HC Brian Flores was happy to escape the first mandatory workouts without injury. So much so, he gave the team the day off once they completed their conditioning tests, cancelling today’s practice. Smart move for the young coach. End it on a high note, everyone is healthy. If you expected heated battles the last couple of days, that’s not what the mini camp was about. It’s beginning to lay a foundation of how things are done, and a little experimentation as well, but not a whole lot can be gleaned from practices without pads, so we’ll all have to be patient until the end of July when training camp comes around.
I’m looking forward to training camp, there should be some great competition this season. With a new Head Coach, there are no favorites, or as Coach Flores puts it “No sacred cows”. Everyone has a clean slate, so starting positions will be earned, no resting on laurels. We’ll get a much better idea as to where the QB’s are after training camp. I expect Josh Rosen to close the gap some, and then continue to do so through the preseason. The O-line is pretty much wide open with the exception of LT Laremy Tunsil. Should be some good battles between 3rd RD pick Michael Deiter and Chris Reed at LG. Daniel Kilgore will battle it out with Ryan Anderson and Chris Reed can also play C. Right guard looks to be Jesse Davis fighting it out with Shaq Calhoun and Kyle Fuller. Jesse Davis will likely be in the mix at RT as well along with veteran Jordan Mills and Zach Sterup.
On defense, so many things are happening with many players playing multiple positions. Seems like every S with also at a minimum be playing LB as well, and MInkah Fitzpatrick will be playing safety, slot corner, possibly outside corner as well as LB too. Many of the DT’s will also be playing DE in 3-4 alignments (Vincent Taylor, Davon Godchaux and rookie Christian Wilkins). A trio of LB’s return (Alonso, Baker and McMillan) plus returnees Chase Allen, Mike Hull and Quentin Poling. We should see participation from rookie Andrew Van Ginkle as well as Tyrone Holmes, Tre Watson and Sam Egauvoen. Charles Harris will hopefully flourish rushing the passer from both 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB. Newcomers like Tank Carradine, Nate Orchard and Adolphus Washington will be in competition with Jonathan Woodard, Jonathan Ledbetter and Dewayne Hendrix.
I haven’t come to any conclusions from the mini camp, it’s just a starting point. The real work starts when the pads come on and at that point, things will start shaping up from there.