There are a few local media guys that I read, but a smaller few who I respect enough to actually copy and paste their comments in full. Omar Kelly is one of those few. Over the last few months, Kelly has become the hardest working man down there it seems. His coverage is some of the best and he is now one of the first I read, if not THE first, in the morning. So with live blogging practices a thing of the past, here is what Kelly from the Sun-Sentinel had to say about this weekends mini-camp.
Omar Kelly – Sun-Sentinel
Bill Parcells was hovering around practice from start to finish. He watched everything, from the punt returners to the wedge busters. After Saturday’s afternoon practice Parcells stood by the exit where players were coming off the field and occasionally said something to get certain players attention.
Jayson Foster was the only player who sought him out and Parcells spent nearly 10 minutes giving the converted quarterback tips on how to field punts.
I’ve discovered Parcells has a way of saying one-liners to players as he passes them that has a way of either punching them in the gut, or pushing their buttons. He certainly keeps people on their toes….
Jake Long is super large, and in charge. He extremely lean, and long, and impressed me with his quick feet. Coach Tony Sparano encouraged him to buddy up to Jason Taylor and Vonnie Holliday with the hopes that those veteran pass rushers will school him a little, in a friendly way. I’m pleased to see that Holliday’s gaining a little respect these days after he was initially forgotten about.
By the way, Sparano says he believes the icy nature of the relationship between Taylor and the Trifecta has been overblown. I believe Sparano’s playing good cop to Parcells bad cop.
Quarterback Chad Henne is extremely loud, has a strong arm that zips the 15-yard out, but he tapered off during the weekend and had a bad practice on Sunday. At one point he had to run a lap around the field after messing up the snap count.
Sparano said it’ll be a true “quarterback competition” when training camp opens, and stressed the Trifecta couldn’t care less who wins the job as long as someone rises to the occasion.
BYU linebacker Kelly Poppinga was there all weekend, but I didn’t notice him once, which isn’t a good thing. The linebackers that did stand out were Titus Brown, who is signed, and Keith Saunders, who isn’t. Saunders spent a portion of last season on the Patriots practice squad and gave the offensive tackles a little trouble rushing from the outside.
Sticking with defense, second round pick Phillip Merling said he wasn’t bothered by his shorts hernia, but I think he’s lying. I know the difference between a cool dude strut and someone bothered by a strained groin. He was sparingly worked into drills all weekend. At one point Merling spent 10 minutes during a position drill on Sunday swinging his right leg back and forth trying to stretch it out. I had a hernia back in 2006 and it’s a B, so he needs to take him time.
Fellow defensive lineman Kendall Langford has a quick first step, and showed some punch at the point of attack, but I’m puzzled why I noticed rookie free agent signee Kory Robertson, a Virginia Tech standout, a bit more than him. Maybe it’s because Langford was typically going against Long. I’ll let it ride for now.