Sorry this is so late. Here's what I saw at the First Day of Practice:
It was a little overcast, and about a hundred people were there to watch. There was really nothing to indicate that it was the first day, except that my football craving was finally satisfied.
Got there about 15-20 minutes into practice, apparently I missed kick and punt return drills, and the opportunity to see JACQUIZZ RODGERS in kick receive. They were working on extra points and fake extra points, and I must say that BtD favorite, Taylor Kavanaugh has a good touch on his fake extra point passes--even PERNELL BOOTH and other linemen were catching them.
After they broke into position groups I went to watch Jacquizz because...well, I'd never seen him before, and I think we're all pretty curious, or should I say inQUIZZitive? They were just doing handoff drills and running between some pads that were representing offensive linemen. I couldn't really tell anything about him from these drills, but I will say that he has even bigger calves than James--which is saying something. He looks like a young Ken Simonton or Maurice Drew, I suppose. I'll be able to watch him in kick receive today and see if he pulls any Matrix stuff. Also, I saw him sign his first autograph for a Beaver fan. No, it wasn't for me.
Had a good time watching Greg Newhouse teaching the linebackers inside of Truax. They were working on calling out different switches and changing assignments when receivers go into motion or if the formation was changed. I always learn something new from Coach Newhouse when I watch him up close. He's practically an encyclopedia (same with Coach Cavanaugh). This time I learned one of those things that's just hidden in plain sight when he said (something like): "Without seeing the play, I should be able to only look at (the linebackers, collective) feet and know everything about this play--where the tailback went, if the tightend was in motion, if it was a sweep, or a counter, or off-tackle, if it was a pass--and where it was thrown. I should be able to tell you everything about that play." The starters were looking good in these drills. I can't help but think that he should switch positions with Al Afalava everytime I see him, but KEITH PANKEY was all over the place in these drills, KEATON KRISTICK too. The guys were having a good time. I'm not too worried about these new starters.
Next was a chance to watch the O-line. ANDY LEVITRE looks like a Sunday player now, like Roy Scheuning with bigger arms. JEREMY PERRY was there. He looked like he was wearing pads, even. JP was icing his knee between drills, and he's over his playing weight, but goddamit--he's JEREMY FREAKING PERRY. I think he knows that he's playing for a big paycheck this year. This was just about the first time that he's been able to drill with his teammates this summer, and it's pretty safe to say that his weight will come down just from practicing and being able to put weight on his knee again. He said his ankle feels fine and he'll be ready for Aug 28th. I also talked to Tavita Thompson, and we'll probably have more on that later--maybe an interview or something.
I didn't really get to focus on the O-line as much as I wanted to, I will work on them today. D-line, too.
Also, I did watch the full team drills at the end of practice, and I will have more on that later....but, time to go to Saturday's practice.
Note: I'm not really sure how many practices I will be able to go to during the camp, but we will try to make a point of getting to the officiated practices. If there is anything that you would like my untrained eye to focus on, then let me know in the comments section. If you have any questions about things that I didn't mention, please let me know in the comments.
Also, please let us know if there are any players that you want us to interview or just individual questions that you want us to ask any of the players--we'll see what we can do.