I was going to start a thread about my observations from yesterday but figured I would put them here since I was standing near Jones for much of the practice.
The first thing I need to mention is I was not there Thursday so I cannot comment on the progression for Griff from Thursday to yesterday, but he looks like a rookie. I am not sure how much improved he was, but he looked frustrated and to tell you the truth he looked flustered. The OL was not giving him much time, but he was still very inaccurate. Receivers had to make diving catches or tremendous leaping catches, even on roll out plays that gave him time to throw the ball. There were a lot of broken plays too. Oh yeah, he is VERY fast/quick. But YAC would not have been possible with where he was throwing the ball. I have to say, Rex was more impressive yesterday, especially since he came to camp looking like an athlete.
Rex was more confident, relaxed...but he was going against 2nd and 3rd team players.
I swear Jones must be told he has to report a certain way or they won't allow him on the premises because Leonard Hankerson had a avg at best showing. He dropped numerous passes and looked out of it most of the day. The play he references along the sideline during the 11 on 11 drills had Barry Cofield standing over Griff with his arms in the air standing still. If it were real time, Cofield would have crushed him. There was no escaping that collapsed pocket in real time. And once again, Hank had to make a catch that did not lend itself to YAC.
I am not trying to be negative here, I am just reporting what I saw. I also saw Griff make a few tremendous throws. I was very impressed with his 5 yard burst! But I am concerned the way he handled pressure. He got flustered and Rak seemed to recognize it and started talking smack.
Speaking of Rak, he appears to have amped things up a bit! Maybe the pressure of being the face of the franchise is gone and he can get back to the task of playing football because this is my 3rd TC in a row and it was his most impressive so far. He showed leadership out there and he abused Trent Williams most of the day!
Fletcher and Riley seem to be on the same page in just about everything they do. Perry Riley claimed he'll have his best season ever, I could easily see that happening. This is turning out to be a very solid 4th round draft pick.
I was surprised with Madieau Williams size. He looked like ST back there. Not saying he is anywhere near as good, just that he is much larger than I expected and he was solid in coverage. Gomes looks good against the 2nd team. I am afraid he will always be a 2nd string player. Merriweather got some boos from the crowd when he got a hold of Griff's face mask. It kinda looked dirty. Not very pleased about that! Reed Doughty is...well...Reed Doughty, he works hard and is smart but still lacks the physical talent. I was surprised with Griffith, he was working very hard. Barnes looked better than I can remember last year. He got a number of reps with the first team. Josh Wilson looks good.
Evan Royster looked like the best RB out there yesterday. Like I said in another thread, he made some cut backs that had the crowd and players in awe. Roy Helu looked good too, very solid. Alfred Morris looked goo, he looks very strong! Hightower looked good going North to South, but lacked the cut back ability. Gotta wonder if that is his knee.
Very impressed with Darius Hanks. Of the younger receivers, he looked the best...worked harder, caught just about everything that went in his direction, ran routes well. I was disappointed to see Hank drop as many passes as he did. I hope this isn't going to be a problem, but he did look healthy. Maybe the reason he seemed a little out of it was because he was going harder than he should to prove himself. Who knows?
I know I am missing a couple guys but these are some of my observations from camp. I think overall my enthusiasm has tapered. I will be happy with 8-8 this season but would not rule out 6-10 from the ONE practice I saw yesterday. Our offense is not going to be drastically better w/ Griff and I do realize it was only the 2nd day of practice. But we have a long way to go before this offesne is improved enough to give us 4 or 5 more wins.
Oh yeah, Gano looked far better than Rackers yesterday, better range and more consistent. They had a drill yesterday that had the kickers surrounded by players screaming at them as they kicked it. When I say surrounded, I mean inches from them...just enough space for the kicker to have a direct shot at the goal posts. Gano outperformed Rackers in those drills too.