We see him turn timid when things go bad early. That wasn't the case Monday, as he showed mounting confidence as he made plays.
He caught a deep ball up the left side, saw an incomplete pass go over his head, reached up to pull in another pass, controlled a throw even as it took him too far out of bounds, rolled right with Mariota and grabbed a ball in the middle of several defenders and had at least one more catch.
“He’s been trending up,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said of Hunter.
Marcus Mariota was a little less accurate than usual, finishing nine-of-17 passing. (He's now 137 for 219 in 13 camp practices.) Two interception opportunities were botched by the defense.
Perrish Cox had his hands on a pass up the right side thrown over Anthony Fasano's head but failed to bring it down. And when Derrick Morgan bated a pass at the line, Brian Orakpo dove and nearly had it but couldn’t collect and control it.
“I thought we had a top 10 play there,” Morgan said.
Mariota had one throw that rated as remarkable, even if it came in combination with poor coverage. A big rush backed him up, and he was moving straight back in the pocket and a long way from the line of scrimmage as he let a pass fly that was all arm, finding Kendall Wright down the middle as Zach Brown ran at the QB.
In other developments out of practice:
The team stuck with the alternate starting group on the offensive line. Left to right that lineup was Taylor Lewan, Byron Bell, Fernando Velasco, Chance Warmack and Jamon Meredith. Regular center Brian Schwenke was out with a foot injury and would be back by Thursday, so we’ll see if he’s back in with the lead group. Regular left guard Andy Levitre worked as the No. 2 center.
Practice was inside as their practice fields had been pretty well soaked by rain.
Strong safety Da'Norris Searcy (knee) would have been back in action after a day off if the team was on grass, Whisenhunt said. Also out were cornerback Jason McCourty (groin) and Blidi Wreh-Wilson (ankle) and linebackers J.R. Tavai (knee), Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil (hamstring) and Zaviar Gooden (hamstring).