Training Camp Day 12, August 12, 2017
By Alex Zeese
Greetings all from a shockingly blue sky here in Richmond. I was worried that practice would be canceled as my whole ride down was through pouring rain. Let’s get to what I saw in camp today. To start with the head coach had a press conference, and the audio is posted in all of our usual places. The gist of his comments was that the team isn’t going to panic about 1 preseason game.
At the start of practice, the offensive line was working by itself on the far field. Coach Callahan seemed to have them working on side to side movement while the rest of the team was stretching out on the main field. After the team finished warming up, the first thing they first worked on were punts and special teams work; specifically, punter Tress Way was working to angle balls more to the sideline. One thing to note: Jay Gruden was specifically asked about who would be doing kick and punt returns this year, and during practice, James Quick and Kendall Fuller were taking turns fielding balls.
As this was happening, I also noticed the linebackers were doing loose ball drills during their position group work. During that period, one thing that stood out to me right away was how Lynden Trail and Martrell Spaight were both going hard every chance they got. One guy who clearly wasn’t was Preston Smith, who looked slow and unenthusiastic. Trail was especially impressive because he is not only quick, but his massive frame makes him stand out even more.
When the offense and the defensive line started going head-to-head they seem to really focusing a lot on the game. One thing that really stood out is just how impressive Brandon Scherff is when it comes to pulling at guard. The one position I am most focused and will be for all of preseason is obviously nose tackle, and both AJ Francis and Anthony Lanier impressed me multiple times today, both beating the starting offensive line.
Two guys to be worried about are our top two left guards Kouandjio and Lauvao, both of whom seemed to get beaten up by their opponents. It shouldn’t be totally surprising, though, that star rookie Jonathan Allen was dominating just about everyone he faced. It’s worth noting that Allan and second year player Matt Ioannidis seem to be becoming quite the tandem in our 2 DE sets.
Finally, one thing that I saw right away in 11 on 11 drills was that Samaje Perine is not afraid of contact at all even in practice – he is almost too eager to hit the opponent.
Audio of my interview with Matt Ioannidis and my coverage of Jay Gruden’s press conference can be found here: