I missed the morning session today. There goes my perfect attendance record But I made it out for the good practice, which was made somewhat somber by a gruesome injury.
- Ron Johnson dislocated his left ankle at practice today. They also think there’s a fracture. He went to the hospital. I had a straight on view of the play. He simply landed awkwardly, and his ankle bent a way that ankles aren’t supposed to bend. He then held his ankle up with his hands, and at that point, I had to turn away. I hadn’t talked to him at all, but the consensus is that he is a really nice kid. I also thought he was having a really solid camp, and at the very least, would have been solid practice squad material. Tough break for him.
- Riley Cooper had successful surgery today on his broken collarbone. He’s the 8,946,490th consecutive athlete to have a “successful surgery.” Also, an MRI confirmed Jason Babin’s calf strain, as expected. No timetable for return on either guy.
- I had been waiting a while to see a Brandon Boykin 1-on-1 matchup with Jason Avant, and I got my wish today. Avant is the best route runner on the team, and despite not having the most speed in the world, he’s quick, you can’t jam him because he uses his hands so well, and his body fakes are excellent. Meanwhile, Boykin has been good at getting jams on receivers all throughout camp, but they have been on receivers less skilled in that regard than Avant. Avant won.
- I saw some good things out of Demetress Bell today. He did a great job on Darryl Tapp, although I did see Trent Cole beat him around the edge for a sack. It looked like the QB’s drop may have been too deep on that play though, and what should have been a play in which Bell would have otherwise shuttled Cole safely up the field, it turned into a sack instead.
- Two QBs hit the deck today. Brandon Graham accidentally clothes-lined Michael Vick, and Vinny Curry hammered Mike Kafka because he couldn’t stop his momentum. Funny thing was that it wasn’t even during a tackling session.
- Phillip Hunt looked good again today. He had a sack.
- On one play, Mike Kafka had to scramble out of the pocket. He had a step or two on DeMeco Ryans, and Ryans couldn’t close on him for the one hand touch on the QB. It’s not like Kafka is some kind of statue. He has some speed. But if given the choice between “Do I want DeMeco Ryans to chase down Mike Kafka from behind” or “Do I not want DeMeco Ryans to be able to chase down Mike Kafka from behind, I’m choosing the former.
- It’s time to start paying attention to Jamel Hamler. He keeps catching bombs in practice, and they’re not easy plays.
- Play of the day was probably one that nobody else really saw. I just happened to be watching Nnamdi Asomugha covering Jeremy Maclin. Maclin ran a quick stop. Blanketed. Nobody was open so the QB held onto the ball. Then Maclin faked upfield, and came back. Still blanketed. Then Maclin turned sharply and tried running deep. The QB lofted a nice ball to him, but Nnamdi was there the entire way, and broke up the pass. He had to cover Maclin for about 8 or 9 seconds and never left his hip pocket. Gorgeous coverage.
- A couple little kids were yelling at Evan Mathis. They kept yelling “69! 69! 69!” A reporter (not sure he wants me saying who he is) said “There’s something funny about a bunch of little kids yelling ’69.’”
- Throughout camp, I feel like I’ve been referring to Brett Bracket and Chase Ford almost as the same guy. Bracket is beginning to separate. You know how when you were in high school and you were home sick (or faking home sick), and you watched the same replay of SportsCenter for the 7th time in a row while fading in and out of sleep, and there was that one play in some game that you just happened to notice each time around? No? Nobody ever watched SportsCenter 7 times in a row? Well, anyway, Brett Brackett running down the seam and catching the ball about 15 yards down field is that play that I just seem to keep seeing over and over and over again. I still haven’t watched him block yet though.
- Julian Vandervelde got some snaps at center today. It was not good. He rolled one back to Kafka, then later fired one high that Kafka was able to control. But those snaps basically ruined those plays for the offense and it took Kafka’s eyes off the action down the field.
- DeSean Jackson and Brandon Hughes got in a fight today. I happened to be right there for that one, too. Haymakers from both players. Hughes ripped DJax’s helmet off. It had been escalating from previous plays. DJax is chippy this year. There were games last year when the sideline was DeSean’s best friend, but he has been staying in bounds in tackling sessions and looking to get more YAC…. in July. Good sign.
No practice tomorrow, but I think I’ll do a recap of the week. And maybe write something about one of the other NFC East teams.