Some observations from the film room in Oxnard:
- I have become a big fan of the work of Jerome Henderson and how his coaching style works with these defensive backs. With his style, as a player you never have to guess where you stand from play-to-play. In the one-on-one drills with the receivers on Wednesday, Henderson's group was short handed on the day playing without Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne but that didn't stop Henderson in the way he approached the drill.
With the completion of every route, you could hear him yelling instructions to his corners about their technique. How they can't allow the receiver inside, or how they have to take away the air or to get their hand in there when the ball is in the air. As a scout, watching him coach, you get a real understanding of what he is looking for technique wise from his players. It gives you a mental picture of the type of player that you need to try and bring in for him to coach which totally takes any gray area out of how you need to scout.
- Despite James Hanna returning to the practice field this week and taking some reps away from Gavin Escobar, when given the opportunity, Escobar still has shown the ability to make plays. During the team period on Wednesday, Escobar had a really nice release up the field working behind the linebacker and in front of the safety to secure a ball from Kyle Orton out of the shadow of their own goal post.
Escobar is not as quick as Witten or Hanna but what he does is present a large target down the field for these quarterbacks to throw to but more importantly, he has shown the ability to catch in traffic and secure the ball. Where he has to improve is getting off the line in the red zone when they put him into the game. Things happen so quickly down there, that you have to be on the move, right now. Escobar has one of the best teachers in the game when it comes to running these types of routes in Jason Witten so that will give him a good chance for development. [embedded_ad]
- I know there has been plenty mentioned the last few days about the guard position but my focus and questions really center about what they are going to do at backup tackle. Doug Free has taken this job away from Jermey Parnell, who hasn't practiced since we were back in Dallas.
We all believed there was going to be a battle there for that right tackle spot but it's clear that will not happen. As you look at the current options, Darrion Weems and Edawn Coughman have been the players seeing the most reps since Parnell has been out. In my observations, Weems has been improving but not enough to make you feel confident in him right now.
Coughman has athletic ability and filling in at tackle and guard has been nice for him but he needs time on the practice squad much like Ronald Leary did last year. The question is if Parnell can be that swing guy that we saw play last season or is injuries going to keep him from being that type of player.
If I am Will McClay and this pro scouting staff, I am trying to follow teams that have player or two that has some experience but is young enough to develop down the road that I might be able to flip a pick for much like they did with Ryan Cook last season. There is no doubt they McClay will play the waiver wire, and he is a really smart personnel man, so he will be aggressive here but I promise you that as we all focus on these guards, he has a bigger picture in mind.