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Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 Game 7 - Detroit Lions vs New Orleans Saints @ Home

Getting there.

The 5-2 Detroit Lions barely beat the New Orleans Saints by a score of 24-23 at home today. It was never a sure thing (unless you were sure the Lions were going to lose) and the Saints aren't always all that great on the road, but in the end the Lions did just enough to pull off a win. If you missed the final 4 or so minutes of the game you missed the Lions scoring 14 points to make up for the 2 scores they were behind to seal the deal with their defense. That's right, Brees had time to drive to within field goal range but the Lions (currently #1 ranked) defense (yes, I said DEFENSE) held... eventually getting the ball back to the Lions Offense on downs.

This minor miracle (the win) was performed without the help of Calvin Johnson, or Eric Ebron, or Joseph Fauria, or with tons of yardage. In fact, there was only 59 yards rushing for the Lions in the entire game... and Stafford only threw for 299 yards, completing 27 of 40 (67.5%) with 2 TDs and 2 INTs (1 of which was definitely not his fault). As a group, I would say this team is getting there.

No, they are not a well oiled machine. No, Stafford isn't garnering the attention that a Peyton Manning would. Some would even call the offense boring and semi-predictable for the majority of each game... but you have to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run. Golden Tate had 10 receptions for 154 yards and a TD. The next best player on offense was RB Joique Bell with his 18 rushing attempts for 48 yards and a TD along with 2 catches for 19 yards. Then WR Corey Fuller with 3 catches for 44 yards and a TD. Multiple players are contributing to the win, it's not just Calvin Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Calvin Johnson any more.

The defense is definitely using the right combination of speed, youth, intelligence and coaching to excel. I was wondering if their #1 rank was earned or a disguise due to them playing poor offenses to date. After watching this game, and despite a few hiccups here and there, I no longer have as many of those kind of doubts. I too am getting there.

The offense still has a ways to go, but if the defense can continue to keep them in the games while the offense grows into their own skin, this team has a chance, no matter how slim, to make some noise in January... as in, the "p" word. It won't be easy, or automatic, and there is still many obstacles to overcome (not the least of which is the upcoming game played in England), but more then one team recently has made noise in the post season with the recipe that begins with a great defense. Before I jinx it I shall say no more on the matter... this week.

Those reading this may have noticed I missed the past couple of weeks of blog entries. My father (Terry Nielsen) passed away during the game two weeks ago and his funeral (up by Mackinaw City) was last Saturday, so needless to say I was unavailable and rather unwilling to write anything. My father taught me a great many things about life, more then I could possibly re-iterate, so I won't get into that in any great detail, but one thing he stressed more then anything else was about planning ahead. Being prepared. These hard fought football games, teammates helping other teammates to win despite whatever comes up, even the next game in England instead of in Atlanta, will go a long way to prepare the Lions for a possible playoff run. They need to take nothing for granted and continue the hard work day after day, game after game, and work together to overcome the next obstacle, because there will always be a "next obstacle". Learning just how to do that and trusting your fellow teammates to help with that is a critical ingredient to having success. In that regard, I think the Lions are indeed getting there.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 Game 4 - Lions @ New York Jets

How about that.

The 3-1 Detroit Lions beat the 1-3 New York Jets 24-17... outside... in an away game... had led them all game long... making the Lions 1st in the NFC North division.

TDs were caught by Jeremy Ross and Eric Ebron, with another TD ran in by Matthew Stafford himself. Matthew Stafford was 24 of 34 (70.588%) for 293 yards and 2 TDs with 0 INTs. Calvin Johnson had 2 receptions for 12 yards. Let me repeat the important parts here... this was an away game, played outdoors, CJ had only 2 receptions for 12 yards, Stafford completed over 70% of his passes and there were no turnovers by anyone on the Lions team. How about that, huh?

The new kicker missed a field goal, there were mistakes made by various players that they can work on this week, but by and large, this team was ready to play, played well, and won a game they deserved to win. In the end, you can't really ask for more then that. Now that other teams are starting to "get it" and are beginning to show up (such as the Packers) this small head start could come in quite handy in the future... should the Lions make any post season like noise in December. But let's not count the champagne bottles before their opened (such as the Detroit Tigers were doing, only finally winning the division on the last regular season game of the year, today in fact, and thank you Tigers)... there are still 12 long grueling football games to go yet. The next being at home against the Buffalo Bills (and former head coach Jim Schwartz as the DC).

A few players need to get healthy, such as Joique Bell (concussion), CJ (knee), Waddle (or any RT please), and Stafford (who had a bad turf burn on the back of his throwing hand along with a limp before half time that carried over into the ride home). I don't want to see the Lions just beat the Buffalo Bills next week, I want to see the Lions offense annihilate them. I'm not predicting that, don't want to jinx them, just hoping I get to see it. In fact, when I predicted the Lions would win against the Panthers (read below) they lost, and when I predicted the Lions would lose to the Jets they won. So either I keep predicting the Lions to lose to avoid jinxing them or I stop making predictions altogether. I'll go with the latter.

Here are a few things I would like to see during the game next week though. At least 2 sacks made by Lions Defensive Ends. More TDs then turnovers lost, again. And, another good game that makes me want to say "How about that!" after it's over... and not because something bad happened either.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014 Game 3 - Detroit Lions vs Green Bay Packers @ Home


The Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers at home with a score of 19-7. This marks the first time the Lions have EVER beaten the Packers whilst Rodgers was the QB for the entire game. AND, the game was won because of the Lions DEFENSE! I am speechless!

I mean, Nate Freese missed yet another field goal which now gives him a rockier start then the Lions last rookie kicker, Jason Hanson (who was 3 for 6 his first 3 games). The Lions Offense gave up 3 turnovers. Matthew Stafford had completed less then half his passes by half time. But the defense had kept the Lions in the game with a pick-6 early on in the first quarter and a safety in the second, then after half time a completely different team took the field with Stafford completing something like all but 2 of his passes and thankfully no more interceptions (he had 2). It was quite a game, to say the least.

In the end, Matthew Stafford was 22 of 34 for 246 yards, no TDs and 2 INTs. That's a 64.7% completion rate (and as I said, it was under 50% around half time). In comparison, the mighty Rodgers was only 16 of 27 for 162 yards and 1 TD. If I was giving the game ball to just one person though it would be going to the weak side linebacker; DeAndre Levy, who put on a pro-bowl worthy performance yet again. It was a fun game to watch, a great game for Lions fans, and I want to say more about it but as I said, I'm speechless.

Congratulations to all the players on playing for all they were worth. Congrats to the coaches on proving you do have what it takes. And, good job fans for making it loud. I will also add that I am oh so glad my prediction of a Lions loss did not come true. Makes me want to predict a loss for every game from now on, but I try not to get too superstitious, so I will simply go with this... the Jets will have one less day to practice (they play Monday night against the Bears, go Jets!) and though they are tough... oh wait, it's an away game, hmmm... okay, I can't predict a tie, so I'll go with the Lions losing by 1 point... something like 24-23. (Okay, perhaps I do believe in jinxes).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2014 Game 2 - Lions @ Carolina Panthers

Never mind.

The Detroit Lions lost this one to the Carolina Panthers by a score of 7-24. While it's true the Panther's have a great defense, it's also true the Lions needed to be tested by a great defense and also by a road game. They failed the test. Utterly. Never mind that at one point in the 3rd they were ahead 7-6. Once they had the lead they could not build on it nor hang tough and keep the Panthers from scoring.

Part of that failure to build on the lead was due to their rookie kicker, Nate Freese. Prior to taking the lead he failed to convert both field goal attempts. It was quite possibly a career ending day for him, depending on how the coaches handle it. Myself, I might try to see if a way can be found to calm down the ole nerves and get him to do what he is quite capable of doing, that is hitting field goals at pretty much any NFL range. Not sure if it was because he was outside (probably not) or away (probably not) or just nerves (probably so) but missing two field goals under 50 yards in the same game is usually frowned upon so look for the Lions to at least bring in some kickers to evaluate.

That said, Matthew Stafford was only 27 of 48 for 291 yards 1 TD and 1 INT. That's 56.25% which is just as bad as the kicker in NFL terms. Especially since the INT was near the end zone as they were driving, in the lead, and the receiver was well covered. Basically, the play should've never ever been attempted. What makes it even worse, the running game was an anemic 18 attempts for 70 yards, one of which was Stafford for 8 yards. If you want to worry about something, never mind the kicker and special teams, look at the offense as an equal part of the problem.

I'm not saying the game was lost by special teams and the offense, oh no. The defense gets to have their share assigned to them as well. Allowing a partially healed Cam Newton to complete over 64% of his passes for 281 yards and a TD plus allowing another rushing TD despite keeping them to less rushing yards then the Lions had was also disheartening. The Lions also failed to create a single turnover.

Speaking of turnovers, the Lions had a couple, but the reason I'm not harping on anyone about them is because the one was recovered by the Lions and the other two were created by absolutely great defensive plays... where the defenders (as in more then one) would keep the ball carrier from advancing while another defender would have time to wind up and punch the ball, hard, right out of the ball carriers grip. That is nearly impossible to prevent if you are going to try for those extra yards instead of hitting the deck. I suppose if you want to split hairs the ball carrier needs to hold on better, but doing that takes away some speed and power and balance (holding with both arms like that) to the point I'm not sure I would be all that crazy about it happening all the time. I give cudo's to the Panthers on their turnover prowess... and glare at the Lions for failing to do the same.

Another issue with the game is the Lions lost yet another nickel cornerback, possibly for the season, when their 4th round draft pick left the game injured. I think the Lions are fresh out of nickelbacks (not talking the music group here) and since they play in the nickel almost all of the time they are going to have to go shopping for someone on Tuesday. I hope the front office has a good short list.

Finally there's our new coaching staff. They weren't quite a prepared for this game as they were for the Giants. The Panthers were able to turn things around before the 4th quarter got here and stay ahead of the moves the Lions made. That includes the horrible decision to play in cover 2/cover 3 late in the game... the Lions really got gashed then. They couldn't get the kicker to settle down and just play, nor could they keep their star highly paid DTs in the game when they were needed most, in the final quarter. I'm sure there are all kinds of reasons and such, injuries and game plan, never mind the apparent lack of stamina or conditioning or whatever you call it... but if a certain DT wants to make near star QB money he needs to be playing pretty much every snap and creating havoc in my opinion, a lot of havoc, not just a couple times a game.

Okay, I'll try to calm down here enough to make my prediction for next week. After signing a new cornerback and quite possibly a new kicker (but not necessarily) they will have to prepare for the Packers at home. The same Packers who very nearly lost to the Jets today. If some of this mess can be worked on and fixed I think the Lions can give a good game but I'm concerned they will fall short... so I will predict a loss of 24-17.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Game 1 - Detroit Lions vs New York Giants @ Home

Something's missing.

Yeah, I know, about 6 weeks worth of blog entries are missing for one thing. Sometimes life just takes too much time and something has to give, in this case it was writing blog entries. Yet that's not what I'm talking about.

Since it's brought up though, let's do a little catching up. As my previous 4 blog entries indicate, I went to the Lions training camp practices for a couple of days and used that information to update my estimated depth chart as I do every year... prior to game 3 of the preseason. Managed to do the best yet, 49 right.

They kept

QB Moore over G Rodney Austin
WR Ogletree over WR Durham
FB Montell Owens over HB George Winn
CB Lawson over CB Mohammed Seisay

Nailed the rest of it. Not bad for locking it in prior to game 3 in preseason.

Just to steal my thunder though, 2 others in my forum got 50 right (LionHawk and TimT). I'll use that as incentive to do better next year. Then again, I think perhaps they didn't lock in prior to game 3 in preseason, ah heck with it, still need to do better.

The next thing missing is my prediction for the Lions season. I entered it into my contest as 10-6, with that being good enough for 2nd in the division, but not quite enough to make the playoffs... thus ending up drafting 19th overall in the 2015 draft. Since only game 1 is over with there is still plenty of time to beat me out of this prediction as well, which would be fine by me.

Enough catching up, the Lions stomped on the Giants in week 1 with a score of 35-14. Matthew Stafford was 22 of 32 for 346 yards and 2 TDs with no INTs. He even ran in a TD himself. The defense didn't embarrass themselves, nor did special teams. On top of all that the coaching appeared to be top notch. Are they ready for the playoffs after just one week? No. There is still a lot of things they can work on to get better, but they were definitely ready to play week 1, and with new systems on both sides of the ball that's a pretty good feat in and of itself.

No, there was something missing though... I just can't... hmmm... it wasn't Stafford's mechanics, they weren't perfect but they were definitely much improved. It wasn't the game plan, that seemed solid. It wasn't a lack of adjustments in game, that did occur and worked out superbly. It wasn't bad clock management, that too was solid. It wasn't any one thing... ah... that's it... what was missing was the previous coaching staff who couldn't do any of these things correctly. I admit the lack of experience at both OC and DC had me worried. I'm sure that there will be a hiccup here and there still, but as of right now it just plain feels good to have competent leadership running the Lions for a change.

Now, hopefully, they don't do anything to make me eat my words, it took me too long to get around to writing them for that to happen! Still, now the real tests begin. The Panthers now have some film to work with (as do the Lions) and the Panthers have the talent and the coaching to make this road game a tough one. That said, I feel another prediction is in order, so here we go... the Lions win in Carolina beating the Panthers by less then one score (between 1 and 7 points) in a hard fought contest.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lions Training Camp 2014 - Part IV

Allen Park, Thursday afternoon August 7, 2014

This will be my final installation of my training camp articles relaying the things I saw, some play-by-play, and other tidbits. After the first preseason game (which starts in about an hour) I will go over that and then start on my roster articles. I shall start off with the Quarterbacks.

The QB Coach and all 4 quarterbacks were working on the mechanics of being an NFL QB near the VIP tent which was 50 feet or so to the right of where I was in the stands (5th row, 50 yard line, field closest to their indoor facility). I'm afraid to admit this, but I watched the entire practice at Ford Field last night and never once caught on to the fact that #17 Kellen Moore is a left handed QB. What does this have to do with anything? Well, a lefty throws the ball from a different angle then WRs are used to, and the spiral is exactly the opposite, in other words, the ball is spinning backwards. That makes it harder to catch, for some. Anyway, since at this practice the QBs are much closer to where I am seated I am able to notice how the drill they are working on is stressing good QB mechanics. I also note that #14 Franklin is taller then Moore, as tall and stocky as #9 Stafford, shorter then #8 Orlovsky who has a very thin body frame, and rarely gets in on the team drills, but plays every snap in his positional group drills. I suspect that will make him practice squad material.

I see #62 has on an arm brace, probably for an elbow, #62 is a guard named Darren Keyton. The Centers working with the 4 QBs are #51 Raiola, #64 Swanson (this year's draft pick), #74 Rodney Austin, and #60 Alex Bullard (shows as a guard in the program they just gave me as I entered camp). For some drills they use all 4 centers and all 4 QBs at the same time. This is a new drill I never saw before in the 16 or so years I've been going to camps.

After I noted the QB drills to my right, and the injured players out a ways, the Safeties group move to directly in front of me to work on some drills.
The cameras are 100 yards away in front of me and 100 yards away to my right... so directly in front of me isn't exactly being recorded for later perusal by the coaches, giving some players the opportunity to slack off a bit if they were inclined to do so. I noted that #30 Gomes was just such a player. The drills that stressed coverage or interceptions he was all over, but the tackling drills he merely went through the motions, or so it appeared to me. I shall be curious to see how he does in the games (at tackling). There were very few other players doing this "evasive maneuver" and certainly not as many as I have seen at almost every camp I have ever been to, but if I had to pick one example in the 2014 Lions camp it would be Gomes.

While the DBs were working in front of me 60 or 70 yards away were the QBs, Centers, and WRs. All 4 centers would hike the ball to all 4 QBs at the same time as all 4 WRs would take off and one by one each WR would become a target by one of the QBs. This was a new drill for me, I wish they were closer so I could talk more about it. As it was, I could barely make out what was going on let alone who did well or who did not. I did catch one negative and two flashes of the positive kind... the negative was seeing Durham drop one of the multi-passes, the positives were a great deep route and catch by Ogletree and another excellent catch by Fuller.

Next was the O and D working not on routes or anything but what appeared to be they were working on pre-snap recognition. After that session, I noted Orlo throw a pass and #18 Durham making a great catch, one of those flash types I have mentioned before. I saw Durham make another flash play in the next series too. That would make him pretty even in bad plays and flash plays over the two days I saw. In one of those two series I noted a flash play by TE Fauria who caught another nice pass by Orlo. Orlovsky had a much better practice Thursday then he did Wednesday. Much much better. Though there was one play that was replay worthy, a pass to a WR that got tipped instead of caught, then the defender popped it into the air only to allow #49 Maxwell the TE to make the catch. Nice concentration on his part.

There was a lot of drills going on all over Allen Park Thursday, unfortunately due to the size of the area it was excessively difficult, nye on impossible, to make a lot of it. A few more pics to see just how much area there is to cover there.

Following the practice the fans once again flocked to the fences to get autographs while I prepared for the long drive home. Here you can see just how close the fans get to the players at these practices, just in case you haven't made it to one of them yet.

So there you have it, time to see how these guys do under live bullets, so to speak. For the first time ever (for some of these guys) the Lions will be tackling, getting tackled, sacking and getting sacked... as they take the field and take on the Cleveland Browns. I predict a winning score by the Lions by half time. I have no idea if Moore can maintain that lead until the end of the game or not, but considering the quality of the skilled players on O to help him out, I think they can. I shall predict a meaningless preseason game 1 score of Lions 27 and Browns 20.

Here's to no injuries! Go Lions!!!

Lions Training Camp 2014 - Part III

In continuing from my notes at the Ford Field practice (see the two previous blog entries below) and following another whistle the main practice area added more players from other position groups who were practicing elsewhere and I was able to jot down a few numbers and notes on who was working in the first group (1st string), second group (2nd string) etc. I had already figured out from reading other bloggers articles that the rookies were, to a man, working further down the depth chart. No one was being given a free ride to first string based on the round, or year, they were drafted in. Many coaching staffs do it this way so it wasn't anything unexpected as far as I was concerned.

First thing with this drill I noticed was that #11 Ogeltree was in the slot working with CJ, Tate, Pettigrew, Bell and Hilliard at right tackle. Nothing stood out negative or flashed super positive in this drill as my very next note was the lineup for the 2nd group... which was Waddle at right tackle; Orlovsky at QB, Ross, Broyles and Durham at WR; Lucas at left tackle and Fauria at TE. At RB was Riddick and I think Leshoure. A star by Riddicks name in my notes means he did something in this drill that stood out, unfortunately I hadn't the time to write down what it was. I did have my "up arrow" sign in for Lucas and Fauria meaning that both these dudes look huge compared to their teammates. When I say huge, I don't mean fat. I mean very tall, very solidly built, just giants compared to others on the team next to them. It takes you half a second to realize you want them on your side in a fight, or when collecting money from someone, or whatever it is you are doing. Big big men. I will also add in here that there is no player on the 90 who appears out of shape, fat, overweight, or in any way not svelte. Honed and toned, I felt quite literally like signing up with a gym and exercising more before leaving the building. Now where was I, oh yeah, the 3rd string came up to the line and it was #17 Moore at QB; Reynolds at RT; Thompson at TE; Andrew Peacock, Quintin Payton and Patrick Edwards at WR; #40 Steven Miller at RB. I never did catch if Bush, Fuller and several others were ever substituted in. Like I said, there is a lot going on, too much most of the time to catch it all without that imaginary DVR remote control.

After the whistle another set of plays are run practicing who knows what, this time instead of jotting down who was playing where, or what the situation they were working on was, I just watched to see who did things well, or who blew it... a little "me time" if you will. Anyway, Stafford threw a nice easy uncomplicated simple pass to Calvin Johnson who caught it effortlessly but you'd have thought the pass had won them the national championship the way the crowd went nuts. I just shook my head and chuckled a little, sometimes the simplest of things impress people. I did note that during this drill most of the players stayed the same but the RBs were switched out each snap. After one run through the QB was switched out and Orlovsky was in. I made note that Bentley very nearly picked off a pass right off the bat on a nice angle. #99 (Mosley) then flashed with a great solo "tackle" on RB Miller. When the Lions practice there is no tackling per se, but had Mosley been allowed to, Miller was going to be buried in Ford Field that play. I also had down a flash by Ross on a leaping catch. The next note was that it appeared the 2's and 3's would've missed some tackles were things live, but that may have been due to the no contact thing too. Hard to fly to the ball when you can't actually make contact upon arrival. My notes next contain another up arrow by the number 77, I see that's Lucas again, he must have been huddled up next to his much smaller OL teammates. Right about this time Webster flashed a little something, against Lucas, but Lucas also flashed something, so it was a nice matchup that play.

On the whistle it turns into a field goal drill. #3 Freese is up first. This drill started with getting onto the field FAST and setting up then kicking. As if the clock was at 15 seconds and counting down with no time outs. Freese hit from 37, 42, and 47 with plenty of room to spare. Then #5 and his group rush out to do the same drill, he also nails it from 37, 42 and 47 yards... but hold up... #5 Tavecchio is left footed! He's also shorter, weighs less, and his holder for the entire 2 days of practice was always #2 Butler, and except for the pre-practice time with Muhlbach earlier in the night, his long snapper is always someone else (which explains why Butler and Tavecchio were working with Muhlbach together while Martin and Freese did nothing an hour before, it was their only opportunity to work with Muhlbach). Following that drill Freese is up again in another field goal drill and is good from 44 and then 47 yards with plenty of room to spare. Left footed Tavecchio and Butler set up and he's good from 44 but hits the right upright from 47 and the ball bounces off to the right for a miss. I never once saw Martin hold the ball for Tavecchio which says to me that the Kicker for the Lions this year will not be #5 as I believe Martin is a lock as the Punter making #3 Freese the kicker... after day 2 was over though I realized something else, Freese isn't actually safe. It is very unlikely, in my opinion, that Tavecchio makes the team as the kicker, but Freese is competing against every single right footed kicker who gets cut from the other 31 teams too.

Next drill, no trenches (no OL or DL) and 4 wide (one of which might be a TE or a RB). Stafford to CJ for 20 yards, perfect ball placement. Next play, 2nd or 3rd read, 6 yards to Riddick, also perfect. Next is to Pettigrew for 5 yards, but it's dropped (if you don't like Pettigrew) or it was great defense (if you want the truth). Next snap goes to Leshoure who was the 3rd read for 5 yards, good play. Then one goes to Durham for 10 yards on a come back route. Finally a 20 yard completion to the RB Miller who has good hands. That last might have been Orlovsky or Stafford at QB, not sure when they switched out. Next play Orlo is interecepted by Palmer after popping the ball up, great defensive play. Orlo then hits Leshoure for around 10 yards on a nice pass. The next pass to Ross hits the ground who was in traffic, so while the defense was good, the choice to throw to Ross was not so good. The QB is now Moore, who throws to #82 Jordan Thompson and is defended very well by #50 Lewis. Moore to #41 Riddick is at least 5 yards off target and wasted Riddicks snap. The final play by Moore was broke up by a great play by #36 Green, I missed to the intended target was. No snaps for #14 Franklin in this drill at all, which happens about half the time it seems. Franklin is definitely the #4 QB and has no chance of overtaking Moore... but I am no longer sure either makes the final roster.

Next drill still involves no O or D line, but now it's a redzone drill. #9 to #41 for a TD! (Stafford to Riddick). 39 to #87 (Pettigrew) for 7 yards and maybe with YACs (yards after the catch) was a TD. #9 to #21 (Bush) for only 3 yards. Then, from the 5, Stafford throws off his back foot for the first and only time I saw all practice and hits the crossbar instead of whoever his target was. Way high. Next, another flash play, but the D. Stafford at the 5 to (unsure who) and #33 Greenwood makes a fantastic play to knock the ball down all by himself. #8 Orlovsky takes over and hits #41 Riddick for 5 yards who gets knocked hard to the ground by the defender who couldn't pull up in time. #8 to #12 (Ross) for 4 yards. From the 15 it's #8 to #84 (Broyles) for a TD. Next it's #8 to #32 Winn for 14 yards just short of the TD. New QB, #17 (Moore) to #25 Leshoure for 14 yards. #17 to #40 (Miller) for 2 yards. #17 to #38 (Winn) for negative yards (tackled for a loss). The whistle blows.

Time for some 11 on 11, from the 24 and a long field. The drill appears to be all 3rd downs, from varying to goes. This is a new drill for me, the team would set and re-set at all kinds of 3rd down and distances. Took me awhile just to figure out that this was what they were working on. Anyway, #9 to CJ for 27 yards, 1st down. #9 to #35 Bell but was popped in the air by a great play on D, failed to see who it was though (where's that remote!). #9 to #15 Tate who bobbles it then pulls it in playing against Vaughn I think who almost broke it up. #9 to #35 Bell for a nice gain. #9 to #87 Pettigrew for a nice gain, nice sweet play too. Then another sweet completion from #9 to #10 Fuller. #8 Orlo to #84 Broyles is good for a first down. #8 to #80 Fauria is a first down. #8 to ??? intercepted by #42 Isa Abdul-Quddus but if this was live it's likely Orlo was sacked and never got the throw off. #8 ... whistle, play called dead by officials (who hadn't done that up until that play). #17 Moore throws to #1 Peacock but it's 3 yards out of bounds. #17 to #10 Fuller, even further out of bounds, flag on #42 Isa for a PI, looked uncatchable to me but whatever. #17 to no one, he ran it for a 1st down. #17 to #25 Leshoure, blown dead, it was 2nd or 3rd read and he had dumped it off to Leshoure who played with the 3rd group a lot in this practice. Whistle for a new drill. Still no Franklin time.

It's a 11 on 11 Redzone drill from the 20. #9 to #15 Tate misses wide, I think it was miscommunication more so then a bad throw, but I can't be sure. #9 to #21 Bush for a short gain, nice catch, 2nd down. #9 to #18 Durham for no catch, Durham tripped over his own feet on the drill and stumbled along the route but couldn't recover in time. A 5 yard catch by #80 Fauria then an air ball to no one (someone ran the wrong route I think). A sloppy set of plays really. Now it's #8 to #29 Vaughn who flashed a really good defensive play there (jump ball). #8 handed the ball off on a delay to Leshoure, I think they were trying to surprise the D by running the ball on a pass drill, the D stopped him after an 8 yard gain though. I liked the play. I either missed a play or there was a 10 yard penalty in there somewhere as it was now 1st and goal from the 2. #8 to #84 Broyles for the TD. Back to the 20 yard line, #17 Moore to handoff to #38 Winn, the surprise didn't work this time, only 2 yards. #17 to #49 TE Maxwell, but #86 Payton was out of position and they had to wait for him. Maxwell fumbles, #45 Seisay picks it up for an easy 6. Last play was #17 to (couldn't tell) nicely broke up by #39 Hester in the end zone. I'm going to assume from the lack of execution that this particular set of plays was new that day and they hadn't worked on them until now.

The team huddles up in the middle of the field for a few minutes then breaks up, many of the players head to the sidelines to sign autographs with Bentley in the lead on our side. I watch the mad dash by the crowd for awhile then leave, normally I stay until the brooms come out to clean up but this time I didn't stick around.