RICHMOND, Va. — Day five of training camp brought out the full pads. This was the fifth consecutive day of practice, but the first with full pads. Jay Gruden put his team through a very energetic and spirited practice. Things got a little chippy out there, but everyone seemed fine with that.
“I think this was a good time to do it,” Gruden said. “We have a day off tomorrow, so it was good to see some guys tackle — some guys we haven’t seen tackle ever, and some guys who have trouble tackling, see if their form tackling is up to par. [It was good to see] some guys with the ball in their hands, see how they do with contact because in shorts you just can’t tell. When it’s live tackling, you get a good feel for some of these young guys and that’s what it’s all about.”
Players definitely loved putting on the pads and the energy of the practice.
“I love it, anytime there’s fighting it means that guys are caring,” fullback Darrell Young said. “It’s getting chippy. Five days into training camp, it’s the best.”
Gruden said this most likely will be the last time he will do live tackling in practice this season. They will practice with the Patriots next week and then the preseason games will be when he and the coaching staff will evaluate.
He did say that they might be in full pads again, but no live tackling drills. After five straight days of practice, Gruden is rewarding his players by giving them a day off tomorrow.
“He’s trying his best to keep the guys fresh,” Ryan Clark said of Gruden. “Players win games. As good as coaches can be, if you don’t have guys healthy and fresh, you’re not going to have a very successful football team.”
Clark recognizes that Gruden has been around and is doing the right thing by giving them a day off on Tuesday.
“Coach Gruden has been on teams that have been to the playoffs. He understands how long the season can be. It’s extremely intelligent of him to try and space these days as best as possible. We had three days in full pads, he understands that. So, now he says, ‘OK guys take a day off and come back and hit the ground running on Wednesday.'”
During the 11-on-11 drills today we got a good look at both the offense and the defense in live situations. Alfred Morris looked solid as always, running with the first unit. Second-year guy Chris Thompson, who had some injury issues last year, seems to have found his speed. Gruden made a point to say that when Thompson is healthy, he can help the football team. Undrafted free agent Silas Redd also had a pretty good day. He showed some elusiveness in the open field and drew praise from running backs coach Randy Jordan on a couple of red zone plays.
– Slight hamstring pull for Pierre Garcon — Gruden said he should be fine. – Cornerback Courtney Bridgett will have an MRI on his shoulder.
The team announced it has signed linebacker Everette Brown. He was originally drafted in 2009 by the Carolina Panthers. He has spent time with Chargers, Lions, Eagles and most recently the Dallas Cowboys last year. Gruden said they are going to use him as an outside backer.
He will wear No. 51.
In case you missed it, Clark signed a fan’s arm on Sunday. The fan loved it so much that he decided to get the signature tattooed on his arm.
“It’s not the first time,” Clark said. “It’s cool. I think it’s nuts, but that’s why they call them fanatics. I’ve had someone get my name tattooed on their arm and I’ve had someone get my name tattooed on their head. It’s an honor and privilege that somebody thinks that highly of you.”
Gruden canceled Monday afternoons walk-through and Tuesday is an off-day.