One-on-One At Senior Bowl … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs

From Mobile, Alabama

Here’s one of the great things about Senior Bowl week – with NFL coaching staffs handling the coaching duties for each of the squads, they tend to gear their practices towards drills and actions that personnel types want to see.

Even media types.

“Coach, tomorrow in practice could you give us as many one-on-ones between DE Quinton Coples and LT Cordy Glenn as you can? We’d like to see more of that,” was the request from a member of the media to South head coach Mike Shanahan.

Shanahan smiled and quickly answered “That’s one thing I can make happen. We’ll get that done.”

Shanahan was true to his word Wednesday afternoon as his South squad got its last heavy work day completed in preparation for Saturday afternoon’s Senior Bowl. There was an extended pass protection/pass rush session and by the time it was over highly-touted talents Coples from North Carolina and Glenn from Georgia had five snaps going head-to-head.

It was hard to pick out a winner of the one-on-one game. At least once, Coples was able to go wide and beat Glenn to the quarterback thanks to his quickness. At least once, Glenn was able to stop Coples in his tracks, clutching him in the chest area and leaving him flailing in an attempt to get away.

The other three snaps were probably best graded as draws, as both players did something good and something bad.

One thing for sure, all the fans inside Ladd-Peebles Stadium were watching and reacted to each one of the head-to-head battles.

“That was fun,” said Coples, who is having a very good week and is helping his stock in the NFL Draft. “He’s a talented player. He’s so big (6-5½, 346 pounds) it’s tough to move him.”

The Coples-Glenn battle was one of several entertaining one-on-one battles in various drills. After three practices, these players are tired of seeing each other and banging heads every afternoon. But that’s what the GM, coaches and scouts want to see.

Wednesday morning, former Chiefs head coach-now Detroit defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham watched intently as the linebackers and running backs went head-to-head in pass coverage drills. These were inside backers and a few of the outside backers trying to handle fast little running backs and a few fullback types while running backwards and trying to turn their body.

“These players aren’t used to doing that and fundamentally they are a disaster,” Cunningham said. “But a drill like that gives you an idea of what they might be able to do with some coaching.”

Probably the most physical battles go on not between the linemen, but when wide receivers and tight ends go against the defensive backs. That’s especially true on the South squad where CB Janoris Jenkins is hanging all over receivers, expect for those times when he is trying to knock them down. It’s not the type of coverage and work that can happen during an NFL game; there would be multiple flags on every play. But it shows whether the defensive backs are willing to get physical, and how the receivers handle it.

Jenkins is willing to get physical. He played his first three college seasons at Florida before he was kicked out of school for multiple problems and landed at North Alabama for his final season.

“I’m trying to prove myself on every play,” Jenkins said. “There are doubters and haters out there and I have to overcome them. I don’t want anybody catching anything on me.”

Only once on Wednesday afternoon was Jenkins beaten in the one-on-one drill, that receiver was Texas A&M’s Jeff Fuller. Throughout the first three days of practices, Jenkins has spent a lot of time beating up on Fuller. What’s impressive about that is Jenkins gives up six inches and 25 pounds to Fuller.

Louisiana-Lafayette CB Bill Bentley also had a good afternoon, handling Florida RB Chris Rainey and Houston WR Patrick Edwards.

SENIOR BOWL NOTES – Injuries problems continue to plague this year’s game as more roster moves were forced on Wednesday. Gone are South RB Chad Diehl from Clemson and North OL Joe Looney of Wake Forest. Added are G Rishaw Johnson to the North team out of California Pa. and the South got RB Alfred Morris of Florida Atlantic … bad weather is expected to affect Thursday’s practice sessions, which may have to be indoors to the Mobile Convention Center. The National Weather Service forecast has 100 percent chance of rain in the morning and early afternoon, with a 75 percent chance of severe thunderstorms. Luckily, the weather forecast for Saturday is sunny with temperatures in the mid-60s.


2 Responses to “One-on-One At Senior Bowl … Thursday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 26, 2012  - Chuck says:

    I never let myself get to excited about these players and these events because I have learned from “past drafts” that the Chiefs selections will fool the masses about 85% of the time. Does Tyson Jackson come to mind????


  • January 26, 2012  - Johnfromwichita says:

    Chiefs have had some really disapointing choices, like Tod Blackledge and , gasp, a linebacker named Percy Snow. They looked really good in college but were humgonus flops. All teams have had problems like this. I’ve learned to temper my expections of draft picks for two or three years. I really wished they would consider more free agents. You know what you’re getting (most of the time) and no learning curve. Problem, for management, is good ones cost.




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