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Afternoon Practice – Two Happy Events

Posted by Matt Terl on August 16, 2009 – 5:49 pm

Afternoon practice was a little less peppy than morning practice, in the good way — no fights — and the slower-paced not-so-good way. And the practice was bizarre in some ways as well. For example, as I noted on Twitter — and, yes, I will still be able to Twitter from practice — Carlos Rogers was making one-handed grabs in early drills. And, as anyone who has followed this team for awhile knows, Rogers’ hands are not his strong suit.

(Maybe it’s the start of a trend. Here’s DeAngelo Hall after the morning session, talking about Rogers’ hands. “Coach Gray has been working with us as far as catching the ball. We have repercussion push-ups if you miss them. He has been catching them, though. He’s been catching them out here in practice. Hopefully that translates to the game and we can get some more turnovers.”)

There were ups and downs for almost everyone, as there tend to be in practice, sometimes in a single play. Reed Doughty, for example, broke well on a ball in the air, caught it in stride … and then missed on his attempted goalpost dunk.

But for two guys out there, the downs still stemmed from Thursday’s loss, and they were only slightly counterpointed by more recent happy events. Read more »

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Fred Smoot Talks About Playing Safety

Posted by Matt Terl on August 16, 2009 – 2:24 pm

Fred Smoot
has been getting the occasional look at safety this preseason, including some time during Thursday night’s game against the Ravens. Being Fred Smoot, he has accepted these additional responsibilities with the quiet assurance you’ve come to expect. “”I’m just smart, man,” he said today. “You have to realize that I’m the oldest DB and I’m the smartest. So Coach feels like putting me in there sometimes can help because I can line everybody up.” He shrugged. “Just a lot of knowledge back there.”

Watching the defensive backs — and listening to them tease each other push-ups and dropped interceptions and the like — I had always assumed there was a slightly internicene rivalry there, but Smoot brushes that concern aside. “It’s a whole different mindset and a whole different skill set,” he says, “So I wouldn’t say it was a rivalry. We work together too much to say it’s a rivalry.”
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Sunday, August 16: Morning Practice – Marko Mitchell Gets Into It Again

Posted by Matt Terl on August 16, 2009 – 1:44 pm

Morning practice in full pads today, the first such practice since Thursday night’s loss to the Ravens. Practices in pads are always higher-tempo than practices in shorts and shells; that’s just the nature of the thing. But today’s seemed especially high-energy. The running backs were running with burst — it’s the first time I’ve really noticed Domonique Dorsey‘s natural speed translating to the football field — and, as always, the linemen’s 1-on-1 drills were pretty vigorous.

And all of that was before Marko Mitchell and DeAngelo Hall started going at it. “It’s hot out there,” Mitchell said. “I held DHall a little bit. He got a little frustrated and got mad, and then we got into a little scuffle.”

This is the second such scrum for Mitchell — you might remember that he also got into it with Fred Smoot at the Fan Appreciation Day scrimmage. Which seemed odd, because he comes across a perfectly pleasant, friendly guy, someone with a genuine smile who’s not entirely used to the level of fame that comes with being in the NFL.. Read more »

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