Update [2006-7-31 1:1:38 by Grizz]: In the original version of this post, I accidentally switched Rivera and Kosier's place on the line. I have corrected it now, Rivera is at RG and Kosier at LG.
Sunday, July 30th (2-4 PM practice)
It was a long practice today, lasting for close to 2 hours and 20 minutes. It also was a sloppy one at times as the passing game wasn't clicking and Drew Bledsoe had an off-day. As reported before the good news is that Flozell Adams was back and he participated in the full practice on the first team. Marc Colombo was running with second team at LT and Pat McQuistan was pulling duty with the third team.
The practice started out with FG formations but with no actual kicks. They then moved to skeleton formations where the LBers and D-line practiced pass rushing stunts. After that they ran some 11-on-11 drills at half-speed. Luckily, Parcells conducted most of the practice on the field next to the fans so everybody got a good view of what went on.
During the half-speed 11-on-11 drills I was able to get a good idea of the current depth chart. Flozell is back with the first team, so the first team line looked as expected; Adams, Kosier, Johnson, Rivera and Petitti. The second team line was Fabini, Peterman, Gurode, Procter and Colombo. The third team line was mainly Roland, Procter, Tarullo, Batiste and McQuistan. On the defensive line it was Coleman in place of Spears, Ferguson and Canty. The second team was Ratliff, "Pepper" Johnson and Hatcher. The third line was Bowen, Stanley and Jamison. The linebackers were as expected but it looks like they are using Ellis exclusively as a linebacker, in all the team scrimmages and position drills he is working as a stand-up outside linebacker. 1st LB: Singelton/Ellis, James, Ayodele, Ware. 2nd team LB; Boiman, Fowler, Shanle, Burnett. 3rd team LB: Carpenter, Hoyte, Horne, Glymph. The secondary is still the same as reported yesterday, with Coleman working as a CB exclusively so far. Besides Witten and Fasano, Ryan, Hannam and Curtis are seeing most of the action at TE. Polite is also getting some work at TE, although they ran a package of runs with the traditional FB position during the half-speed 11-on-11 drill.
If you have any other questions on the depth chart, ask me in the comments and I will try to answer them.
The team then did its stretching exercises before moving on to position drills. Like I said before, Ellis was mainly working with LBers during position drills.
During today's practice they did some drills with the offensive line and defensive line where they would have the LT and TE face-off against the DE and LB. Then the RG, C, LG combo would face off against the NT and the two ILB's. Then they would do the RT and TE against the DE and LB. During this drill back-up NT Sammy Taulealea made two great stuffs on the double-team allowing a LB to get free. The coaches loved it. Jason Ferguson buried Gurode on one play and Montavious Stanley stuffed Al Johnson. Jay Ratliff also did well. I would've like to seen Rob Petitti but he was blocked from my view by a line of players.
The team moved on to a full-speed 11-on-11 drill which was almost all running plays. Petitti looked good on a block that was a sweep to his side by Julius. On the next play Canty stuffed the run to his side. JJ then ran up the middle through a big hole made by the interior line. Flozell then buried the end on a run to his side by Julius.
The second team took over and Hatcher stood up Colombo on a run by MB3. Tyson Thompson got in on the next run, a sweep to the side and avoided a hard-charging Beriault and made a nifty move up the sideline. On the next play they ran up the middle and TE Sean Ryan - from the H-back position - blew-up a LB and Thompson had a nice hole. When the 3rd string took over Bobby Carpenter made a nice stop on a sweep.
They went back to practicing blocking FG's and it looked like they were using Henry and Newman on the outside with Watkins and Elam next to them. In the interior they had Coleman, Ferguson, T. Johnson and Canty. Not sure if they are really going to line-up that way but they did on a few practice runs. They practiced some live FG's and I think Vandy actually hit the upright on one but I couldn't be sure as the tent over the bleachers blocked my view.
They continued on with the 11-on-11 drill, this time with passing. Some of the highlights were Ferguson busting through the middle for what would've been a sure sack. Pepper Johnson stuffed a run up the middle. Lousaka Polite dropped an easy dump-off pass and that's when Kevin Burnett and Marc Colombo got into a scrap. I didn't see what started it but they were pushing each other around pretty good for 5-seconds or so until they were separated. The fans got fired up when that happened.
Terrell Owens didn't get any home-run balls on the day but he caught a nice 15-yarder from Romo, although Owens did bobble it before securing the catch. Hatcher stuffed a run and seems to be progressing pretty well. He might get some significant playing time this year if he continues on his current path.
Jeff Mroz didn't look as good today as he did yesterday and Drew Henson is still looking mediocre at best. I don't think Mroz is going to displace him this year, but Henson better start improving soon. Meanwhile, Romo has looked solid in practice and has given me a little more confidence, but I wouldn't say I'm sure he's ready to lead the team.
While the receivers, QB's, LBers and secondary were doing a 7-on7 drill I watched some one-on-one OL/DL match-ups instead. Fabini got beat by Bowen and from what I've seen so far Fabini has looked average. Petitti could be on his way to starting again this year. Colombo handled Hatcher, then Jamison beat McQuistan. Batiste did OK with Canty, and Tarullo looked good with Taulealea. Ratliff beat Roland and Flozell looked slow against Hatcher. Pepper Johnson looked good against Kosier and Al Johnson handled Stanley. Petitti drove Coleman wide of the mark and Fabini looked OK against Bowen on the second time.
They went back to some full-speed 11-on11 where Singleton broke up a pass for Witten. Canty stuffed JJ then Canty beat Kosier to the QB on the next play causing Bledsoe to scramble. On Bledose's last down good coverage by the secondary forced him to tuck the ball and run. I forgot to mention the rotation goes Bledsoe for 4 plays, Romo for 4 plays, Henson for 2, then Mroz for 2. During Romo's turn he hit a dump-off pass, Pepper Johnson stuffed a run, Romo threw a beautiful strike to Crayton, then Boiman broke through for a sure sack. Henson did nothing of note and Mroz threw a bad pass which the receiver bobbled and JJ Horne picked off.
They ran through punts and once again Newman, Green and Rector fielded the punts. They concluded with another 11-on-11 drill where Bledsoe had some bad throws, and Ahmad Merrit dropped another pass. That guy is getting cut for sure.
The defense looked much stronger than the offense today, except for some early running plays that picked up some good yardage. At times it looked sloppy out there and Bledsoe had a bad day. I'll be back at it again tomorrow, when the Cowboys have two practices scheduled.