Saturday, April 09, 2005

Tom Schneider Hits the Mark

From the Bear Insider:
By Chris Avery: Apr 8, 2005
In field goal kicking drills today, Tom Schneider's consistency was the story, as kickers drilled a series of kicks from the 22, 27, and 32 yard lines. In kicks we observed, Schneider was 10 of 10, Jordan Kay 5 of 7, with Anthony Binswanger struggling from all three distances
Punter David Lonie tried a few field goals as well, and looked impressive with his long easy leg swing that produces excellent ball velocity and carry distance - without the apparent effort of the other kickers. We observed just three of his kicks from the 22 yard line - all were successful.
Marshawn Lynch had his customary productive day, garnering runs of 10, 8, 18, and 13 yards. On the 18 yarder, he juked defensive personnel at least 5 times with his bobbing, weaving style, filtering through defenders like a knitting needle going through tangled yarn. Marcus O'Keith ran for 6 tough yards straight ahead on one play, then a bit later swung out to the right side for 15+ yards gained mostly with speed rather than Lynch-style elusiveness.
We saw a bit of Joseph Ayoob's much-touted escape dimension today. After a five-step drop, when no receiver was open, Joseph stepped left away from one tackle attempt, then spun in a circle away from another left-side defender to run out to his right. As he moved away from the pocket, he used some shifty moves to elude two defenders and ended with an 8 yard gain on a play that would otherwise have been a loss. Ayoob is quicker than Aaron Rodgers, and will promptly move towards open space when needed. While on the move, he is almost more of a running back playing quarterback than the reverse.
The scales of judgment didn't tip to one side or the other when measuring quarterback performance today. Ayoob threw a beautiful 30 yarder to Robert Jordan down the right sideline that came down just over the outstretched arm of the defender and nestled nicely into Jordan's hands. Perfect touch. Then moments later, an Ayoob pass to the sideline 10 yards down field hit the turf at the receivers feet, and under pressure in a later play, a seven-yard out to the left side hit the field with no one within 10 feet.
In lineman drills today, offensive linemen practiced double-teaming a defender. After each collision, offensive line coach Jim Michalczik and defensive line coach Ken Delgado instructed players on technique. Because these were two-on-one drills, it was hard to find a defender who stood up to or out-maneuvered the charging O-linemen. Notable today among those who handled the blockers well were Mathew Malele and Nu'u Tafisi. In one play, Albert Ma'afala discarded the first O-line blocker to hit him, then continued to charge the second - a strong effort though still a "win" for the offense.
Kick-off drills today emphasized the basics, so basic as to be boring on any level. Defenders designated 1-left, 2-left, etc. across the field to 2-right and 1-right at the far right sideline - practiced running down the field while maintaining their left-to-right position on the field. Which meant running in a straight line down field.
From such small lessons the plan is that a team will emerge.

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