I have found that watching practice in the stadium and taking good notes is tough because there is so much going on in a small space it's easy to get distracted to the other side of the field. Especially since it was the first padded practice and there was hitting going on, though it was limited.
At one point we had 7 on 7 passing drills on the left and on the right we had hog mollies going at each other one on one from simulated formations. Both were extremely fun to watch so I did my best. My notes does not include every drill session as there were several sessions I skip over as there wasn't much to report.
Practice started with each position group breaking out and running walk through drills. The offense practiced lining up in a 12 formation only to motion out of it into a 21 formation to a running play. On one play they passed and Gettis made a nice catch.
I then noticed the stationary bike crew was Stewart, Jeff Byers and Kugbila. I'm hopeful Kugbila's hammy won't keep him off the field for long but with hammy's you never know.
The next drill I watched was one-on-one passing drills with a DB lined up on a WR. Here are the results I recorded though I may have missed one or two:
- Munnerlyn on Smitty - drop Smitty on a dig to the right
- Norman on Edwards - Norman broke up the out pattern
- Moore on Pilares - catch on a dig route
- White on Hixon - catch on a comebacker
- Ginn on Thomas - makes the catch on a double move fade down the right side
- Moore on Gettis - Bad throw on an out
- Nakamura on Adams - Adams makes the catch for a TD on a post route on a very nice move
- Bersin on Munnerlyn - Dig overthrown
- Dockery on Ikharo - Catches the curl because of too much cushion
- Norman on Gettis - Gettis gets a half step on a fade and dives and gets his fingers on it but can't pull it in; Norman dives too and lands on top of Gettis who drops an f-bomb and looks like he hurt his back; the trainers come over but he walks it off though visibly upset with his hand on his back; more on this later.
- Hixon on Shaw - Ball overthrown by Cameron
- White on Smitty - Catches the dig (not even fair to the rookie)
- Florence on LaFell - A dig pattern Florence seems to get his hands on it; the ball is bobbled but LaFell still reels it in
- Moore on Edwards - The ball is throw to an out patter but Edwards never turns. Not sure if the QB or WR fault.
- Thomas on Ikharo - Ball overthrown
- Munnerlyn on Hixon - drop by Hixon
- Dockery on Pilares - Pilares falls making his break
- Hixson on Adams - Adams beats him for a TD on another post
- Munnerlyn on Smitty - Another dig route with a lot of grabbing and hand fighting between the two with Smitty dropping it and obviously not happy with the amount of contact. Drill ends with Munny still talking to Smith but Smith seems to want no part of it. Just two competitors right there.
I then glanced over and saw Sione Fua get into a shoving match with Patrick Brown after a running play. There were no punches, just a few shoves back and forth and face mask jawing before it was broken up.
Next was the first punting drill with every punt returner (including Adams) catching the ball cleanly. The punts themselves were not awe-inspiring.
7 on 7 drills, no linemen
- Smith battles Thomas to catch a curl and then he spins the ball and shouts; good coverage by Thomas, it was all Smitty
- Newton hits LaFell who was wide open over the middle on a dig
- Ginn then makes the Catch of the Day: In triple coverage on a post he gets a step on everyone and then locates the ball over his back shoulder as the ball was not placed in the best spot but he somehow still makes the catch.
- Hixon catches a nice out pattern
- Barner catches a ball on a check down and then turns on the jets; that kid is fast and shifty!
I then moved to what I will call the hog molly drill. It's where both lines line up across from each other 5 on 4 but then only one pair battle at the snap. They take turns rotating in and changing which position actually competes. I didn't get notes on every snap but here is what I did write down with who I thought won the battle underlined:
- Hardy and Gross battle to a draw somewhat but I decide to give the edge to Hardy since he did end up in the backfield eventually
- Short on Mobley
- Fua on Hicks
- Addison on Campbell
- Roh on Brown
- Nzegwu on Gross
- Alexander on Brockel
11 on 11 Drill - Though they have pads on no one was finishing their tackles; they would just two hand slap or bump the ball carrier but then back off.
- Smitty drops the ball on a dig though the ball was a little high
- Williams in the flat though CJ pulled up on the QB (would have been a sack)
- Ginn hauls in a short out pattern
- Pilares in the flat on a check down but Kuechly was there
- B Williams hauls in an out pattern
- Anderson throws the ball away after a blitz by Mitchell
- Pilares catches a short pass
- Poole catches one in the flat from Clausen and jukes Nzegwu out of shoes
- Clausen to Shaw on a checkdown
- Clausen hard count gets the D to jump
Another punting drill and Nortman finally nails one about 70 yards in the air when most every other punt was around 55 yards from both punters.
11 on 11 - Newton from the shotgun
- Drop by Olsen
- LaFell fights to make the catch on an out pattern
- Ginn catches an out pattern but Hardy would have sacked Newton after blowing by Jordan Gross
- Newton hits LaFell in stride on a seam pattern from the slot - TD!; he was wide open
- Alexander runs over Campbell to disrupt an Anderson pass
- Addison beats his man though Anderson hits Williams on a short route
- Clausen hits Barner on a big gain as Barner beat Rau
- Hixson just misses an INT
- Clausen hits Ikharo in a curl route
- LaFell catches one in front of Florence
- Ginn catches a check down and jukes Norman badly
- Barner catches another and burns it upfield
- Clausen pass disrupted as Chandler gets beat badly
- Hixson makes a juggling INT on a tipped pass
End of Notes
The offensive line struggled early to contain the Panthers rush but played much better later in practice, especially on running plays. I think it may be more about our pass rush being dominant. I like out WR depth and think we have plenty to choose from with positive performance from Ginn, Hixon and Adams on the day. I'm not so bullish on or OL depth. If Kugbila misses a lot of camp time then Hangartner will start for sure with who behind him I have no idea.
On 3rd down drills Hardy is still moving inside at DT with either Star or Short to his left and Alexander on the right side. This formation seems to get the most pressure on the QB. We also saw a number of safety blitzes so I'm hopeful we will see more of those in 2013.
I'm no longer hopeful of WR David Gettis being our #3. I'm not even sure he makes the roster now. He seems too worried about getting hurt, doesn't seem as fast as he used to be and is not getting separation. Kenyon Barner is damn fast, has good hands and should present a nice option for the offense. Jimmy Clausen had another nice day throwing the ball as Cameron Colby does not appear to be a serious challenge.
I'll have more on risers and fallers later today.