The last week of training camp is here, and the pads were back on.
Tolbert started practice today with extra enthusiasm. Tolbert has quietly had a great camp.
He took on Luke Kuechly today in pass protection drills and did well. Tolbert is our best pass protecting running back, and it isn't close.
Kuechly was unable to get to the quarterback (Ron Rivera in this case)
Tolbert knew instantly that he bested Kuechly, and could not contain his smile. Tolbert still looks like a kid at times on the field.
Ben Jacobs made short work of Jonathan Stewart. Stewart looks a little rusty in the pass protection department.
Benwikere was matched up on Brandon Williams, and it was a bit of a mismatch as you could imagine. Bene was unable to get any pressure on the QB.
Godfrey also was no match for the strength of Brandon Williams. Williams has improved a great deal in pass protection.
Brockel was solid as always, throwing all of his opponents to the side. Richie shines during these drills.
Greg Olsen spent some extra time today with Cam catching passes. Olsen is in no danger of losing his number one spot on the TE depth chart.
There was a new drill today where the QBs had to throw around an obstacle. Cam did a good job of getting the ball close to the net but not touching it. Kelvin Benjamin again was the lone receiver working with the quarterbacks.
Deangelo Williams and his pink shoes were looking good with the starting unit.
Jonathan Stewart saw time with the first and second string today. I thought he looked really sharp for having missed so much practice. He was decisive in his runs and didn't appear to have lost any speed.
Byron Bell looked good today despite missing some time. He was taken out of practice as a precaution. Rivera expects him to play on Sunday night against the Chiefs.
Chandler was back at practice today, still with a brace on his right knee. Nate's knee injury is not thought to be serious, although just the thought of an injury to Chandler or Bell is enough to cause panic on the huddle.
Kawann Short showed nice strength again Chris Scott in drills. Short could supplant Dwan Edwards in the starting lineup permanently this season. He would be starting on almost every other NFL team already.
David Gettleman was on the field keeping a close eye on the offensive line action. What I would not give to know what was going through his mind. I still think the OL lineup is fluid, and will change before all is said and done.
Philly Brown had a great day today. He had several nice catches including a touchdown. He may be moving past Marcus Lucas as a play maker. Lucas has been fading as of late.
Darrin Reaves was taken out of practice with a sprained knee. Reaves was seen with ice on his knee on the sidelines, he did not return.
These guys are rough on the rookies. Even though he had a sore knee, he still was made to carry the pads of Tolbert and Williams. Thats cold blooded. LB Jason Williams is behind me right now as I type this, after seeing it, his comment of the rookie treatment was "We don't care" with a big smile.
Ron Rivera spent extra time after practice today talking to the team. He later said he was not pleased with the conditioning of the players. It could be the lack of hot practice days, an oddity in Spartanburg. Expect things to get more strenuous as the regular season gets closer.
Tomorrow is the last day of training camp. I will be there to report, one final time.