Day 2 at camp was very impressive.
You can see a major shift towards practices being more organized, crisp, detailed, and full of teaching methods by the coaching staff. The new turf makes watching practice that much more entertaining, and to see a number of fans attend is great.
I was only able to attend the morning practice but I saw a lot more of players getting rid of the nervousness and actually gaining more confidence. This will obviously always be the case when players begin to understand what the practice regiment is and what the coaches expect day to day.
I will just list some players and mention how they did as I saw it:
Demetrious Walker is coming on strong at DE and will definitely be a candidate for a possible platoon system at that position. He is simply very talented to not play.
Devonte Peterson is probably ahead of anyone on the D-line at this point in time. Just a strong match up for just about everyone on the O-Line, and many times he dominates with a bull rush or with a spin move.
Claude Sanders is a hustler. He is a DE with a motor that never stops, even in simple drills. At times he would get caught battling a lineman head on when he could use his assortment of spin moves to get into the backfield in a split second. He will be someone to watch in the first exhibition game against the Argos.
Corey Dodds is a LB, and is simply a football player period. He is not a joker or a comedian, he simply has his game face on at all times when he is on the field. For a guy who looks about 220 pounds, he can run with anyone from sideline to sideline. He is a full out effort guy and fun to watch. The type of guy you want to see succeed in the game of football.
Ray Mariuz could quite easily be one of our outside linebackers and perform really well. He is a talented player who falls into the same category as Dodds in that you want to see him not only play but have much more success than he already has had in Toronto.
Renard Cox was tried out at DB back in 2004, was shifted to LB in 2005 and is now being looked upon for both positions. He is just so much better in coverage regardless of position. He has lost weight and looks sharper.
Steve Josue and Alex Green still have to make a name for themselves. I am expecting to see much more from them in the days ahead.
Airabin Justin looks the part at CB. He is having a great camp so far.
Jason Goss is your shut down DB and should be a star of our secondary once again.
The offensive linemen did much better today in the individual one on ones as compared to yesterday. Jamal Powell looked much better, Randall was steady with slight improvement and Kosienski is still trying to find his game. George Hudson is going to be the star of our line.
Malcolm Woolridge is playing pretty good, Filice is showing great athleticism and improvement in his game, Wayne Smith’s talent goes without saying, and Hage and Donnelly are performing admirably. All in all, it was still only day two but the key point is that there was improvement.
Ranek has been great to watch. He will, in my estimation, be a much more productive back than Troy Davis if our O-Line comes together and plays well. Ranek offers us the extra dimension of being much more involved in the passing game compared to Davis.
Anthony Davis has practiced well and is actually fun to watch. Corey Holmes had his first practice today and his presence was felt even on day one for him.
Richie Williams is looking the part of QB #3. He showed a lot of what he did in college, and that is his scrambling ability and running with the ball when the receivers are not open. He shook off the rust from day one and looked sharper today.
Kojo Aidoo is looking really good at FB and is still considered the odds on favourite to be Julian’s backup.
Pat Fleming is connecting on his punts quite well giving the team the added bonus of extra hang time. I have not seen them practicing the kicking game, if in fact they have practiced that aspect of the special teams unit.
Willie Quinnie looks quite good at the receiving spot. He and Brock Ralph are practicing well, with Terry Vaughn never dropping a ball, Kwame Cavil catching the tough throws in mid air, and Gardner showing why he was in the NFL at one time. No receiver has looked bad at all and no receiver is way ahead of any other at this point.
Most impressive thing at camp is in my opinion the quality and intensity of the coaching staff. They are not taking it as a day one or two of training camp and therefore being easier on players, but rather want to be tough on them so as to create more cohesion, discipline and chemistry earlier rather than later. Might help us win that extra game or two early on.
Great practices to date. Very impressed with the atmosphere and structure!!!