Sorry for the delay in getting this up, life got in the way after leaving practice yesterday. There probably won’t be as many observations as yesterday, but I’ll provide what I can.
1. The players were not in pads today, just shells, so the competition wasn’t as intense. It made it a little harder to notice line play as well.
2. JJ, Clowney and JJo were all present and accounted for. The only notable player I didn’t see was McKinney.
3. Early on in practice they had the RBs running option routes out of the backfield matched up against a single LB. All of the RBs turned the LBs around pretty good. Cunningham can run with them, but got slowed by guessing direction a little.
4. Lamar Miller absolutely schooled Cushing on one rep, he stuck his foot in the ground and had 3 yards of separation in an instant. Cushing did recover to run him out of bounds though (10+ downfield).
5. They were practicing kickoff coverage today and had Fairbairn actually kicking live today. He was kicking away from me so I couldn’t really tell how deep they were going, but I’m pretty sure they were close to the back line.
6. At one point OB jumped a drill in order and made himself do pushups as penance. Mercilus was squatting right beside him counting them out.
7. The rest of practice was all about situational football. The squad was split up in the Blue team (1s) and White (2s) team.
8. They started out with some 12 yard, gotta have it last play of the game scenarios. Savage looked comfortable and in control, he knew exactly where to go with the ball. Watson seemed like he was still learning this stuff a little, he wasn’t quite as sure of himself. Both QBs got touchdowns though.
9. I will say part of Watson’s troubles were the fact he had the #2 o-line going against a full strength #1 d-line. Needless to say he was running for his life. On the plus side, we’ve never had a QB who can avoid pressure like him. He pulled some Russell Wilson spins and moves to get away from people. It’s very entertaining and exciting to watch.
10. On the downside, his first instinct still appears to be to run. On one rep near midfield someone was on him in an instant and he made him grab air. Contain was gone and he had nothing but open field in front of him so he took off. OB immediately blew the play dead and had a talk with him. I think they’re trying to make sure he goes through his options before running.
11. They also practiced some end of game, get in FG range with no timeouts scenarios. After the first rep Hop got a talking to because he ran 10 yards down field after catching the ball which ate up too much time and prevented the FG attempt. It was corrected on the next rep.
12. They did this multiple times with Fairbairn kicking, he drilled the first 2 or 3 attempts and missed the next 5 straight wide left or right. Novak’s job may still be secure….
13. I watched Giacomini matched up 1 on 1 with JJ during one team drill. He was able to successfully ride him out around the QB.
14. With B-Mac out I saw a mix of Cunningham (expected) and Scarlett (unexpected) lined up in the middle next to Cushing.
15. The starting safeties today were Hal and Drummond (who looks weird wearing #23, too soon still).
16. When the 1 went against the 1s, they put Johnson on Hop with the safety favoring that side, leaving JJo on an island with Strong.
That’s all I can remember right now. Yesterday I may have over-reacted in my praise of Watson over Savage based on just one practice. Because if today’s practice was the only one I saw I would say Savage’s job is secure, but just because of Watson’s inexperience. Still, when I watch them I have no doubt that Watson will eventually pass Savage once his mind catches up. When I watch them both play Watson just has the mythical "IT", Savage sadly does not. I still think Savage will be a solid upgrade from the cluster we had last year, but the long term future lies with Watson.