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Practice – Offense Catching Up, Sort Of

Posted by Matt Terl on August 24, 2009 – 5:46 pm

Sort of a bizarre day at practice today.

Let me start with Coach Jim Zorn talking after practice about the progress that the offensive line’s made and go from there. Here’s Zorn:

“I think we’ve seen a lot of progress. I’m very excited about the fact that we have given our starters time and even our backups and young guys some time as well to stand strong and throw. We’ve had some good play development.

“You can see the plays developing now, and that’s getting a chance to make them work. We’ve picked up some complicated blitzes with these two teams we’ve played and we stood our ground. There have been some scrambles. There has been some need for scrambles, but not nearly as much as we’ve seen last year.” Read more »

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The Kicking Competition Is Kind Of Underwhelming

Posted by Matt Terl on August 24, 2009 – 12:20 pm

The most overt position battle this training camp has to be at the kicker position. There’s the incumbent, Shaun Suisham,and the challenger, Dave Rayner. They both have four years in the league, and they have similar career averages — Rayner at 71% and Suisham at 77.9%. Only one guy is going to make the roster.

So it’s a little strange at how little actual action there’s been in this battle. Here’s where the numbers stand, after Saturday night’s game: Suisham is 1-for-1 on field goals, having hit from 20 yards. Rayner has no field goal attempts.

Rayner is 2-for-2 on extra points; Suisham has no extra point attempts.

Suisham has one kickoff, which went for 67 yards and was returned for 26. Rayner’s average kickoff yardage is longer — 70.5 yards — but the average return yardage is also longer, at 37.25.

In other words, no one has really distinguished themselves in this matchup yet. And after the game on Saturday, no one was really talking about it, either. Read more »

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Monday, August 24: On Colt Brennan's Interception

Posted by Matt Terl on August 24, 2009 – 10:54 am

Over at The Cooley Zone, Tanner Cooley sat down with Colt Brennan after Saturday night’s game to talk (mainly) about Brennan’s inteception. It’s an interesting interview, to say the least, and a much less guarded view of that kind of thing than we usually get.

Here, for those of you who don’t watch video on the internet, is how Brennan described the play that ended in the interception:

“We were driving down — I think it was third down, so we were trying to get the first — and I had Todd Yoder go and do a little pivot route; he had a route on top. Todd kinda popped open early; I threw it, but I may have been … everyone thought I was just a tad bit late. So by the time I threw it, the linebacker was able to close, make the pick.”

I had talked to Yoder about this after the game, and here’s his take on the play. “I had my little zone. I was sittin’ there, and I think Colt maybe just threw it a hair inside where the guy was. If he throws it a foot or two to the outside shoulder, I think maybe it’s a touchdown.”

We’ve seen it before this preseason with Marques Hagans, and now we’re seeing it with Brennan: this is what it can come down to for the guys who are working to make the bottom of the roster. A catchable ball off the hands, “a tad bit late,” “a hair inside,” can all be the kinds of things that can cost you playing time or more.

Dan Steinberg has more of the excellent Brennan interview transcribed; you can find a few more quotes from Yoder after the jump. Read more »

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