The Gloves Are Off in Oakland, Time for Some Contact SportsAugust 3, 2009
The players that have been going through the motions these last four days will finally get their chance to put the lessons to use.
Monday, Oakland's players will get to put on the pads and take turns using what they learned earlier: how to get an inside cut on the linebacker, how to block out a blitzing player, how to call an audible, how to shift, and how to work as a team.
For some, the last four days have been pointless. After all, camps like the 49ers across the bay are already in a hitting mode. For others, it's a good refresher course to get everyone on the same page.
I, for one, think the learning experience helps these players...you wouldn't drop a fourth grader in with a Calculus class and expect him to know everything, would you?
By having everyone working together, with the same knowledge and mindset it gives Tom Cable a better level to measure the players with. Who catches on faster, does better, will get the better chances to make the team. If a guy can't grasp that jumping offsides is a bad thing, his next stop might be better suited for Kmart.
Two items to watch: Derrick Burgess may be on the way out; however, considering he is still on contract for one more season, Al could simply fine him out for his last year's salary. I don't think anyone will be willing to give two draft picks, rumored to be a third and a fourth, for a disgruntled end who is in decline.
Secondly is Tommy Kelly...for the money, you're paid to play well, not to jump offsides every game. The drawback? Behind him is William Joseph on the depth chart, or Ryan Boschetti...unless either player steps up, Oakland is going to be giving away first downs from Kelly.
(Much thanks to Jerry McDonald, David White and Adam Schefter via Twitter for information on camping habits)