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About firstdayfan

  • Birthday 03/24/1982

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  1. I think the nfl as a whole has pushed back on independent media and dana recording stuff. Team social media accounts are too important right now. Sometimes we have blinders on to what the rest do the league does. Kinda like the black helmets, i was thinking, "wow the panthers finally listened" but in reality the nfl changed the rules and like 13 teams are doing alternate helmets this season.
  2. If the plan is to have two solid blockers out there that can make a 5 yard grab every now and again, then i think theyve accomplished that. But none of those guys are going to make linebackers or safeties worry at all. And it may be why you're seeing a lot of Saunders in the slot.
  3. One more thing to note was the role of CJ Saunders. I've heard that he was playing in the slot with the ones and that is 100% accurate. I feel like Higgins was the go to receiver when the second team was out there but he must be more of an outside receiver and Saunders is primarily a slot. Both are quality depth pieces as mentioned earlier, just wanted to say that the Saunders news wasn't just smoke, there's definitely fire there.
  4. So I attended training camp this morning and I'm sure like many of you have been very frustrated with the coverage of the team to this point, so I made it my mission to take notes throughout camp and present them here to all of you. Disclaimer: I sat on the main hill and was pretty far from the main action, it was also very hard to make out a lot of numbers because of the way guys had their jersey's tucked into their pads...so I have cross referenced my notes with others that were there and will try to give you the best picture possible. I only got told to stop filming once so that was good, but I still was able to grab a few shots that I will share, again, these were cell phone photos so I apologize for the quality. I will also share my thoughts throughout and at the end. Sorry for the length, hope you enjoy. Warmups: 1) Moton is the definitive leader of the offensive line, I know this has been mentioned before but I just wanted to share this. During warmups he went around and spoke to each offensive lineman and kinda pumped each one up in their own way. 2) Like everyone else I was watching the QBs (especially Corral) and one takeaway from warmups was that Corral threw with his left and right hand. I'm not sure why, and it was just with a team member but I definitely noticed and he threw so well that I had to second guess whether he was left handed. Of course he's not and he switched back and forth, but it was really interesting, I've never seen a QB do that. 3) McCaffrey did not warm up with the team, I'm not saying that as if its a bad thing or that he's some kind of diva but just something that I noticed. He warmed up on his own over by the punters. 4) Terrace Marshall was in a red jersey, it definitely sucked to not see him out here but I think him being out opened the door for some other players to show some stuff, which I'll mention later. 5) Jaycee Horn wasn't even in a jersey, he just had a tshirt on and shorts. Beginning of Practice: 1) This was an interesting one, no 1v1's, position drills were very light (only about 5 mins), no 7 v7's, it was basically a full on scrimmage. 2) They pumped in crowd music throughout the scrimmage. It was loud but we could still hear coaches yelling etc, kinda makes me wonder how effective it really is or more of a gimmick. 3) They started the scrimmage with a kickoff, Shi Smith was the return man, during punts it was Andre Roberts. This is very important to note and I will touch on this later. 4) Obviously one of the more obvious stories of the day was the entire staff wearing the Sam Mills white tshirts. I thought this was really cool and would love to have one of these shirts. The Scrimmage: Baker Mayfield with the ones (1st Series) Redzone *Personnel observations: 2 TEs (a trend for the day) Thomas/Tremble, LT-BC, LG-Jordan, C-Elf, RG-Corbett, RT-Moton (this would change throughout the scrimmage), RB some "22" guy (didn't catch his name), QB Mayfield, WRs Moore/Anderson 1) Mayfield with a screen to 22 2) Option to 22 3) 22 up the middle, 2-3 yards 4) Mayfield incomplete *Chubba Hubbard enters for 22, I thought this was interesting that he was the first up, also Icky comes in and BC goes out. 5) Chubba pitch left for the TD, turned the corner and got in easily. *2pt Try, Foreman in at RB 6) Baker play action pass to a crossing Ian Thomas who drops the pass. Had a defender right on him. Sam Darnold with the twos (1st Series) Redzone *Personnel Observations, Ikey at LT, multiple tight ends again. 1) Sam to FB/TE Ricci for a 20 yard TD, good ball good catch. *They let Sam continue the series. 1) Sam to Higgins for around 8 yards on a comeback route 2) Sam throws the ball away, was pressured and would have been sacked 3) Sam sacked/throw away, 92 Darryl Johnson 4) Sam sacked/throw away, 92 Darryl Johnson (again, not a typo) Baker Mayfield with the ones (2nd Series) 1) Incomplete deep ball to Robbie Anderson, Baker dropped back and fired but it was tight coverage 2) Baker nice out route to DJ Moore for near a first down 3) Baker gets pressured (defense did a stunt may have been sacked in a game), holds and dumps off to 22 over the middle who gets a first down and about 15 yards. 4) Baker fires one into traffic over the middle to DJ Moore, it looked like (and has been confirmed by others) that DJ actually bobbled the ball and then it was knocked loose and Myles Hartsfield picked it off. Sam Darnold with the twos (2nd Series) 1) Sam *on time* to Higgins for short 2) Sam *on time* to BZ for a short gain 3) Sam *on time* for a short throw underneath to the TE 4) Sam *pressured* throws over the middle to nobody 5) Sam *pressured* but hangs in and completes downfield 6) Sam crossing route to TE/FB Ricci for a short completion 7) Sam flushed out to the right, looks down field and fires towards the sideline, CB Tae Hayes steps in front of the receiver and picks it off *I mentioned "on time" because it became apparent to me that as long as Sam got the ball out at the end of his drop he was consistently hitting throws, it was when he was pressured or that first read wasn't there that things would go south in a hurry. He'd get happy feet and bad things would happen. Sam Darnold with the ones (3rd Series) 1) 22 short run 2) Completion for a loss, fake reverse into a screen to RB, defense all over it. 3) Sam Short throw to 22 who then runs it for a decent gain, BC was downfield in a hurry blocking (very impressive) 4) Punt (Andre Roberts Returning) Baker Mayfield with the twos (3rd Series) 1) Baker over the middle to Keith Kirwood for about 9-12 yards 2) Baker swing pass to foreman for a couple 3) Dennis Daley false start 4) Baker (checks the play) would have been sacked from the right (where Daley was) completes the pass over the middle 5) Baker to Higgins for a TD, about 35-40y, very nice throw in stride, Higgins had a few steps on the defender. *Entire offense does sprints, I wasn't sure what was happening but apparently it was because of the celebration or something. Baker sprinted down the field to celebrate, looked to be talking a little smack as well. Sam Darnold with the ones (4th series) 1) Sam incomplete, held on too long 2) Sam quick out to Robbie Anderson *on time* 3) Sam *on time* hits a beautiful pass to CJ Saunders on the post. Best throw of the day for Sam, CJ was open, Sam hit his drop and drove the ball. 4) Sam to 22 for very short gain 5) Sam to Shi Smith for about 15-20y on a deep in route. Another good pass, on time. 6) Decent run to the outside for 22 7) Tommy Tremble false start 8. Another run to the left by Chubba 9) Sam incomplete over the middle into traffic, held onto the ball *Marquis Haynes was injured on the previous play, helped off the field by Burns and Ioannidis 10) Quick pass to Saunders for short gain 11) Sam scrambles away from pressure gets the ball inside the 10 12) Sam pressured by Austin Larkin, throws it away 13) Sam to Tommy Tremble, short crossing route, Tremble drops an easy TD 14) 22 runs toss sweep wide left for the TD Baker Mayfield with the 2s/3s (4th Series) 1) Baker play action, throws short to TE Jared Scott who wasn't looking, incomplete 2) Baker swing pass to Hubbard 3) Run up the middle for first down 4) Baker play action, wanted to go deep, checks it to the TE, defender breaks up the pass 5) Strong run by foreman, got about 5-6 yards 6) Baker short completion for about 7 yards. TE Scott 7) Baker checks down to the RB for a short gain 8. Foreman strong run 10-15y, gets it into the endzone but they bring it back to the one 9) Touchdown run, Baker celebrates with teammates. Sam Darnold with the 2s/3s (5th Series) 1) Sam bootlegs to the right hits Ian Thomas for a short gain 2) Sam waits...waits some more, rolls left, keeps rolling, then runs out of bounds. 3) Sam quick pass to BZ for short gain 4) Sam quick pass to Higgins for short gain 5) Sam throws a deep corner to Higgins who had a step but he overthrew him 6) Sam pressured and would have been a sack 7) Sam *happy feet* dumps it off for short gain 8. 4th and 1: Sam delay of game, they settle for a field goal instead. Matt Corral with the 3s/4s (1st Series) 1) Matt tries to set up a screen but it gets sniffed out and he throws it in the dirt 2) Matt to the left on a deep slant, a little high, WR couldn't hold on. The ball looked like it was shot out of a CANNON. Not over exaggerating, the crowd actually "whoa'd" at the pass 3) Matt passes short over the middle and the WR couldn't hang on 4) Matt misses the swing pass to the running back, could have been dropped. PJ Walker with the 3s/4s (1st Series) 1) Who cares. A lot of runs, an option, and a TD to TE Scott off a tipped pass Ok. If you're still with me at this point I applaud your fandom. Here are a couple quick takes I had overall about practice: 1) I think PJ Walker can do math, he stayed on the sidelines through out the scrimmage, Matt Corral on the other hand stood with the coaches behind the play during the scrimmage. I think Walker knows he isn't going to make this team. 2) The corners were extremely thin (I didn't realize CJ Henderson was out until practice was over) which allowed for some different looks throughout. I thought they all played well, rookie CB Kalen Barnes made some plays, Chris Westry and obviously Tae Hayes played well. Hartsfield and Xavier Woods were all over the place. 3) I mentioned earlier that the special teams return situation was interesting bc if we utilize Roberts AND Smith as returners and then Moore and Anderson are the top two receivers, that doesn't leave much room on the active gameday rosters for the rest. Terrace Marshall being out allowed for Higgins and Saunders to have great practices. Will we keep 6 WRs? 7 with Brandon Zylstra? This is easily the deepest group of receivers we've ever had. 4) Sam Darnold looks like he could be a solid backup in the NFL in the mode of a Derek Anderson, he's not a rah rah guy but he's a good teammate who can come in when needed, make some throws and move the team. He just isn't really a starter at all at this point, and doesn't look like it when you watch them practice. I think we all know that, obviously, not sure why the coaching staff doesn't (more on that in a sec) 5) Pat Elflein got absolutely abused a few times during the scrimmage and continues to show how bad he is as a starter. Backup? Sure. But this man can't be allowed to start on a regular basis ever again. 6) If I were to pick a LOSER of this scrimmage it would 100% be the tight end group. Tremble and Thomas seem to be more than adequate blockers, but they bring nothing to the table when the ball is in the air. They both made a few short grabs but they also had drops and even a false start. The entire group just doesn't seem to have any juice. A quality tight end can be such a weapon in the right offense, I can say with certainty that we don't have that on this team right now. 7) A LOT has been made of QB reps and if you noticed, Baker got 4 and Sam got 5 with Matt and PJ getting one each. I know everyone is upset but we've seen this before. Last year Rhule seemed to shelter Sam during the preseason, not playing him hardly at all the first two games. BUT, Rhule's rationale is that they made up those reps in joint practices. I think that could be what we are seeing right now. I beginning to think Baker and Sam won't play much, if at all, in the first two games and we will see a lot of Matt and PJ. I think this is why both QB's got multiple series each during this full on scrimmage. Rhule sees those reps the same as preseason game reps. If my theory is wrong then I don't get what Rhule is doing at all. Matt Corral didn't get a rep until the end of practice, he didn't even throw a pass to a RECEIVER until the end of practice (again no 1v1s or 7v7s). How can Rhule expect him to learn or improve without these valuable reps? Again, the only way this can be explained is with the theory above. I still don't like it, but at least Rhule may have a plan to get Matt more reps. Thanks for reading this. Hopefully you guys enjoyed it. The first preseason game is still a grueling 7 days away and I for one need news injected into my veins right about now. Again, sorry for the length. *Pics Below: The Keep Pounding Shirt, Corral and Baker watching Sam, 60 getting bull rushed by 93, BC vs Burns (Darnold stepped up to avoid pressure), Haynes' Injury
  5. Who wrote this article??? Not only is it terribly written.. ...but was also filled with innuendo and conjecture. I believe Alexander's comments were taken completely out of context and he was actually saying that the two QBs weren't in consideration for the number 6 spot. But hey thanks for posting it, because otherwise I would have never known this piece of garbage article existed.
  6. Its amazing to me when people say they are tired of people trashing Corral and here you are saying people are going over the top with their high expectations... First of all (from both camps) who/where are all these people? Most things I've seen or read are mostly cautiously optimistic, which to be honest, is about the most obvious and realistic way to approach all of this. Secondly, can we just be happy with having a solid offensive line for a change, a defense loaded with speed and talent on all three levels, a competent Offensive coordinator that got to hand pick his Quarterback (and who should help Darnold), a capable punter/kicker, and a GM who is actually the envy of other teams? Is that too much to ask?
  7. I love when people start clutching their pearls over the word hate...lol.
  8. Same guy who wants to *checks notes* run the ball more...yep.
  9. In the press conference he mentioned Deonte Brown being "ready"...doubt he was referring to the left tackle position for obvious reasons so it was kind of a weird thing to say.
  10. I was actually going to make a similar thread last week. It's not just this season but goes back to last year. I think I did the math last week and over the last five games (before his 1 catch night last night) he was only averaging 3 rec for 39 yards per game. Definitely concerning.
  11. Great observation. Haven't seen anyone else really mention him but he really flashed a couple times tonight. I know Smitty brought him up a few times and he's one of those guys who's name keeps popping up when you read practice reports. Good to see him play well.
  12. That's an interesting point. To be fair, my OP was to simply point out that BC was finally getting a shot to play on the left, something I don't think he's even done in camp. But you're absolutely right, if you go back and watch those drives in the first half the pressure was usually coming from the interior. Often paradis, but elf and miller missed blocks too. Makes me wonder if it was more of a scheme thing than anything else. The Steelers were doing a lot of stunts (although paradis did get flat out beat more than once).
  13. I'm no expert but him and brown definitely look like upgrades over the guys in front of them.
  14. Just in case you decided to not watch the second half...may want to change your mind. First time BC has been on the left this preseason. Already, helped open a big hole on the TD run.
  15. That's kind of the issue right now, the one thing we won't know about Sam is how he deals with pressure, how he plays when the game is on the line, and how he overcomes adversity in game. Those are things you just can't simulate in practice. I'm happy with what I've seen though.
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