Action Everywhere … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

From Mobile, Alabama

Over 100 players to watch on the field, over 800 faces to scan on the sidelines and in the stands – who is that talking with Romeo Crennel up in the bleachers? – Tuesday is always one of the best days at the Senior Bowl.

There was action everywhere at this annual winter convention for NFL movers and shakers, along with the GMs, coaches and personnel types. Twice the crowd gathered at Ladd-Peebles Stadium as the north and south squads practiced in full pads.

Some watched the players intently as the level of competition picked up between the college seniors. Others sat and passed about information off the NFL grapevine on who was going to become the Chicago Bears new GM, who had a shot at th e GM’s job in St. Louis. There are still three head coaching jobs open and that’s brought the assistant coaching world to a halt. Other coaches like Crennel are still trying to fill out their staffs.

Al Saunders and Kevin Ross were on site in their silver and black gear from the Raiders. Oakland has a new GM, but not a head coach. There are several weeks to go on their contracts so Saunders and Ross are in Mobile, looking at players and waiting. “You just keep showing up for work until they tell you not too,” said Saunders.

The work on the field was pretty intense. Here’s what we saw.

North Squad Practice/A.M.

The Minnesota Vikings coaches are running things with the north squad and they got the pads cracking Tuesday morning with a pass protection drill with pass rushing outside linebackers going up against running backs trying to block. The RB is at an extreme disadvantage in this drill, since the OLBs get a running start and that momentum is hard to slow down.

Nebraska LB David Lavonte was hard for the running backs to stop, as he overwhelmed RB Isaiah Pead out of Cincinnati several times. Washington RB Chris Polk struggled because of bad technique; he kept reaching out for the pass rusher and getting himself off-balance.

The No. 1 offensive line for the North squad appears to be Ohio State’s Mike Adams at LT, Penn State’s Johnnie Troutman at LG, Mike Brewster of Ohio State at center, Wisconsin’s Kevin Zeitler at RG and Mitchell Schwartz of California at RT. Zeitler also did a lot of work at center.

In one-on-one pass coverage, Arizona State’s Gerell Robinson made a nice catch on the sideline, keeping both feet in with good coverage. Ohio State WR Devier Posey was up and down in the session, dropping a throw from QB Kirk Cousins, then coming back and beating Iowa State CB Leonard Johnson on a comeback route.

There was a length pass protection-pass rush session and the head-to-head battle that was most entertaining was Michigan DT Mike Martin going against Ohio State C/G Mike Brewster. The whistle meant nothing with these two guys just pounding on each other. Martin came through with a slim edge over Brewster, who showed some very good technique, especially in his hand placement in slowing down pass rushers.

Boise State DB George Iloka picked off a Cousins’ pass that was poorly thrown … working as returners for the North team were North Carolina State WR T.J. Graham, Cincinnati RB Isaiah Pead and Cal Poly DB Asa Jackson … Michigan State TE Brian Linthicum was only an observer due to an injury.


There were a lot of current and former Chiefs assistant coaches in the crowd at the South team workout, including Jim Zorn, Tim Krumrie, Greg Robinson, Howard Mudd, Al Saunders, Kevin Ross, Jonathan Hayes, Emmitt Thomas, Otis Smith, Russ Ball, Gunther Cunningham, Bill Muir.

Plus there were a few former Chiefs players attending in various roles, like Glenn Parker, Willie Davis and Theotis Brown.

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