Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Training Camp Day 10-13 Recap

Trending Positively
  • CB Sean Smith - Promoted to the starting lineup in place of Eric Green, Smith has proved that he is indeed NFL ready straight out of college. His ball skills are proving to be as advertised and he looked really good in the first preseason game.
  • RB Lex Hilliard - Hilliard looked great against the Jaguars, hitting the hole with authority and finishing runs with power. He can stay on the practice squad again this year, but he would be in danger of being poached by another team. His flexibility to play fullback only helps his cause. It would be great to see Hilliard take over for Ricky Williams after Williams' decides to hang it up.
  • WR Chris Williams - Williams struggled with his first few return attempts against the Jaguars, but then he started to show some real promise. He's been getting a ton of work as the returner in practice and he'd probably be a better option than Davone Bess, especially if Bess is going to be a starting WR. The problem is, where does Williams fit on this team? He could probably make it on as a sixth WR instead of Brandon London if the team decides to keep that many, but he'd also have to be kept active on game days, possibly leading to one of the other receivers being inactive.
Trending Negatively
  • K Dan Carpenter - Carpenter has been struggling enough in practice to warrant the team signing some competition in Connor Barth. Both are accurate enough kickers, but accuracy is a poor way to judge kickers since it is not predictable from year to year. Kickoff distance on the other hand is both extremely important and predictable. And from all accounts, Carpenter has the better kickoff leg, so we should want him to make the team. Unfortunately, if he continues to miss too many kicks in practice, the front office won't have a choice but to make a switch.
  • WR Patrick Turner - After a real nice first week of camp, Turner has started to backslide, dropping several passes and going invisible for stretches.
Other Notes:
- Matt Roth remains out on the PUP list.
- Shawn Murphy continues to get the lion's share of starter's reps at RG with Donald Thomas getting a few each day.
- Randy Starks is still the starting RDE.

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