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Old 08-11-2009, 10:46 AM   #1
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Default 8.11 Am Camp report Khan and whoever else may have been there.

Today was very hot. The early morning practices the sun is beating down on you pretty harsh. Even harder for the players who were noticeably fatigued on a few occasions trying to move through drills. The good news was Ryan Harris was back on the field and he looked himself after the scare from yesterday. So the good news is whatever happened to him appears to be minor.

The practice was full pads and they spent a good portion working on very specific drills and packages in preparation for the 49ers this Friday night. They did quite a bit of scout work for the offense and defense where scout team players would don colored jerseys bearing the numbers of the players that they needed to key on (Gore, Staley, Brandon Jones, Vernon Davis, etc.)

Interestingly, Nolan put a 4-3 package on the field as his base rotating DT's in. Haggan, DJ and Davis were the linebackers. The team did ok at containing the run but had some issues containing the toss plays to the outside. They ran plays off a sheet in what I can only assume was what they anticipate Niners to run; Lots of runs, some QB scrambles and a few quick passes.

The offense got it's chance to attack the defense. Nolan probably helped here and had them run a few packages that he expects Singletary to run. We ran a lot of hitches, digs and curl routes in anticipation of a 3-4 blitz scheme. Royal was allowed to run some option routes. They didn't really run any situational drills, which is the first I've seen them forgo this in favor of prep work for the game. Anyway, let's get to the body of the report.

QB: Orton received some good coaching from McDaniels today on anticipating throws to receivers. Sometimes he waits too long to throw and McDaniels helped him to work on throwing before the receiver was open so that as he released the ball would arrive on time. This was critical for comeback and hitch routes because if you wait your receiver is going to get killed. He did a really nice job of looking guys off today, something I hadn't seen him do much to this point, and that was encouraging. He's getting better down field chemistry with Royal, but I suspect he's still weeks away for that deep connection to be a more solid thing. However they are both close. Simms looked better today but he still loses his accuracy on throws over 15 to 20 yards. He tends to miss high, I've noticed. He is a better QB on the run than Orton, but other than that Orton is the clear starter. Brandstater did better today. He got a lot of work because he was the scout team QB. Mostly he threw a lot of screens and dump offs but he did run a designed scramble on one play.

TE: All the tight ends had struggles today. Graham had a drop. Quinn had several drops and got destroyed in a few blocking assignments. He looked like his head was spinning because in a lot of pre-snap he was looking around. Scheffler did ok but I saw him have one bobble. He did snare a nice pass on screen play. Marquez Branson was the only TE that didn't have any huge screw ups.

Receiver: Royal is going to be crazy good this year. I know I've been in trouble for making predictions before, but he is just so polished. He had one would-be long TD that Andre Goodman broke up at the last minute. It was a beautifully placed ball and just a good play by Goodman. On another play Orton barely over threw Royal for a similar deep bomb. Off his fingertips. Very close. On some scrimmaging later in the practice, Royal did a nice job settling into a zone and getting vertical to take a bullet from Orton. He also broke a few ankles on a nice screen play. McKinley had similar play as well. He leaped over Moulton and came down in traffic for a good grab. Jackson and Gaffney had their moments as well. Jackson got a lot of work.

RB: Moreno looks great. He did all the things I expected him to do well (Catch, block and make guys miss in space). There was a blitz where the safety came through and Moreno nailed and pushed him back. There was not a lot of pressure at all this practice so the protection in general was very good. Buckhalter had a hard time getting a lot of runs up the middle this time. Hillis had a few good plays. They used him on a double screen once and he made some nice moves after the catch. They move him around quite a bit and let him run, catch and block. I think despite depth chart that Hillis will be heavily utilized in this offense.

O-line: Kuper had a good practice. I saw him block Fields one on one and he only took one half step back to anchor. It was good. Harris looked fine. It didn't appear he was hurt at all. I rarely got to see Clady other than when they had him be "Joe Staley" during the scout team work. He dominated. Broncobuff will be pleased to note that Pollubus had a better practice today. He struggled with some of the speed guys, but never was truly beat like he had been.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:52 AM   #2
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Great report. Thanks!!
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:55 AM   #3
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Wouldn't that be a trip if they went 4-3 this game and had all of us scratching our heads!
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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Thanks for the report btw!
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylore View Post
Today was very hot. The early morning practices the sun is beating down on you pretty harsh. Even harder for the players who were noticeably fatigued on a few occasions trying to move through drills. ...
Is this from too much early hitting in Camp? They should be in pretty good shape by know and know what to expect in drills.

Good stuff, thanks for the Kuper update!
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:56 AM   #6
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nice....hearing about Royal just makes me more pissed off about the Marshall situation though. Nice to hear that Moreno and the line was able to hold up against some pressure coming at them. I keep saying that with the right protection, this game is goign to seem a hell of a lot easier for Orton and what hes used to

very good news about HIllis, I know a lot of people here have been bummed out as he seeemed to be marginalized but I think McDaniels knows what he has there. Not to worried about Quinn....days like that are going to happen for rookies
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:57 AM   #7
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Awesome Khan. I can not wait til Friday.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for the report Khan. Good work as usual.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:01 AM   #9
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D-line: It was hard to see these guys from my angle. I did notice that Marcus Thomas powered through the line for a tackle for a loss on one play. He drew high praises from coaches. Baker did well in drills by beating his respective offensive linemen whenever he lined up. He's the second team nose. Robert Ayers had a few great plays where he sealed off the tackle and forced the run inside. It didn't look like much, but it was a great play. On special teams he and McBath both blew off their blocks and tackled the returner. They both high fived afterward and Ayers told McBath "All day!" It's nice to see the young guys get excited about ST. Crowder took reps on the second team and was the LDE in the 4-3 package we had for the scout team. Moss was running wind sprints alone for the first part of practice. He came in later and seemed a bit confused on a play and got ear full from coach Nunnley. He looked really tired during the drills.

Linebackers: Nothing too much here. Dumervil played some first team WOLB. He had trouble getting through traffic and got beat by Scheffler on an out pattern. Andra Davis had one of his best practices. He blows a lot of plays up and it's hard for our linemen to block him. It's nice to have big, physical players inside for a change. The unit overall looks nasty and they hit hard in practice. I think the overall demeanor of the defense will be, for better or worse, much more physical this year. No more finesse crap.

Safeties: I watched the safeties very closely. Bruton looks not too bad. He just thinks too much sometimes and is a bit late. I think it will just take time for him. On special teams he was frequently the first guy there. On way plays got down fast but slowed to avoid over-pursuing the returner and he got props from the coaching staff. McBath is solid. He mostly just plays back. They rarely bring him up to help the run and he does a great job of bracketing his guy. He helped break up a really well thrown deep ball to McKinley.

CB's: Relatively quiet day with so many run plays. Goodman had a nice practice. He broke up what everyone felt was a sure TD and made some nice plays in run support. Alphonso had nice tip that he almost tipped to himself and fell incomplete. Per practice rules, he scooped it up and ran it back like a fumble.

There was a fight between Blake Schlueter and Nic Clemmens today. I liked seeing the rookie stick up for himself. I think he could be a hard guy to cut. Marshall wasn't there apparently for court and Dawkins is still out probably for a few weeks.

Questions? Comments?
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:01 AM   #10
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Andre Goodman is the Shiznit!
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slade View Post
Wouldn't that be a trip if they went 4-3 this game and had all of us scratching our heads!
When it is all said and done this year, I would be surprised if the Broncos were in a traditional 3-4 for more than 20% of their defensive snaps.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:02 AM   #12
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So you're guaranteeing that Royal will be crazy awesome this year? You can expect a personal attack from me if he is anything less!
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:05 AM   #13
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Khan,

I guess on the radio they where quoting Weigman saying that Harris' arm injury was significant but he still came to practice today. Did Harris look ok?
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:05 AM   #14
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Is this from too much early hitting in Camp? They should be in pretty good shape by know and know what to expect in drills.
After a week your body gets tired and it's hard to keep focus. You start to go through the motions and the tedium begins to wear on you. It's not a physical thing, it's a mental thing. This is actually when it gets dangerous because when you're in that daze mode you can get hurt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vancejohnson82 View Post
very good news about HIllis, I know a lot of people here have been bummed out as he seeemed to be marginalized but I think McDaniels knows what he has there. Not to worried about Quinn....days like that are going to happen for rookies
People put too much stock in the depth chart. McDaniels will use a variety of guys in a variety of ways that fit their skill set. No one in the NFL really uses the depth chart for making a game plan or determining playing time anymore, especially on offense. It's all about matchups.

And I agree on Quinn. It will take some time for all the rookies.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
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People put too much stock in the depth chart. McDaniels will use a variety of guys in a variety of ways that fit their skill set. No one in the NFL really uses the depth chart for making a game plan or determining playing time anymore, especially on offense. It's all about matchups.

And I agree on Quinn. It will take some time for all the rookies.

Would it be fair to say that Hillis is going to be our Kevin Faulk? Or are we running different 3rd down sets and whatnot?
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:10 AM   #16
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Khan...

Thru the practices that you have been to, do you see any glaring weaknesses? I know that it is still early.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Khan,

I guess on the radio they where quoting Weigman saying that Harris' arm injury was significant but he still came to practice today. Did Harris look ok?
I didn't see a problem. I mentioned him here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylore
Harris looked fine. It didn't appear he was hurt at all.
Quote:
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Would it be fair to say that Hillis is going to be our Kevin Faulk? Or are we running different 3rd down sets and whatnot?
They use him more than a third down guy. They move him around a lot. He's our primary short yardage guy and on some passing plays he's in. I wouldn't agree that he's "our Kevin Faulk" because he's not as one dimensional.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:13 AM   #18
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Excellent report, thanks Khan.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:13 AM   #19
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Nice work, Khan! Great to hear about Harris back on the field, Royal shining, Goodman stepping up and Andra Davis playing well. Kinda disappointed about Quinn, but I remember Martellius Bennett (TE) of the Cowboys struggling a lot last summer as a rookie. I caught some of his struggles while watching Hard Knocks on HBO. He ended up having a solid season considering Witten is the other TE. Maybe the TE position is a tough one to transition into.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:14 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Khan...

Thru the practices that you have been to, do you see any glaring weaknesses? I know that it is still early.
It's too early to say. I'll repost my concerns from another thread here, though.

In order of concern: Prater, that we don't have anyone even competing with Prater, Hamilton and Wiegman getting shoved around by our defensive line, our rush defense, our "very special" teams coverage, Marshall's hip, that they're still trying to figure out what to do at OLB, ditto for DE, and Dawkins' hand.

I am not worried about our secondary, Orton or our backs.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:15 AM   #21
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My opinion is that Hillis is everything Buckhalter is and then some.

Problem is that with Moreno here, Hillis's reps are limited enough without trying to carve out touches for Buckhalter, Jordan or Torain.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:18 AM   #22
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Thanks for the report, great stuff! I'm officially excited

Can't wait for Friday!!
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:18 AM   #23
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Quote:
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Nice work, Khan! Great to hear about Harris back on the field, Royal shining, Goodman stepping up and Andra Davis playing well. Kinda disappointed about Quinn, but I remember Martellius Bennett (TE) of the Cowboys struggling a lot last summer as a rookie. I caught some of his struggles while watching Hard Knocks on HBO. He ended up having a solid season considering Witten is the other TE. Maybe the TE position is a tough one to transition into.
It is one of the hardest because you learn so much of the offense. You have to learn all the routes AND all the protections. It's brutal. You play in traffic and you play in space. I'm not the least bit concerned a rookie TE is struggling early.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:19 AM   #24
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Nolan put a 4-3 package on the field as his base rotating DT's in. Haggan, DJ and Davis were the linebackers.
Thanks for the great report (as always)!!!

Question - what is your take on Haggan as a starting OLB? Do you see him outplaying others (Reid and Crowder)? Does he really have the necessary skillset to succeed? I'm wondering if this is more of a "test" for some of the other guys to see how they handle adversity...
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:21 AM   #25
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Sucks I didn't see you there Khan, but I'll give a little about what I saw today.

First off, it was very hot as you mentioned, no breeze or clouds didn't help the situation any better.

But to start off practice like all of McD's practices they worked on special teams, mostly onside kick return, and onside kickoff. Then went through thier normal stretching and warming up as usual.

Orton looked very good today earning the priase of McD on multiple occations. He throws such a good catch-able ball, and places it in the perfect position to allow the receiver to do something with it after the catch. On a play right in front of me he hit Scheffler on a swing route and put it right to the outside that all Sheff had to do was stick his hands out and his forward momentum wasnt disrupted at all and turned up field for a nice gain. Simms on the other hand was shaky on a few of his throws, and still hold on to the ball for too long, allowing the defense to get to him for the sack. Branstater's hair was hilarious, it looked like Terry Bradshaw, and was getting heckled by a few coaches and players.

Knowshon was very impressive to me today. This was the first practice I've seen him at so far, and he looks like a legit 1st round pick. He had a few cuts that left the defenders grabbing for air, and showed a lot of good down field vision just as he did in college. He was really impressive to me and I am excited to watch this kid for years to come.

I 100% agree with Khan, Eddie is a super stud and is going to be awesome this year. He is just so fluid in everything he does, and McD uses him in every WR drill to show all the other WR how he wants something done. Eddie earned a lot of praise from the coaches all day. McD was running some DB in the WR drills showing the wide outs what he wanted from them, its great to see him so hands on with all the positions, and the players can do nothing but benifet from it.

Ryan Clady is a beast. The End.

I didn't get to watch much of the defense seeing as how they are always on the other end of the fields, but I did see a little in the 11 on 11's. There was some prep work for San Fransisco as scout players wore jersey numbers for the SF players... The scout team had a few plays on them including a very nice catch by the Rookie TE Quinn. But the defense held stout and stopped most plays against the scout SF offense.

There was a little dust up between Nic Clemons and Schlueter, and no one seemed to eager to break it up, they were going at it pretty good. I still have never understood why you would want to punch a person with full pads and a helmet on, but to each thier own. They got to blow off a little steam it seemed on this very hot day.

Overall I liked the practice, they got after it in the team drills and were still getting very good coaching as the theme of the 2009 training camp has shown. Now I need some aloe to take care of this sunburn and a nap. Enjoy.
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