Camaraderie through punt catching

Posted by Darren Urban on May 26, 2010 – 2:41 pm

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.

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Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Camaraderie through punt catching”

  1. By James Wine on May 26, 2010 | Reply

    As long as the catch wasn’t a fluke, it’s all good.

  2. By on May 26, 2010 | Reply

    darren, was Leinarts through off and Breaston made a great play or was it really just great timing and an excellent throw by Leinart? Good to hear ‘dart’ & ‘Leinart pass’ in the same sentence.

  3. By darrenurban on May 26, 2010 | Reply

    Scott —

    Without knowing the playcall, it’s impossible to know. But the play was made.

  4. By BigAl on May 26, 2010 | Reply

    Timing was the one thing I noticed that Leinart excelled at in practice. That timing and anticipation comes from practice, play knowledge, and trust between QB amd WR’s. It takes time to develop that timing, which is why the reason why Leinart will get his deserved shot this entire year.

  5. By Cardsftw on May 26, 2010 | Reply

    Hey darren,

    Can you give us a report solely on how lienart and the other Quarterbacks are looking?

  6. By darrenurban on May 26, 2010 | Reply

    Cardsftw —

    It’ll be short. They look fine, considering it’s just OTAs.

  7. By cardattac on May 26, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah I think its time foe matt to shine. I also saw on the live chat with Kerry today that he said Matt was one player that he is impressed with. Complimenting on his arm strength. So good to hear it. I also like that fact that Ken is happy with the chemistry of our team and how much they want to win. I know every team wants to win obviously but its the teams that have all the players/coaches clicking and on the same page…. like we are…. Who make it. Darren…. In your opinion. What is the feel you get from our time? Can you feel a difference from year to year since Ken came in and Michael B took over that we continue to grow stronger as a whole???

  8. By darrenurban on May 26, 2010 | Reply

    Cardattac —

    Yes, the organization is clearly made large steps since I started covering the team in 2000, and not just because of the stadium.

  9. By AndyStandsUp on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Who were the “real” punt returners in the OTA’s so far, and tell me Breaston wasn’t one of them.

  10. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    There hasn’t been any “real” competition yet.

  11. By Mike Ellingboe on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Obviously, I didn’t see Leinart’s throw but what you’re describing had to be a planned play. I know Breaston is fast, but I’ve never seen a receiver who could alter their route quickly enough to catch up to a “dart” thrown into a seam. Not only does it sound like he threw a perfect pass, it would also appear that he managed to freeze the Safety before he threw it if Ware was just standing there with his arms out.

    Looking forward to getting to watch more of that from Leinart this season.

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