Late report, late night... the general order of business it seems.
Today's practice was refreshingly cool to start. Rain subsided just before practice, making for ideal conditions. Once again, practice was noticeably intense. I cannot stress enough how the organizational levels of this coaching staff impact practice and the players participating.
Once again, the defense was on the field that the fans could not see. I wish that I could tell you more about how the defense are looking in practice, but when you see so little of them in drills, it is hard to say; subsequently, the offense is in plain view.
Clinton Portis is an obvious talent. He continues to make moves that awe the crowd and make the defense look incompetent. Not only has Washington not had a back of his talent level for some time, they may never have. As Dan (DeHog) so eloquently put it today, the guy just seems to be able to actually shift directions in mid air.
What a difference a day makes. Patrick Ramsey looked considerably better and more confident than he did at any time yesterday. His throws were crisper, the hesitation less frequent and his touch was much improved. He completed a 25 yard pass to Lavranues Coles that really pumpred up both himself and the crowd.
Gibran Hamden also showed some nice touch today. This local boy has a cannon for an arm, and while it may not be the sexiest battle for position at training camp, it will certainly be one of the most fiercely contested between he and Tim Hasselbeck.
As was the case Saturday, intensity and heavy contact were the order of the day. In seven-on-seven drills, both sides of the line were battling fiercely. Fred Baxter quickly took down Jim Molinaro on a block during a drill. Molinaro and Matt Bowen were also involved in a scuffle.
Regan Upshaw was easily the most intense individual at practice today. I noticed him more than ever before. On two to three separate occasions, he not only made good plays, he fired up the defense with his infectious attitude. Pumped like only a football player can be, Upshaw knew that he was playing well and giving himself ample opportunity to find his way onto the defensive starting unit. In my opinion, Upshaw was easily the most noticeable player on the whole team. His intensity was unmatched, his effort unsurpassed.
Scott Cloman continues to impress and put himself in the position of being the toughest cut at training camp. With so much talent at Wide Receiver, while it may be an uphill climb, not a practice goes by where he doesn't live up to the task at hand. He never drops a ball, and he will push Taylor Jacobs to the extreme in his effort to make the team.
While much has been made of Coles' decision to not have his toe operated on, it does not appear to be affecting his play. He burned Fred Smoot on a long pass and showed no signs of the injury whatsoever on a dead run.
As with yesterday, the overall intensity is undoubtedly the most glaring difference. Players continue to work after practice, and do everything they can to make themselves better and go that extra mile. Chris Samuels, Randy Thomas, Derrick Dockery and Pita Elisara stayed after practice doing wind-sprints and sit-ups. In the beginning, Pita was pushing Chris, and then Chris could be heard pushing Thomas, saying that they had only done 85 sit-ups. Thomas replied that he 'had to save something for tomorrow.' All the while, Bugel and Lenny Friedman could be seen going over stance, plays and everything a cerebral center needs to know to make himself better. Bugel's ability to instruct and teach can be read in the respect on the faces in the listener.
Hopefully, tomorrow's 9am practice picks up where today's intense practices left off. See you there.