Overview: OK, What a totally wierd practice. If I thought the morning practice was lax, I was wrong. This practice was intended to be lax. The players came out with no pads AND no helmets. This means there was no real contact of any kind. If I thought it was hot and muggy this morning, its because I had no idea this afternoon was coming. Many fans left due to the heat.
Only two things happened in this practice, special teams play (kickoff return coverage) and preparation for Saturday. This practice lasted exactly an hour and not enough happened to warrant a long write-up.
Preparation for Saturday: It took me a while to figure it out, but the team basically went "slow motion" walk-through for a number of different plays. These were not the stuff they were practicing during the week. Its clear that this practice was about at least having some preparation for looking like a pro team in a preseason game. Hamden got nearly as much or more time than Ramsey, and the "end of the bench" players (affectionately known as "future Fed-Ex delivery men") got lots of time. Thad Butte got more time than the Rock or Johnson for instance. The most interesting play tried with the starting unit was a two-back eye formation with Bryon Johnson at FB and Rock Cartwright at tailback! Two TEs (Zeron "Butter Fingers" Fleminster and Robert "I'm a Contenda" Royal) were also used. Talk about Heavy Jumbo!
Kickoff Drills: They used a kick machine for the kickoffs, but had both units "run through the plays. Receiving kicks were Chad, Patrick Johnson (consistently #2 in the rotation for kickoffs), Sultan McCollough and Jordan Younger. Based on Sultan "Gimme da Butter Zeron" McCollough's drop here, I doubt he will be handling kickoffs.
Highlights: Here's what was interesting: it appears from the brief starter rotations as if Scott Cloman has taken over the 4th receiver spot. He is ahead of both Russell and Flowers. Also "Da Rock" Cartwright was with the first unit, along with Robert Royal.
The Lowlights: Brian Barker's warmup punting. It was so bad most on the sideline were wondering if it was really John Hall punting (he did not have his shirt on). Brian shanked the majority of the punts in pre-practice; good thing for him the coaches were not out. When Bartholomew (Who absolutely blew chunks this morning) got on the field, he was TUNS better than Barker. Barker's punts weren't even spirals half the time. Maybe he was intending this but I doubt it. The other lowlight was Sultan McCullough, the only kick returner to drop a return.
The interesting!: Our Savior, David Leaverton, has arrived! This new punter (#6), who was practicing long kickoffs (Looong Kickoffs) punted the "You know what" out of the ball right prior to 4:00. He was FAR FAR better than either of the two punters we have now. This is only one practice, but I'm sold - I'd hire him. Word on the street is there will be a 3 way "punt-off" this weekened, in which Leaverton and ONLY ONE OTHER will survive. I don't care which of the two others go, they both suck I think.
The camp wrapped up with little fanfare and only a few people signing autographs, Hamden (who looked alright out there, but not good), Bowen and Ade Jimoh. Also, Frank Herzog was out asking fans to identify players - if they did he'd give them a buck! This will be on Channel 9 tonight I'm sure.
This article was released on 2003-08-14.
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