Usually part of OTAs includes some extras at the end of random sessions — something to spice things up. Last week the offense and defense battled with sprints on the line during a third-down drill. Today, it was coach Ken Whisenhunt’s famous punt-catching fun. In the past, it’s been almost all about the linemen, trying to negotiate big bodies underneath the JUGS-jettisoned ball. But Whisenhunt switched things a bit this year, giving guys like Jason Wright, Kerry Rhodes and Beanie Wells turns. Needless to say, most balls were caught (unfortunately for Jeremy Bridges — doh!). The highlight may have been linebacker Clark Haggans, though, who has waited a year to live down his drop from last summer and was needled by Whisenhunt until he pulled down his attempt.
The whole experience certainly left most of the players smiling and in good spirits. Good news, right? “Well, it’s early,” Whisenhunt said. “There is no pressure from a game. We’re still in OTAs. Let’s get through the dog days of training camp when I am sure some of these guys are going to want to mix it up and fight and then we will talk about it. Right now, we’re undefeated and everybody is playing well. I like the chemistry of the team … and whenever you have the competition at the end of practice like we did today and you see them get excited, you like that. They want to win and that’s what is important.”
One play did stand out today that I noticed during 11-on-11. Matt Leinart threw a dart into a seam that safety Matt Ware was sitting on, arms open, waiting for an interception. Then suddenly Steve Breaston burst back on the ball, making the catch in front of a stunned Ware and sprinting upfield. It just underscores the timing needed with some of these passes.
Tags: Beanie Wells, Clark Haggans, Jason Wright, Jeremy Bridges, Ken Whisenhunt, Kerry Rhodes, Matt Leinart, Matt Ware, Steve Breaston
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