The mood in camp has changed a tad. For the most part the coaches still seem calmed and relaxed, but there have been a few occasions when the staff has blown up at a player for messing up. They are really stressing the little things, not allowing players to skate on the fundamentals.
There was a greater emphasis on kick coverage in the special teams portion of practice. The team spent a lot of time working on both punt and kickoff coverage, really stressing some of the nuances of the job.
At the same time the majority of the skill position players were working on the coverage game a few players were getting some personal attention from their position coaches. Most notable was Derke Robinson who was working with Kasey Dunn.
7-on-7 skeleton drills was much of the same. A lot of short passes with the occasional long throw. With no pass rush, quarterbacks are able to check down to their fourth, fifth and occasionally their sixth receivers. Many times the dump-off passes would not be available in actual game situations.
The highlight of the 7-on-7’s was a great grab by Syndric Steptoe over the middle. Willie Tuitama threw a laser that Steptoe was able to snag between two defenders.
B.J. Dennard made his second impressive catch in two days. On Monday he made a tough, diving grab as he was falling out of bounds. On Tuesday he made a great sideline grab between a pair of defenders, including Antoine Cason.
Chris Henry had a couple of nice runs. He showed off some nice misdirection moves. After practice offensive coordinator Mike Canales confirmed that Henry and Xavier Smith were still 1-2 on the depth chart and that he was pleased with both.
Austin had a rough outing. He was fine but the young linemen in front of him gave him little time to throw. He was often scrambling for his life or just tucking the ball in and taking off down field. He did show a decent ability to find some open receivers while on the run, but a few of those would have been sacks.
Although the three freshmen receivers have not put up jaw dropping numbers in scrimmage situations, they have been very solid in drills. Canales was very pleased with them and feels that they may start to contribute more next week as they get a further grasp on the system and the physical demands of camp.
A number of players are still being limited, including Brad Wood, who is playing every other practice in an effort not to overwork him and his injuries.