Day Four Observations. Actually this was a mild day at Training camp. I estimated around 1,200 people in attendance. First thing I did was check out the Bleachers and realized that most people were at the far field sitting in the shade. As practice went along I kept a close eye on the Bleachers only to make a run for it when the team gathered for some 11 on 11 work. The bleachers are a good place to be because it gives you a different angle to watch than looking from two to three deep along the fence. I did make that move with about an hour left in practice, unfortunately, the team never did. They began the 11 on 11 work at the far field. My Story Lines follow:
Much of this has been previously reported, as I wasn't able to get as close a view as I would of liked. I arrived at the camp fifty minutes before the start. When you get there you have to walk down a couple flights of stairs to get to the entrance to the camp. There was a couple fans hanging out in the stairway with there footballs to get autographs. I then heard a little buzz from some of the fans an noticed a small crowd of eight people. As I was walking by, I looked over and not even five feet away was Trent Edwards standing there signing autographs. I have always struggled making facial recognition of some of the players but Trent was very recognizable. I looked at him and had the feeling that "Hey I know that Guy" then immediately was struck with I don't know him but that is Trent Edwards. Last Season I remember my kid having to wait all of thirty to forty five minutes to get his autograph after camp and he still didn't get one. Even at 50 years old, Getting that close and an unexpected autograph, I felt that was pretty cool. By know it was about 2:15pm and I got an autograph and Trent disappeared into the parking lot that separates the entrance to camp and the locker rooms. I looked up the stair way and seen a couple other people entering that were dressed differently than the rest. Not knowing who either of these two guys were, someone asked for an autograph, I followed suit. I am looking at this guy wondering who the hell he was, thinking maybe it was Johathan Stupar. I like Stupar, kid plays with so much heart. As he got closer I held out my pen and paper and asked for an autograph. The gentleman obliged. I am watching him right his name thinking the guy must be a doctor, cause I couldn't read a thing, then he puts his number next to it. The number was #14. Once again at 50 years old this was pretty cool stuff. For the record, Ryan Fitzpatrick's head is very proportionate to the rest of his body and Trent Edwards does need a hair cut, about four inches of the bottom.
Unfortunately for me that was the bulk of my information. I was able to pick up on some other things, that BG and MRW have already hit on and still should be a focus for you future camp attendees. The first thing you should know is this.
Marshawn Lynch is back people. That's right you heard it, write it down, and book mark it. The Beast Mode is back. The kid is playing with a vengeance. How do I know this, well I can tell you that I was real impressed with J. Bell and Simpson, those kids look real good, but when Marshawn took a hand off, and hit the hole between the tackles or around the tackles he did it with authority. When he squares his shoulders and pumps them legs, it is a freighting sight for defenders.
Quarterbacks: I have been in Ryan Fitzpatrick's camp since the end of last season. I can't deny this. He just seemed to have more control over the entire offense and there has been a glimpse of belief from his teammates that he is a leader. I do have to confirm what BG has reported. Trent Edwards is far in front of Fitzpatrick and Brohm. The bigger battle here would seem to be for the #2 spot behind Edwards. Still games have to be played and there are many evaluations to be concluded but it is painfully obvious that Fitzpatrick's opportunity to win over the camp battle is dwindling every practice.
Torrell Troup: Wow, Impressive, IMO worthy of a #2 draft pick. His play, his motor, his skills mostly resemble that of fellow teammate Kyle Williams. I left camp thinking Lonnie Harvey is an after thought don't waste time trying to factor Harvey into reps on the #1 D. There was a pass rushing drill where each D'Lineman penetrated the O-Line in a one on one situation. Example: RT Vs LOLB etc... Troup on Andy LeVetrie, Troup would drive Andy five yards deep into the pocket. Andy would hold his block but the rush was unbelievable. Troup is a very strong DT, he is young but looks very good. I couldn't tell much difference between Troup and Williams, I am sure there is a difference but they are both a very high motor type player. Can you imagine them with Schoeble next to them. WOW.
Tight Ends. This is where I began to run out of time and the distance killed me. Let's hope these four stay healthy. All four are rated average to well above average. Nelson did get the work with the ones, Schouman and Mathews will be an intense battle followed by Stupar. A full healthy camp for all of these guys will only strengthen this position that was decimated with injury last year.
Finally, As advertised the hitting and tackling began. I could hear the pops from the pads from the bleachers. There seemed to be an elevated rhythm in the players step when this portion began. The excitement for them was when this began. This had to be a start for better things to come during the practices. Get there, get a good seat and enjoy.