Zany drills have been sort of few and far between this training camp. Gone are the slip-and-slides, the dodgeball drills, the thrown pads of the last two years. This is probably a good thing, as there seemed to be no precise correlation between the zaniness of the drills and the team’s success on the field. Still, it was kind of nice to see something a little wacky today, specifically tight end Fred Davis kneeling on the field and catching lob passes from tight ends coach Jon Embree.
“Just working on some over-the-head catches,” he explained, “something we really don’t see too much as tight ends. The receivers see a lot of those balls, though.”
With the receiver position shaping up as one of the least settled this training camp, I asked Davis if there was any significance to him working on a skill that’s usually wideout-specific, but he downplayed any hint of drama.
“That’s what I’m trying to do, man: be an all-around player so I can be out there with them too,” he said. “Whatever it takes to be on the field.”
Head coach Mike Shanahan paid Davis a compliment during one of his post-practice press briefings last week, calling him “a good fit for any system” and noting that Davis is “a great athlete. He can block, he can catch.” Anyone who has been watching Davis develop over the last two years already knew that, but it was the last part of Shanahan’s compliment that might’ve raised some eyebrows. “He’s been working extremely hard since I’ve been here,” Shanahan said, “and has a big upside.”
Here, though, is further photographic and anecdotal evidence that Shanahan was right and Davis is not only working hard IN practice, but picking up extra work and even enjoying it.
“It’s hard to be perfect with those catches, keep those high hands with a DB on you, so that’s what I was working on here, trying to get ‘em perfect,” Davis said. “It’s fun. It was cool. It’s always good to get in extra work.”
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A few other practice notes:
- The team was in shells and shorts today rather than full pads. “We had about 120 plays during our two-and-a-half hour workout,” Shanahan explained. “That’s not counting our special teams plays either. It’s almost like playing a couple games and I thought we needed to have a good practice. Today we practiced for a couple hours with more speed and explosion rather than contact.”
- London Fletcher and Vonnie Holliday were given today off from practice and watched from the sidelines. Malcolm Kelly and Mike Furrey were held out of the practice as the team remains cautious with their recoveries. Jammal Brown was held to sidework as well.
- Donovan McNabb had one of his best practices of training camp. “He had a good day today,” Shanahan said. And you can just tell he’s feeling more comfortable with the system and more comfortable with the reads. It just takes some time, like learning a new language. I don’t care who you are – if you learn a new language, it takes some time before it comes out automatically and you can think. I think he’ll feel much more comfortable with it in the next few weeks and get ready for our first game.”
Tags: Fred Davis, training camp 2010
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