Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Open Practice Photos and Thoughts

As I mentioned yesterday, I checked out the open practice Monday night. I took a few pictures, but looking over them today, most of them sucked. That's what happens when you try to take close up shots from B Deck, I guess. If you want some good pictures, you'll want to check out the Ozone. However, I did have a few that I felt were worth sharing. And if they aren't worth sharing, well, I'm gonna do it anyway. (Note: clicking the pictures just takes you to the Photobucket site. Click the link below the pic if you want the full size)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
click here for full size

Here's a shot of the stadium just as the practice was starting. Using a highly scientific analysis of this picture, I have concluded that the official estimate of 28,000 people attending the practice is off by 116 people. But yeah, a lot of people were there.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
click here for full size

Hey, obstructed view! It's just like seeing a real game from B Deck!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
click here for full size

Here's Beanie Wells apparently making fun of Antonio Pittman for going through some extensive stretching.

I left before the band showed up, I'm a little upset about missing them. Oh well, can't win 'em all.

Some thoughts on the practice:
  • All the running backs looked pretty good, I thought. Antonio Pittman looked good, doing nothing to convince me that he won't have a big year this year. Chris Wells just sorta ran through people, disappearing into masses of defensive humanity and falling out the other side, five yards later. Maurice Wells looked more decisive than last year, generally making one cut and going. He hurt himself by dancing in the backfield last year (and by being run into the middle to be tackled by guys twice his size), so if he avoids that, he'll be much more effective.
  • Ted Ginn seems to have made some serious strides as a receiver. He didn't just beat guys by running by them, but also by running good routes. And he made some tough catches. So either he's very good and opposing defenses are in trouble, or he's no better than last year, and our defense is in trouble. I'm betting the former.
  • The kicking game looked decent, which is a step down from years past. Kickoffs were generally getting to the goal line, punts were going about forty yards, and a couple punts were blocked (though that might have been Anderson Russell being awesome, not punt protection sucking). I hesitate to draw too many conclusions from one practice, though. And the Ozone is reporting that both kickers were sending back kicks for touchbacks in the kick scrimmage, so maybe they'll be fine. They're also reporting that Aaron Pettrey was perfect in the scrimmage, while Ryan Pretorious wasn't. I thought Pettrey looked better Monday night; perhaps he's getting close to locking up the kicking duties.
  • If the defensive backs play the way they did Monday night, they'll be fine. Once Kurt Coleman gets a bit more fundamentally solid, he'll be great. Dude just makes plays. The rest seemed solid, if unspectacular, which is all you can ask of them at this point.
There's my conclusions, drawn from watching a team practice for an hour and a half. Which means they're pretty close to worthless, but that's the value of most of my opinions, so I stand by them.

No comments: