#1. Vet day off for the following players: WR Jarius Wright, DE/LB Mario Addison and LB/DE Bruce Irvin. Players who sat out of practice due to injury: C Tyler Larsen, RB Jordan Scarlett, CB Kevon Seymour and DB Rashaan Gaulden. Excused from practice for personal reasons: LB/DE Marquis Haynes and DE Efe Obada.
#2. Players who got first team reps on defense: LB/DE Brian Burns (Edge), LB/DE Christian Miller(Edge), DB Ross Cockrell(Safety) and CB Javien Elliott(Nickel CB). Players who got first team reps on offense: LG Greg Van Roten(Center) and OL Dennis Daley(Left Guard). Daley mentioned that his job is to learn both guard and both tackle positions with the goal to develop into the ultimate “swingman” on the offensive line.
#3. Several military service members were invited onto the sidelines to watch practice today. During a special teams period they met S Eric Reid. Reid came over to speak with them, shook hands and took several pictures together.
#4. During 1 on 1 DL vs. OL pass rush drills I was impressed with DTs Kyle Love and Vernon Butler Jr. Both players showed amazing combination of strength, agility and quickness. They showed the ability to quickly disengage their blocker. I was able to get a solid look at what LB/DE Christian Miller has in his arsenal. He shows plenty of strength and power with his bull rush moves. During 1 on 1 LB vs. RB pass rush drills it was simply back and forth between both position groups. RB Christian McCaffrey is showing much improved strength and effectiveness in neutralizing blitzing LBs. LB Shaq Thompson really is showing that he is can not be blocked when he blitzes. RB Elijah Holyfield has strong hands when he takes on a LB but needs to keep his feet moving. LB Andre Smith uses very good leverage to get underneath the pads of any RB but needs to work on taking quicker angles of pursuit.
#5. During 11 on 11 team drills these are the plays that stood out. CB James Bradberry made a spectacular INT on a pass from QB Cam Newton to WR DJ Moore. However the ball popped out as he hit the ground hard. CB Elliott got another INT off of a Newton pass intended for WR Chris Hogan. TE Greg Olsen tried to one hand grab a pass by Newton but it turned into a INT for CB Donte Jackson. DE Bryan Cox Jr. surprised QB Will Grier by dropping into coverage. Grier threw the ball directly to Cox but he could not hold onto the ball. CB Lorenzo Doss got an INT from a pass in the end zone by QB Kyle Allen. The offense had a few really good plays. Newton threw a TD pass to Olsen during red zone drills. Allen threw an incredible TD pass to WR Jaydon Mickens who was able to tip toe both feet at the very back of the end zone. WR Torrey Smith made one the best diving catches of camp by catching a TD pass from Allen.
#6. The overall analysis of today was that our defense is capable of being a Top 5 unit in 2019. This looks to be the fastest defense that Head Coach Ron Rivera has ever had on all three levels at defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs. However Rivera went off on the team at the end of practice due to a big pile of pushing and shoving on the very last play of team drills. Rookie LB/DE Brian Burns left the first segment of team drills with cramping in his left leg. He came back with it wrapped up and rejoined practice after sitting out an installment period. This is slowly shaping up to be a fun and exciting team to watch this fall.