First day of pads always is fun to watch after an offseason of seeing players work in helmets and shorts. Very tough to tell how a player is truly doing in those situations. It’s always fun to hear the pads colliding and we heard it a lot Saturday. A few shoulder pops from the defensive backs on receivers and backs. Once, Bacarri Rambo drew some "ooohhs" from the crowd when he popped rookie Ryan Grant. The problem (or good thing depending on which player you’re talking about): Grant stayed on his feet. Corner Peyton Thompson popped running back Lache Seastrunk, knocking him out of bounds.
Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins, working in the first nickel alongside Barry Cofield, got his hands into guard Shawn Lauvao and drove him back on a rush. Hands right into the chest for some good pressure. In the one-on-one portion, Lauvao stopped Jenkins for 2.5 seconds with a strong base. Jenkins used a rip move to get outside guard Spencer Long in a one-on-one drill.
Defensive end Doug Worthington has had some nice moments; it’ll be tough for him because of the numbers at this position though. Got up and around center Mike McGlynn in the one-on-ones. Worthington is strong, but moves better going forward than laterally.
Chase Minnifield hasn’t been going against the top receivers, but he’s done a nice job when facing the lesser ones, having broken up a handful of passes over the middle the first couple days. Did so again Saturday, though he also dropped a pass right in his hands.
Clifton Geathers can be tough to move at times. Saw it today when he drove a backup lineman back and then used his 6-foot-9 frame to bat down a pass.
Best part about pads: The one-on-one work between the linemen. First one I saw was rookie linebacker Trent Murphy against rookie tackle Morgan Moses. Murphy failed to execute his spin move, not taking the proper angle before the spin and Moses reacted well. Next time they matched up Murphy sprinted past him to the outside.
Brian Orakpo and Trent Williams always are fun to watch in these battles. Orakpo worked him up field, getting his hand into Williams’ chest, then worked back inside for what would have been pressure. But Williams beat him the next time.
Brandon Jenkins beat Moses quite easily on one play, but because of his angle and because he did not explode when he had the chance, he did not finish well. That did not go over well with his coach, Brian Baker, who yelled, “Why did you wait! You had him beat!”
Defensive end Chris Baker did a terrific job staying home and stopping a reverse by receiver Pierre Garcon. Baker also had a nice swim move to get past Mike McGlynn on one rush. Baker has matured at end over the past year. I remember entering camp last year the knock on him was that he fell in love too much with just getting penetration. That can get defenses in trouble on run plays. But Baker has done a better job executing his assignments it seems.
Did not include this in the RGIII report, but he nearly connected with tight end Jordan Reed down the seam. Keenan Robinson might have been called for holding Reed; the ball was there. Also, linebacker Perry Riley dropped an interception off a Griffin throw over the middle.
Rookie Ted Bolser flashed a little today. First, he stopped Sharpton coming up against the run; a loud collision that Bolser won. Later, he caught a bass over Akeem Jordan. Have to say, Bolser did not look all that promising in the spring. Both plays today were solid.
There wasn’t much difference when it came to how long the ball was in the air on kickoffs. On rookie Zach Hocker’s three attempts, the ball was in the air for 3.7, 3.8 and 3.7 seconds. Meanwhile, Kai Forbath’s first was around 3.7 and his second was at 3.8 and out of the end zone. Distance will matter, but hangtime is huge. It’d be good to be closer to 4.0 seconds.
Meanwhile, on field goals: Hocker made all four of his attempts from 40, 40, 44 and 46 yards. All but one down the middle, with another sneaking inside the left upright. Forbath was 2-of-3, with makes from 40 and 41 yards and missing wide right from 49.
The first mini-scuffle in training camp occurred between linebacker Darryl Sharpton and right tackle Tom Compton. Not a whole lot to see but Sharpton did get off a few swings (with bodies already in the way). As camp fights go, it wasn’t much.
Adam Hayward was back with Will Compton on the No. 2 defense after Akeem Jordan was next to Compton on Friday. Sharpton has only worked with the third defense in camp. I liked Compton last summer, but after they signed the three veteran linebackers it didn’t look as good for him. But he’ll clearly have a chance to show what he can do. Compton stuffed one run nicely Saturday; he plays to his speed and that’s a good thing.