Posted by Walter
Last day in pads down in Mobile, so that means double the coverage. The NFL Network broadcasted both teams' practices today so I have double the observations. There was too much going on to cover everything so I am going to limit my comments to what I saw during the individual position workouts (CB v. WR, DL v. OL). Most scouts will tell you that these are the most important because the team drills suffer from the players not being familiar with one another.
North Practice - Overall the North squad is not as talented as the South unit (aside from QB), but they do have more elite talent. The North team has really begun to separate. The true blue chippers continue to dominate some of the lesser talent, and it wil be really interesting to see what some of these guys do in the game on Saturday. OK onto the personnel points, I have a lot so I am going to try and keep them short.
- For the second straight day Paul Poszlusny was working out over the guard. Puz's reads were fine, but he struggled covering backs into the flats. It's just a though, but Puz showed up to the Senior Bowl a thick, barrell chested 237 pounds. Perhaps he projects more as a cover 2 middle linebacker than he does a weak side OLB. In the cover 2, the MLB has to be able to do two things: (1) make tackles sideline to sideline, and (2) have enough speed to be able to drop into the deep middle of the field and read the QB. Puz certainly has the speed to drop, and his smarts/instincts make him an ideal fit for that role. Just a thought............
- Tyler Palko looked awful. His arm strength looked weak as he consistently underthrew open recievers, and his mechanics are very sloppy. Palko holds the ball very low and takes a big windup when he throws. He isn't very tall to being with, but this mechanic flaw makes him play even shorter.
- Once again, Marcus McCauley looked lost in one on one drills. He has all the physical tools but they just don't translate. When Marcus was in press coverage he didn't jam properly. When he was playing off the reciever he was high in his packpedal, and his stiff hips prevented him from breaking on the ball. He has been thoroughly unimpressive.
- Other quick hits from the DB/WR matchups: Eric Weddle showed some great hips and solid footwork in coverage. Brandon Myles was catching everthing in sight. Josh Gattis couldn't cover anyone, or locate the ball in the air. Aaron Rouse was shockingly effective in coverage, even making an incredibly athletic interception in the endzone.
- Dan Mozes struggled again. He was consistently pushed back from the point of attack, and was dominated by Quinn Pitcock. Mozes looks completely overmatched at the Senior Bowl.
- The most impressive player on the North squad today was Adam Carriker. Carriker showed great hands, always twisting and turning the offensive lineman's body. For a man his size he is extremely quick off the ball, and has really shown pass rushing abilility many scouts thought he lacked.
- The other most impressive player was Amobi Okoye who has been absolutley unblockable on the interior. He has just been way too strong and way too quick for any of the North guards. On back to back plays, Okoye ran straight over and through Dan Mozes, and then came back and beat him with straight quickness. No other player in this game can dominate in so many different ways.
- Levi Brown looked outstanding once again. His most impressive performance was two straight dominations of Victor Abiamiri. Brown has outstanding feet and balance, but I would still like to see him be a little nastier.
- Other quick hits from the line play: Marshal Yanda had a good practice. He is a typical Iowa O-Lineman who is technically sounds and tough as nails. Ryan Harris continued to struggle with his footwork and strength. Ohio St. center Doug Datish looked slow and stiff for the second straight day. He was beat several times by teammate Dave Patterson.
- Aaron Ross continues to show just outstanding footwork. He has so much potential in man to man coverage it is scary, although he has yet to put it all together. He is good enough to be an NFL nickel back right now.
- On the other hand, AJ Davis is still the worst player here. He is still way too high in his back pedal, and plays with terrible leverage. Dwayne Bowe matched up with him was the mismatch of camp.
- Speaking of Dawyne Bowe, he continues to be the most impressive player on either team. Bowe is a chiseled 222 pounds, but he looked extremely quick going into and coming out of his cuts. He keeps a low center of gravity and uses his body well when making cuts. He was uncoverable all day on out patterns, and (as always) slants. Bowe caught everything thrown at him with his hands, and has shown the ability to come back to the ball. He has been dominant and is solidifying himself as a first round WR.
- Quick hits from other DB/WR matchups: Chansi Stuckey made an outstanding catch, tipping an overthrown ball to himself. Ditto for David Clowney who made a great diving touchdown grab. David Irons continues to impress.
- The star of the lineman today was Aaron Sears. Playing almost exclusively at guard (his projected position), he showed outstanding athleticism and footwork (not unexpected since he played LT for most of his career). Sears was very strong, and dominated Miami DT Kareem Brown on several plays. He was the best guard on the field today.
- Ben Grubbs was also outstanding at guard. I had heard he was such a great athlete and today he showed it. Grubbs has outstanding footwork and really moves well. He too dominated Kareem Brown.
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kareem Brown looked terrible. He looked slow and unathletic, and really displayed no creativity whatsoever in his pass rush technique.
- Another star on the DL was Tim Crowder who really handed it to yesterday's star Tony Ugoh. We know how athletic Ugoh is, but Crowder showed us today just how polished a defensive end he can be. Crowder used his hands really well, and displayed an explosive first step off the ball. This is critical for him since he does not possess great straight line speed.
- Other quick hits from the OL/DL drills: Joe Staley really improved his play today, and stood out athletically. Tank Tyler was better, but still looked disinterested most of the time. Ryan Kalil had another outstanding day, abusing Tank Tyler yet again.