This is a combination of observations from today and partially from last week, some of which I caught. First off, Bedard, Cox and McKenna have described today as a bad day at the office for the offense, particularly the OL. Brady has been described by a few as having an average, to sub-par training camp. I disagree with them. All of them. The offensive miscues, the two false starts by Mason then Ferentz, and the muffed handoff to Michel is what happens when you're facing an elite defense that's foaming at the mouth, that's the best I've seen in quite a while. In the past few years, the offense has usually had its way with the defense. But not this year- this is a pretty fast, swarming defense. The offense has been playing on its back heels and the OL is intimidated, hence all those mental mistakes being described as "sloppiness." This is defense that is intense, takes pride in itself and plays with a swagger, an edge. There was a lot of chirping, woofing, and finger-pointing. I absolutely love the attitude and the fire that they exhibit on the field especially when making goal line stops- there was a lot of whooping and yelling with players spilling on the field and rubbing it in the O's face, and even Jerod Mayo wasn't above running onto the field and doing a little finger wagging himself. This has been an energetic training camp- you'd never guess that they had just won the superbowl. Bentley plays with intensity- got into it with K'neal. I had my eyes on a few players- mostly Collins- I wanted to know if he was going to be different this time around, and by all accounts he is- a lot more communication to and from him, and he is playing within the game instead of outside of it (e.g., freelancing), and I think that has come with maturity, with understanding why the game is played the way it is- he continues to be a disruptive player, punching the ball out, making stops, being all over. Michael Bennett is flying under the radar for the most part, and seems to be in snooze mode through training camp, but when he has had to turn it on, he has been an absolute monster. He destroyed Shaq Mason in the OL vs. DL RB drill where you had to shed the OL and try to contain or funnel the RB. He stood Mason up and shed him like a rag doll and just wrapped up the RB. Unbelievable upper body strength there. Lazar and others think that we are going back to the 3-4, I actually think we're going to stay with the 2-4, with only one or two linemen down in the dirt, and utilize more backers than linemen. I actually wouldn't be surprised if we were in nickel, or dime for most of this upcoming season. This is a feisty group of DB's that takes pride in shutting down receivers- especially Gilmore who didn't allow even as much as a whiff of the ball when called upon. I think we'll keep a deep corp as we did last year. They have outstanding communication amongst themselves and are very rarely fooled by the offense- only once today were they fooled, on a goal line double fake PA. And the offense? What gives? One reason everyone keeps reading about acrobatic, crazy catches is because that's all that the defense is giving up. A couple crazy circus catches by K'neal, Meyers, and Dorsett today. It has otherwise been difficult to move on this defense, to get an actual first down. K'neal looks like someone who just got hit with a freight train of a playbook, but I think he'll be fine. His talent will pull him through until the rest of him catches up. Right now he is doing too much thinking, and that's of course normal of a rookie who's getting coached up from every direction, and from anyone within earshot. It was nice to see Dorsett take K'neal under his wing and just help to keep him calm and even-keeled. He has a lot to learn in terms of hand placements especially on comebacks, and how to push off subtly. His pushoffs right before he goes up for the ball is too obvious at this point. Watson still has it- he had a beautiful diving catch, and the chemistry between Brady and Watson is still there. As mentioned, Meyers is making a name for himself and gets my vote as the annual UDFA to make the team, and Maurice Harris is carving a nice niche for himself- and seems to be picking up where Patterson left off- running the same gadget plays (jet sweeps, etc). As of this point, Skipper is our starting LT for the foreseeable future. He is not spectacular, but is fundamentally sound and I am impressed with his pad levels- he can get himself as low as Thuney, which is saying something! He does a nice job holding people away from his body, has nice hands, good eyes (picked up a secondary rusher). Will he hold up against an elite DL? That's the big question. More coming but wanted to get this out for now.