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After practice: Nkemdiche as teaching tool

Posted by Darren Urban on August 16, 2017 – 4:51 pm

There is a flip side to teaching Robert Nkemdiche, who, make no mistake, is still trying to learn how to play his position on the defensive line. Every day, you can see Nkemdiche’s power and athleticism and effort as he tries to bury his disappointing rookie season, but in technique and discipline (making sure he doesn’t jump offsides), he is still in-progress.

But the power/athleticism/effort also gives offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Harold Goodwin a powerful tool when it comes to teaching his young players. Specifically, rookie fourth-round guard Dorian Johnson, who many times has been set up to face Nkemdiche. Before these matchups, Goodwin talks to Nkemdiche as much as Johnson, and given the intensity in which Nkemdiche attacks, it’s some serious on-the-job training.

The final one-on-one rep was a Nkemdiche win, pushing Johnson way back. Clearly Johnson isn’t ready to play this season, but this is how he gets better, and that Nkemdiche can help in the cause is an interesting turn, given where he was at as a player last season when he was a rookie.

— Left tackle D.J. Humphries was out working with the first unit most of practice for the first time since hurting his hamstring. “This whole situation kind of taught me to listen to my body a little bit, that you’re not in college anymore,” Humphries said. “It felt good today.”

— Wide receiver John Brown did look better at practice, making a handful of receptions in 11-on-11.

— Veteran receiver Jeremy Ross has picked up his play the last couple of days. And he looked like he was running ahead of J.J. Nelson Wednesday.

— Tight end Ifeanyi Momah made another nice reception and like previous camps, has proven himself as a receiver. They already like his special teams work. He should have a spot on the roster. He needs to continue to work on his blocking.

— LB Terrence Waugh left practice with some sort of leg injury.

— Earlier in the day, Bruce Arians noted that the best down-the-depth-chart receiver had been “‘Little Smoke” Chris Hubert. “He’s been wide-ass open,” Arians said. “We just haven’t hit him.” Early in practice, Hubert ran a nice route to the right sideline of the end zone, and he was wide open. Blaine Gabbert’s pass was too wide, however.

— Patrick Peterson made a nice interception, running the route ahead of wide receiver Jaron Brown. Safety Harlan Miller also had a pick. Rookie tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, back from an ankle issue, had an impressive diving TD catch.

— The first-team offense ran a quick screen to Jaron Brown. Tyrann Mathieu smelled it out and would have made a quick line-of-scrimmage tackle, if, you know, they were actually tackling. “C’mon dog, you gotta set it up better than that!” Mathieu yelled. “Too easy! Too easy!”


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10 Responses to “After practice: Nkemdiche as teaching tool”

  1. By Don on Aug 16, 2017 | Reply

    I’m having doubts Nkemdiche can be the contributor we need this year. He has the talent but since OTAs the question has been his mental grasp.

  2. By Scott H on Aug 17, 2017 | Reply

    Good to hear Smoky looked a little better. Now, can he sustain that for more than a day or two??

    Should I bother saying that our TE’s should be more involved in the offense? I – and many others – say it constantly, but nothing ever really changes. We seem to be hearing a lot about how good and Momah and Niklas have been looking…and we know we have a very talented player in Gresham…..and we hear about how the WR’s are struggling…..OK. So, can we get the TE’s more involved?

    Mathieu just seem to be in full-on Honey Badger mode. I swear, NOTHING right now would be more crushing than another injury for him. Please let him stay healthy this year!

    LOVED BA’s use of the words “wide-ass open.” THAT is the kind of HC I want! The Cards organization should start a thing / contest / raffle ( make it for charity, ya know? ) where once a week, a fan wins a chance to have a beer with Bruce Arians after practice.

  3. By D on Aug 17, 2017 | Reply

    The pressure will be on Mr. Keim if Smokey and or JJ Nelson appear not able to contribute much this year. We all saw how far the offense fell off last year without a speed threat in BA’s offense. It’s needed, like oxygen.

    My suggestion of a trade for a speedy WR to ATL just improved due to desperation.

    Taylor Gabriel, ran a 4.4 40. He is a small WR like Smokey with speed. He is the 3rd WR in ATL’s offense with very little chance of getting a new contract from ATL after this year due to big $ allotted to their 2 WR starters. He is in his last year of his deal, $2.7 million this year and is 26yrs old. Keim has the Cap space to take that amount on.

    Deal: 4th Round 2018 draft pick and A. Dobson ($690k), for WR Gabriel.
    ATL has currently only 4.4 mil of cap space, this would give them about 2mil more breathing room. ATL has signed A. Roberts this summer, former Card, so they still have depth behind their starters (Jones/Sanu). Win/Win for both.

  4. By Darren Urban on Aug 17, 2017 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Trade

    The Falcons aren’t taking Dobson. He’s not even healthy. And the Falcons aren’t trading Gabriel, not when they made such a cheap find there.

  5. By jeffrsn on Aug 17, 2017 | Reply

    Have any of the so-called experts realized that Nkemdiche did not make the big stops on 3rd & 4th down in Raiders game? Everyone drooled all over themselves that Nkemdiche made the stops. However, if you look at the films he was not on the tackle. It was Scooby Wright! Made 2 great plays slipping the block. Wolfley, who is seldom right in his analysis (remember he said B. Williams was set for stardom last year)credited Nkemdiche with both stops. Sorry Ron, wrong again. Go back and look at the films. Also, Dansby looked good in his few plays. Holden also graded out very high, especially in pass protection.
    Go big Red!

  6. By shooter28 on Aug 17, 2017 | Reply

    Have any of the so-called experts realized that Nkemdiche did not make the big stops on 3rd & 4th down in Raiders game? Everyone drooled all over themselves that Nkemdiche made the stops. However, if you look at the films he was not on the tackle. It was Scooby Wright! Made 2 great plays slipping the block. Wolfley, who is seldom right in his analysis (remember he said B. Williams was set for stardom last year)credited Nkemdiche with both stops. Sorry Ron, wrong again. Go back and look at the films. Also, Dansby looked good in his few plays. Holden also graded out very high, especially in pass protection.
    Go big Red!
    ___________________________________________________________

    Actually Bud, You’re the moron around here not Wolf or anyone else. Nkimdiche was the one making those plays, he was only helped somewhat one time when Gunter bust thru n Nkimdiche finished it. I rewatched every snap of Nkimdiche’s, clearly you need to. Nkimdiche has been a monster all thru training camp and in two straight pre season games, very disruptive in both the pass and run game. And Holden was absolutely horrible, he didn’t grade out high at all, he was an absolute liability in pass protection getting constant beaten.

  7. By Adam S Larson on Aug 19, 2017 | Reply

    – Darren

    A little off the subject, but do you know if CB Alterraun Verner from TampaBay is still out on the Free Agency market?

  8. By Darren Urban on Aug 19, 2017 | Reply

    Adam —

    RE: Verner

    He signed with Miami.

  9. By Adam S Larson on Aug 19, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks Darren, somehow I missed that. Great pickup for the Doll fins. As of right now who do you think will be the CARDS corners next year other than PP21?

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