This is going to be a short update for all of you today. As the preseason wears on and players improve, most of the good and bad performances from camp tend to come when the offense plays the defense. Unfortunately, most of this occurred inside the Don Hutson Center on Sunday due to weather conditions.
I'll start with some news that I'm sure many of you are wondering about about, namely Cedric Benson. Yes, Benson was in pads today. Overall he looked okay. He had some nice cuts and showed good burst through the hole. Now, it's very hard to tell what exactly he is like now since they don't tackle. Most of the judgment on Benson will need to be saved until this Thursday. I will say that the crowd made sure to give him some extra welcome on Sunday. Every touch he had, whether it be a handoff or screen pass made it sound like he was going on a 60 yard TD strike.
After the jump you'll find a truncated report but one filled with good news and limited disappointing including PA having to stop himself from singing the theme from Welcome Back Kotter, D.J. Williams makes a good play, and D.J. Smith continues to impress.
Biggest surprise of the day: Randall Cobb still being used as a RB in the shotgun. Despite the growing health of Alex Green and the arrival of Benson, Cobb got a few snaps with the #1 offense in the shotgun as a running back. This included having him pick up blitzers. Now this could be just practicing this role so it can be used in a game, or it could be a sign that the RB situation is worse than many think. Or it could just be him filling in for a play....although since it was the first snap for the offense I doubt that one. Either way you explain it in your head it's an interesting development.
Pleasant surprise of the day: Welcome back to some familiar faces. Lots of vets who have had some nagging injuries came back in pads today including Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, John Kuhn, and Sam Shields. Some were getting targets early and often enough for me to see them in action (Finley and Jennings) others it was just good to see them back in action.
Disappointment of the day: Weather. It was shaping up to be a good practice and then thunder started and coach McCarthy pulled them up and took them inside. A shame.
Offensive player of the day: D.J. Williams makes a catch in traffic. Williams hasn't made much noise since the start of camp, but he did have a good game against Cleveland and was having a good day today. He made the most impressive catch of the day in traffic around double coverage. It was a pretty throw by Graham Harrell and a prettier catch by Williams.
Defensive player of the day: D.J. Smith continues to impress. Smith had good coverage in practice today, sticking close to the man he was assigned to. Best play to highlight this would be a close catch for Finley. Finley nearly had the catch of the day bringing in a finger tips grab around three guys, but Smith knocked it away at the last second. If he can continue to make plays like this then the defense should be improved.
PA's controversial call: James Jones is better than you think. Jones is one of those players in camp who will make a few plays, and key plays, but not flashy plays. Today he had two good grabs to keep the offense moving in their drills. This is similar to his play on Thursday night where he had some good grabs and runs after the catch to keep drives alive. Unfortunately people only remember his drops (like the one against SD) and then demand for him to be traded, but he is a pretty good WR.
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