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Training Camp Report (July 29, 2007 – Morning Practice)
Posted By Eric From BBI On September 18, 2007 @ 1:59 pm In | Comments Disabled
by BigBlueInteractive.com Contributor mjvm52106
I stayed on Field 4 and as the squad broke up the defensive backs were the first to do their drills. The first thing that stands out to me is the fact that we have some speed in our younger guys. As you all know already, Will Demps is practicing with the second team as our starting safeties are James Butler at strong safety and Gibril Wilson at free safety. One thing to note here is that the defense is being pushed very hard to communicate better on the field. Based on the opponent’s offensive formation, Gibril Wilson moves around the back half of the defense, calling out things like Bob Bob or Louie Louie. Gibril Wilson will also clap his hands twice and when he does that, he expects the corners to clap in response which shows the have the change or the call. I believe Wilson will have a big year and I think Defensive Coordinator Steve Spanuolo’s defense is exactly what he needed to regain the form of his rookie season.
Travonti Johnson, a 6-2, 190lbs corner from Central Florida, showed a nice burst to the ball on individual drills but was manhandled by Anthony Mix and Sinorice Moss when the wide receivers were brought over for 1-on-1 drills. CB Aaron Ross was very physical with the jam at the line of scrimmage but sometimes too aggressive as he would punch the shoulder pads of the wide receiver too high and allowed the wide receiver to escape to the outside too easily. He was told that on two different occasions. But, he did look good overall and I would say should make a fine cornerback for years to come.
CB Kevin Dockery was there for a little while but the issue with his head (which he banged yesterday) was still bothering him and he was shut down fairly early.
The next group to join the defensive backs were the linebackers and I was psyched to watch the groups work together. The starting LB’s are Mathias Kiwanuka at strongside linebacker, Antonio Pierce at middle linebacker, and Kawika Mitchell at weakside linebacker. The coaches spent a lot of time watching Kiwanuka and providing coaching after each play. He made some mistakes though as I heard Spags tell him that is not going to get it done, after a play where one LB passes off the back out of the backfield to Kiwi. Kiwi got caught up in the traffic and actually would have picked one of our own cover LB’s and thus creating a big play opportunity for the opposition. Overall though, you can see why the coaches like his ability to make the transition to linebacker.
The second team linebackers consisted of Gerris Wilkinson at weakside linebacker, Chase Blackburn at middle linebacker, and Reggie Torbor at strongside linebacker. Torbor was invisible much of the drills and during full-team workouts. This group played pretty well together (minus anything of note from Torbor) but at the same time they weren’t playing against a real offense at the time. Zak DeOssie also looked good and he has excellent size and skills to work with.
The defensive line then joined in on Field A and the starting unit was Osi Umenyiora, Fred Robbins, Barry Cofield, and William Joseph. I actually think that Joseph is a better DE than DT and could play that position full-time if Strahan doesn’t come in to camp. A couple of observations about other players… Jonas Seawright has slimmed down and I mean way down. Seawright looks like a Keith Hamilton-type now, that is, a little taller DT with a slimmed down look. Now, can production match his physical form?
Now on that same note but for a whole different reason, Osi looks quite slim too, way too slim. Osi is listed at 261lbs, but he is way lighter than that. I know muscle weighs more than fat but my eyes don’t lie to me and seeing him next to Jacobs, Zak DeOssie, and even Reggie Torbor, I can tell you he was quite small. This has to be somewhat concerning that as camp moves along he will lose more weight and come this season we could be looking at a 249lb defensive end. Osi needs to bulk up this off-season unless this is his way of getting moved to linebacker like Kiwi. I am VERY concerned about Osi’s ability to handle the point-of-attack against the run and I will even speculate that the interest in Rice has more to do with having another rush defensive end at right end than it does about Strahan.
Fred Robbins looks to be in great shape (for him) and he made a couple of nice plays during the 11-on-11′s and 7-on-7′s.
Here is more of a quick list approach to how certain defensive players did in the morning practice.
Now the offense joins the party on Field 4 for some simulated game situations, with 7-on-7′s and 11-on-11′s.
I would grade the offensive line but it is hard to tell how well they did when they aren’t being very physical and aren’t rotating in as much as the defensive line was able to do.
LB Rich Seubert’s leg scar is probably one of the scariest looking scars I have ever seen. When you are up close to him and see the huge gouge down the side of his lower left leg and see how the muscle there is split around that scar and how there is a football-shaped oval around the scar that shows just how “open” his leg was during the operation.
Right now the biggest concern the G-Men have is Michael Strahan. Is he coming in, when will he be in and if not, who will take his place? I believe Justin Tuck will be that guy but I want to see him walk around with a slight hitch in his go.
Whether or not Kiwi stays at linebacker depends on two things: (1) the needs of the defensive line, and (2) whether or not he is developing faster than Gerris Wilkinson, who would be the next logical choice to start.
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