The second day of veteran mini camp was all about defense, defense, defense. Today’s practice was highlighted by defense, the energy and special guests. For the last two days retired player Warren Sapp has been in attendance with the team. Sapp has been more than just a silent observer, he was actively engaged with the defensive lineman. Sapp had nothing but praise for the line, especially Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne, and his message was, “work together and they can create havoc.”
Here are some of my observations from day 2
- All three quarterbacks had some rough patches today. Wentz looked the best of the three but had to make some contested throws. Wentz showed good arm strength and extended some plays in the pocket. But with Leno out (rest), Samuels as well, Wentz wasn’t given a lot of options. Taylor Heinicke was again up and down he had the two interceptions of the day. His deep ball is still a weakness. Sam Howell had some better moments than yesterday but the defense was the better unit. Howell had a few impressive throws.
- The safeties on this team will make all of the difference. Bobby McCain is solid now that he is traditionally the deep free safety in either Cover-1 or 3 looks. McCain looks more aggressive in year 2 in the system. The most important person on the defense may just be Kam Curl. Curl lines up deep, as buffalo nickel, as linebacker, and even covers in the slot. His versatility will be key for the defense to succeed. Derrick Forrest looks bigger and more confident and Percy Butler brings speed and ball hawking ability. Add in Jeremey Reaves and Troy Apke, who is back at safety, that will most likely be the ones on the roster.
- The offensive line has good depth overall. The starting line today was Charles (Leno), Norwell, Schweitzer, Turner, and Cosmi. The offensive line is noticeably bigger and stronger than before. This group has been remade in the Ron Rivera era.
- Players out today: Curtis Samuels (did workouts on side field watched on field work)
- Charles Leno (rest)
- Dax Milne (minor injury)
- Phidarian Mathis (unknown)
Veteran mini camp will conclude tomorrow.