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Monday Morning Leftovers

The one and only cafe with free wifi in Oxnard has a peculiar habit of closing at 3 pm, so my report on Monday morning practice was cut short. Here are some more notes fresh off the cutting room floor:

Formation packages: In the seven on seven and eleven-on-eleven drills, the offense stayed in fairly basic packages. There were I formations, split-back formations and lots of two TE sets. There were no empty packages or even three WR sets then.

On the defensive side of things, I'd say at least 75% of the packages run were 3-4. As I said in the earlier post, all of the lineman drills put them in a 3-4 front. When the 11-on-11 drills took place, the defense ran 3-4 exclusively as a run defense and mixed in a few four man lines when they were in nickel.

Random notes: Chris Canty must have appeared like a fine watch that the coaches could only admire through the case, but could not open. He got a lot of reps in the morning, at different positions in the 3-4 and the 4-3. He lined up most of the time as a RE in a three man line, but slid inside to pair with Thomas Johnson when the team put in four man lines to front the nickel.

Torrin Tucker suffered the indignity of working the morning as a LT with the third unit. He was back at his more familiar RT spot with the second unit in the afternoon.

I'm not sure what they discussed, but Leonardo Carson and Bill Parcells had a long talk alone on the practice field, staying ten minutes after everyone else left. There did not appear to be rancor involved; Parcells looked upbeat, but each had something they needed to explain to the other. The two walked slowly to the locker room together to end the session.

The catch that drew the biggest oohs and ahs from the faithful in the seven on seven drill was a twisting, diving catch by Ahmad Merritt. The quality of his opposition was dubious. Merritt split the third unit tandem of Izell Reese and Woody Danzler, who were soft in their play.

Keith Davis, on the other hand, is clearly the best FS candidate on the current roster. He looks more assured and was the most aggressive player at his position Monday. His breakup of a pass for Keyshawn Johnson was one of the highlights of the passing drills. I'm not sure if he's good enough to keep the Cowboys from claiming another veteran or trading for one, but he's ahead of Lynn Scott and Ike Reese.

Copyright 2005 by Rafael Vela

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