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Stan Hixon Is A Patient Man

Posted by Matt Terl on June 11, 2009 – 4:07 pm

A lot of times, I’ll mention that a player or coach has been “generous with his time” or that I was “fortunate enough to get a few questions with” a guy. Things like that. And it’s always true — these are exceedingly busy people with any number of demands on their time; I genuinely appreciate that they use some of that time to answer my questions and help me out with things.

Wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, though, deserves a more special mention than that. Not only was he generous enough with his time to answer a whole bunch of questions for me, he did it again after the first conversation inexplicably disappeared from my recorder. And then he was kind enough to answer a follow-up question or two that I realized I had forgotten to ask during the re-interview.

So it’s safe to say that Coach Hixon is a tolerant, patient guy. Which is fortunate for him, since the position he coaches tends to be populated by mercurial personalities who take some time to develop. And, yes, I think it would be fair to put Devin Thomas into both those categories.

I asked Coach Hixon about Thomas and the other wide receivers, about where things stand after twelve OTA sessions, and about Steve Largent. But we started with the basics: the wide receivers on the roster now.

Hixon: “Player by player: Santana Moss has had a good OTA out there on the field. We try to move him around some too, different positions. He plays slot, he plays outside, we can move him around.

“We think that Randle El is an excellent slot receiver; he also plays some on the outside. You’ve seen Devin Thomas all over the place, playing Z, the flanker receiver, along with Malcolm Kelly, who has played a lot the last couple of days as the Z receiver.”

I’m not going to lie: I get nervous every time Kelly makes something more dramatic than the most basic catch. Does it concern you at all at this point?

Hixon: “I don’t worry about that. Once he has been cleared by the doctors and they give him to me, I assume he’s fine. My position with him is that I won’t throw him a lot of deep balls continuously, but he’ll get his share. I won’t overdo it right now, ’cause his leg is still going through a building up process. It’s getting stronger and faster, that type of thing. I don’t worry about it. If there’s a problem, the trainer’ll come to me and say, ‘His knee is flared up, and he will watch for the day, and I’ll cut his reps.”

Okay. Then you’ve got a few other guys as well….

Hixon: “We got Roydell Williams, who’s been a good surprise for us. Last year, he didn’t play, but he’s had a lot of time there at the Tennessee Titans. I think one year he caught 55 passes and they went to the playoffs that season, and he got hurt at the end of the year.

“Then we have Marques Hagans, who’s playing slot receiver for us. Very knowledgeable guy, knows all of the positions, a lot like Randle El. Plays both slots for us. Then Marko Mitchell, the draft pick from Las Vegas. He had a good practice for us on Monday, caught a couple passes, caught a touchdown.”

That’s good to hear — I thought he looked a little overwhelmed in minicamp.

Hixon: “They all did, the rookies did, in minicamp. They were all like, ‘Oh boy, they going so fast.’ But he is better than he was in minicamp, and he is better than he was for the first OTA’s in the first week. Once we get to July and August he’ll be better again. Than when the bullets start flying in preseason, we’ll see where they are.”

What about Keith Eloi, the YouTube sensation?

Hixon: “I saw that too. I saw it when I read about it in the paper. I think yesterday I saw it in the paper, and I went to You tube, pulled him up. I saw him do the vertical jump into the truck. That had nothing to do with what we do here, though.”

No real football application for the truck jump?

Hixon: “No, no.

“We’ve also got Jaison Williams, who is learning the offense too, and he is catching up.”

Who of those guys are you willing to say is a frontrunner for the number 5 Receiver spot if James Thrash can’t return? Read more »

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On The Field For The Last Day Of OTAs

Posted by Matt Terl on June 11, 2009 – 2:53 pm

It’s another one of those last-day-of-school days here, and — to be blunt — it’s probably a very good thing that LaRon Landry came back today. I have a suspicion that today’s OTA could’ve been a very rote, by-the-numbers affair, and it seemed like Landry’s return gave a little bit of a spark to the team.

That spark was probably clearest when DeAngelo Hall picked off yet another pass and, instead of jogging it out, lateraled it to Landry. Landry took off. It was partially that his legs haven’t been subjected to OTAs for the last two weeks — and his teammates were all shouting “Fresh legs!” at him — but he’s one of those physical specimen kind of players, and you could see it on that return.

He is not, however, the most forthcoming person in the world.

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Thursday, June 11: Better Late Than Never

Posted by Matt Terl on June 11, 2009 – 9:44 am

As I mentioned on Twitter a few minutes ago, LaRon Landry is in the facility and is expected to be out at today’s OTA. Mike Sellers was the first to bust his chops — “Who is THAT guy,” he said, as Landry made his way into the locker room — but the other guys joined in soon enough. I’m sure the inevitable “Are your teammates furious with you?!?!?” interviews will take place after the OTA session, but I can tell you that — based on what I saw, at least — everyone seemed to be good-natured about the whole thing.

Should liven up today’s (final) OTA, if nothing else.

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