BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – Hue Jackson wanted to set a tone Saturday for the first full practice in pads.
It didn’t take long for the siren to go off for the first live-tackling drill and when it did, the offense ran it 10 times out of the 11 plays.
But Jackson doesn’t want anything read into that.
“There are just some things we were trying to get accomplished in practice today that is all,” Jackson said when asked about the play selection.
The tongue-in-cheek knee-jerk verdict for the day: the run game is as good as advertised while the run defense pretty much looks the same and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will probably peel some paint off the walls when he reviews the tape with his defense.
Isiah Crowell had bursts of 12 and 8 yards, Duke Johnson went for 10, Matthew Dayes went for at least 25 yards on a carry and the new guy – Brandon Wilds, who was added Friday off waivers from the Jets – ran left and blew by the side of the second-team defense occupied by Myles Garrett for a 22-yard touchdown to end the first session of 11-on-11.
Jackson would like to find the third complimentary back behind Crowell and Duke this camp. Dayes, a seventh-round pick, has flashed in the first few days of camp but Wilds really got Jackson’s attention with that TD run.
“I want to find out more about him,” Jackson said, adding he “looked pretty impressive to me running the football.”
Saturday’s Not Alright For Fighting – Jackson was not happy with defensive tackle Danny Shelton who came from the side and escalated a fight that broke out between linemen and sent several players to the ground during the second 11-on-11 live drill of the day.
“He almost got two minutes from me,” Jackson said jokingly, referencing a hockey penalty for fighting. “We will continue to work. Danny is like my son. I have a lot of respect for Danny, but Danny knows that there is a way we are going to do things. He gets it, and we will get all of that stuff corrected.”
Prior to practice Shelton spoke about how much he was looking forward to being able to hit someone during a live tackle practice.
“We have all been waiting for this moment,” Shelton said. “It is going to be really heated. I know it is going to get crazy in there, but everybody is excited to compete.”
Since taking over as head coach Jackson has stressed to his players that he doesn’t approve of fighting during practice even though he realizes that tempers do flare. After the melee Jackson pulled the entire team together to remind them of his policy.
“We just have to take care of each other,” Jackson said. “I know there are going to be some scuffles, but I want them to be the right kind of scuffles. We are teammates. We are a team. As long as we do it the right way, I’m fine with that. Once it goes across the line, it is my job as the leader of all of this to get everybody back and on the right course. We just had a little discussion, a little conversation.”
Just for Kicks – The 90 minute practice ended with kickers Cody Parkey and Zane Gonzalez alternating kicking field goals. Both kickers went 3-of-5 with a stiff wind blowing across the field.
Parkey made from 34, 40 and 55 but missed left from 45 and off the upright from 50. Gonzalez hit from 34, 40 and 50 while missing from 45 – wide left – and then a bank shot off the post from 55.
“Just get the ball in the upright. Too many times it is going on the other side,” Jackson said. “That kind of puts a little damper on everything. I know those guys are working hard, but we do have to play the elements. We play in the elements. We are going to deal with that wind and all of that down at our stadium, and that is what I said to them. We have some work to do there.”
Play of the Day – Quarterback DeShone Kizer made a few nice throws Saturday into tight windows but gut burned on a tip and pick early.
Kizer looked for receiver Rannell Hall on the near sideline but cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun broke up the pass that could’ve been caught. Hall’s helmet went flying along with the ball, which was then intercepted by undrafted rookie Kai Nacua.
Kizer later threaded the needle on a comeback to Hall and found veteran Kenny Britt over the middle for a nice gain.
Injury Report – Safety Ed Reynolds injured his left knee on the final play of the first live 11-on-11 drill but was able to walk off with trainers. Offensive lineman Chris Barker was carted off later in practice after suffering a left ankle injury. Both players are being evaluated according to the team.
Up Next – Practice Sunday (full pads) 3:25-5:55 p.m.