Training Camp Day 3 seemed to have brought out a little bigger crowd than day 2. Heck, even good old Dean Spanos himself made an appearance. Let's move on to more important things like the actual team.
Today I was able to get a better view of the offensive line than I had during day 2. Max Tuerk, who I had high hopes for as potentially being the starting center coming into the year, seems to be getting more reps at left guard instead of center. Spencer Pulley was manning the starting center spot so far; it will be interesting to see if he can hold on to the position. The other person rotating in at that position was the third round pick from Indiana Dan Feeney. Feeney looked rather impressive with a good solid base. His strength was on display as he went head to head with the likes of Brandon Mebane during the drill and the youngster impressively held his ground. He looked equally impressive against Ryan Carrethers who is not lacking in the strength department. Tyreek Burwell will also be a name to watch moving forward. Burwell seemed much more impressive than Chris Hairston. I wouldn't be surprised to see him end up as the swing tackle. Although it's still a bit early to make that prediction.
Kyle Emanuel lined up as the Sam linebacker with the starting rotation. I can tell they don't want to put him in uncomfortable situations, and for him, that would mean dropping back into coverage. Kyle Emanuel always had Zone coverage directly in the middle while Denzel Perryman and Jatavis Brown dropped back. From what it looks like so far and he will probably be suited better as a Sam linebacker rather than a defensive end in the new system, as he seemed to struggle in edge rush drills against Tyreek Burwell. He lacks any finesse moves and only seems to rely heavily on his power rush moves like a bull rush or rip moves. I am a fan of Kyle Emanuel. However, he is going to need to learn that what worked for him in college might not necessarily work at this next level and needs to adapt.
As far as the running back position, Branden Oliver, Kenjon Barner, and Kenneth Farrow carried a little heavier work load compared to yesterday. However, that could be because it’s the first day of hitting with full pads and I don't want to put too much wear and tear on Melvin Gordon just yet. Kenjon Barner had a sequence of great moves on Nigel Harris and Korey Toomer that turned in a long run, with first a juke followed by a great spin off Toomer. Kenneth Farrow, on the other hand, didn't seem to do much with his carries.
The wide receiver group looked just as good as yesterday. The trio of Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, and Travis Benjamin were consistently hitting the out routes and their long posts. Both Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin seem to be getting over the top quite a bit. I love the speed with these two especially if they stay healthy. Having these two as consistent over the top threats will leave the entire short and mid-range passing game open for the likes of Hunter Henry, Keenan Allen, and Antonio Gates. One of the receivers who stood out a lot yesterday and also had a few good play's today was Mitchell Paige, who appeared to have a lot better vertical than his stature implies. Artavis Scott also had a few underneath plays that he got around the outside on and turned up the field for big plays.
On the flip side of that success of the receiving corps are the corners who are getting beat. Jason Verrett has yet to practice, and Casey Hayward seems to be lining up on the slot receivers. My guess would be this is because new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley wants to test guys like Craig Mager and Trevor Williams early and often. Mager seemed to draw Keenan Allen and Travis Benjamin all day, and not with much success. Although he still tends to make a good play here and there. It's important for coaches to know exactly what they have to work with at the bottom part of the depth chart in each position. Several people have predicted that Craig maker could be amongst some of the "surprise" cuts, and I think I would get on that wagon.
All in all, the defense seems to swarm to the ball very well I like the Shifty movements I see with the linebackers. The camaraderie seems to be through the roof as there is a whole new vibe in a whole new city. I cannot wait to see who continues to stay consistent throughout the preseason and who is going to be a low-key contributor.