Alright, so morning practice is finished and the players are back at their hotel having lunch and relaxing for the afternoon session. Here's what I picked up from watching the morning practices:
-Corey Clark is playing RG because Kynan Forney's wife gave birth yesterday and Vasquez has a foot injury. I saw Vasquez walking around with the boot on. I was told he might be out "for a couple of weeks". I think Forney's going to win the job now. By the way, nothing makes a big, scary guy look more scary than having him wear a boot that gives him the Frankenstein limp. Clark seems undersized for the RG spot, which makes me doubt that he would ever make the team as an OT.
-The team's Quarterbacks are awesome. Rivers, Volek and Whitehurst all looked great in practice. Their is complete trust between them and their receivers. Also, Charlie Whitehurst is a rockstar and seems to be best friends with everyone within the team, not just the players.
-The secondary is even better than the QBs. Gregory picked off a pass and there were a lot of break-ups. Paul Oliver, playing with the first team, looked very comfortable playing FS.
-Kevin Ellison looked a bit uncomfortable when he was on the field. He seemed to be a step behind everyone else. There wasn't much of a difference between him and Spillman, but maybe it was just a bad practice.
-Gartrell Johnson is going to be a very dangerous running back. Imagine Maurice Jones-Drew, but with a little bit more size. I don't know that I've ever seen another back get as much speed going into the line as he gets. He's usually running at full-speed when the ball is handed to him.
-Darren Sproles is just amazing in practice. Maybe he's just become a better RB. His performance at practice reminded me of Reggie Bush's days at USC. He would slip through the tiniest of holes and be gone in an instant.
-David Binn has a great arm. He might have the second best arm on the team. He also seems to be filling a different role for every drill. If there was a training camp MVP, it would be Binn.
-I was surprised by how often Tolbert touched the ball, especially with the first team. A lot of the practice was putting the offense in the situation of being inside their own 5 yard line and Tolbert seemed to be their biggest weapon in that situation. They ran him up the middle (he runs hard) and threw it to him once or twice as well. This one practice has me convinced that Tolbert has a really good chance to make the team.
-Osgood gets a lot of WR reps in practice, mostly with the first team. I had a chance to interview Kassim after practice and he again expressed his desire to be a WR in the NFL. Full transcript of the interview will be in the coming days.
-Coach Norv Turner is a lot funnier and more personable than he gets credit for. I'll leave it at that for now.
-I can see why Kris Dielman is a Pro Bowl RG. Oh my god is he scary. His legs are also the size of my waist.
-I can't tell you how nice everyone in the organization is. From the Front Office guys all way down to the interns that greet you at the gate, they're all quite friendly and helpful. I know nobody else cares, but it makes me a little bit more proud to be writing about an organization that gets it.
-Larry English didn't play, but I can't wait until he does. He looked almost as big as Siler, but trimmer and more athletic. His locker is right in between Merriman and Phillips. You can tell how much he looks up to Shawne just by hanging around them.
-Kory Sperry is a WR. I hate to tell him that, but it's true. He's way too skinny to be an effective Tight End. He has great hands and speed though.
-Maybe it's because he was always next to Tolbert, but Hester doesn't look any bigger to me. I'm fine with that, I thought he was a good blocker last season, but I don't see what everyone's talking about.
-LT looked great. He was going half-speed most of the time, but his cuts and jukes were back in full-force.
-Vaughn Martin is not starting this season. He's huge and he's strong, but he's behind a lot of other guys that are simply better than him at this time. He looked like a "project" in that he was really impressive at times, but inconsistent.
-I must've missed what happened, but Ian Scott came off the field at one point and seemed very disappointed with himself. Kicking his helmet and such. He must've screwed something up, but I didn't see what. The guy definitely cares though, to be that emotionally-involved at a practice.
Second practice starts at 4pm. Let me know in the comments any questions you have for me or questions you want me to ask the players.