Okay, got the print story filed. Earlier posts covered most of the newsy stuff. Now … some of what jumped out from the sidelines.
With Jones and Forsett absent (romance), Quinton Ganther kept getting more looks. The guy just really seems to make a lot of plays. He runs low and looks to have pretty good acceleration for a guy 5-9, 220. He could be a darkhorse back there.
Of the injured guys returning, I was most struck by how good Leon Washington seemed to be moving around. He spent early time taking handoffs and just getting his feet under him, but then was going through the steps for pitch plays, which required him to plant and cut up-field. He was doing it at what looked like pretty close to full speed. It seems that would be a real test for a guy coming off multiple leg fractures. Carroll said they’d be careful with him the first couple weeks of training camp, but then added that he thought all those guys — Housh, Branch, Washington, Thurmond — would be ready to at least be eased back into action when camp started.
Carroll’s biggest surprise from the off-season has been Red Bryant, who was starting at DE opposite Chris Cleamons. He said that he thought Bryant’s size and quickness gave him some special qualities. Don’t scoff. Those of us who watched him in the past might wonder if this is over-estimating his potential. But he HAS looked different. He looks quicker and far more confident. It might be that it all just clicked in for him. But here’s a fact: The guy is very big, very strong and pretty ornery, too.
Kelly Jennings was with the ones on defense, with Josh Wilson coming on in the nickel. The linebackers were Curry, Hawthorne and Herring, with Hill going with the twos.
Of our earlier discussion of Chris Spencer … Carroll called him one of the stars of the off-season. I recall Jim Mora saying that last year. Will be interesting. Seemed like Okung made a couple rookie flinches when Hasselbeck went into his tricky cadence designed to draw the defensive offsides.
At quarterback, Whitehurst had a pretty nice series in a two-minute session, but he threw two picks in the Red Zone, too. For my money, and I think I’ve seen every OTA session that has been open to us, I think JP Losman is far closer to being a game-ready productive quarterback than Whitehurst. Losman really has a big-time arm on him, and an awful lot of experience.
I think one of the surprise guys on defense could be Kevin Vickerson, the guy they picked up from Tennessee. He is huge and he plays with a great deal of force. There’s a “pop” in his punch.
Got no real answer to where Babineaux was other than some vague suggestions that it wasn’t related to the signing of Kevin Ellison and it wasn’t something illegal … at least the best I could translate. Will follow tomorrow.