Some notes and observations from the defensive side of the ball during the open potion of Sunday’s practice:
• Injury notes: Nothing too major to report on this side of the ball as the first practice in shoulder pads got underway. Rashaan Gaulden was back on the practice field after spending some time with the injured players on Saturday. Corey Vereen is sporting a fairly large brace on his right knee, but he’s practicing.
• Chris Weatherd and Jalen Reeves-Maybin both looked very smooth in pass coverage during a drill where they were covering tight ends. Weatherd had a nice pass breakup and, overall, those two allowed the least completions.
• With the shoulder pads on for the first time, tackling was emphasized during a few of the periods. Maggitt had one of the best pops of the day in one form tackling drill, drawing several “oohs” and “ahhs” from teammates. The team also circled up for the “Circle of Life” drill where, generally, an offensive and defensive player square off and try to drive the other one out of the circle of teammates. It’s difficult for the media to see since the team is circled up around them, though Todd Kelly Jr. had a good rep against Derrell Scott. Weatherd battled Justin King to what was basically a draw and Jashon Robertson got the best of Dontavius Blair.
• In the category of working on the small details, the defense also worked on the proper form for recovering fumbles. The emphasis was on cradling the ball with the entire body and shielding the other team from getting in there to rip it away.
• Jones was very active on the mic towards a few of the defensive players. He threatened to send Swafford in for the day if he caught him walking one more time and told Gaulden to pick up the pace as well. He also accused Kendal Vickers and Jaylen Miller of “hiding” during the Circle of Life Drill.
Here’s the link to our Offensive Notes and Observations.