work out since he didn't Practice, so I decide to look a Sebby Volmer and see how he's progressing.
My overall impression was mixed. First he is a BIGGGGGGG dude. In running plays he's a load. He creates movement. Fairly quick off the ball and once he puts his hands on you HE is in control, because his arms are just SOOOOOO long. The same goes for pass protection, when he gets his hands on you he envelopes the rusher. However.....I think right now he's going to have problems with speed rushers (It just occured to me, but what OT DOESN'T have problems with speed rushers, but I digress....
A couple of times I noticed when he DIDN'T get his hands placed properly he ended up playing catch up with the rusher. Give him a year or two under Dante, and an off season on two with the strength people and we might have a truely DOMINANT OT. I think he'll be in an OT rotation THIS year, but will be eased in, not thrown in.
Misc. Impressions - I don't know how much time Lewis will get as a WR, but when he's in there the Pats won't miss a beat. We'd better get used to the fact that every now and then Joey Galloway is going to flat out drop a pass. I know everyone does, but Joey will have one or two more. BTW - his a big upgrade on Jabar as a potential threat. I have no idea how teams are going to try to stop this passing offense. I wouldn't want to try.
Impossible pass route - Watched them work on this one for a while. The WR goes down the field and runs a square in, right INTO the defender, then breaks out to the outside. The ONLY way to stop this pass is to get to the QB (it does take some time to develop) The CB or S has NO chance.
Good news if Edelman is your Binky since he was working with the 2's on offense and starting with first KO coverage. Bad news if Ventrone is your binky, he was working with the 2s on KO coverage.
Every day I see Lee Boddin, I feel better about our CB situation. Shawn Springs didn't practice.
OK gotta go. Might not make to to the PM, there are others who do a great job, who will.