Although the practice was held in half pads, the running backs got a number of repetitions on Monday afternoon. The best player on the team Carnell Williams has received plenty of attention. Destined to be a first round pick, he has garnered interest from the team that is coaching him this week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"He is a good player," Tampa head coach Jon Gruden said. "He is a Cadillac. They don't call him that because he is not one. He is a flashy back. He is a very talented, charismatic kid. I am not the only guy who likes him, I can promise you that.
The surprise amongst the quarterback ranks was the way Jason Campbell delivered the ball. He was crisp on his passes and seemed to have the early rapport with his bevy of receivers.
One of three quarterbacks on the South squad, Campbell was the only passer who showed proficiency in completing the deep ball, done with a tight spiral. He also took advantage of some of the weaknesses in the secondary. Knowing that the corners would suffer with held over the top from the safeties due to simple knowledge of each other, Campbell threw far more deep balls and took advantage of the lack of safety help.
That earned him praise from the coach:
"Very impressive. Campbell shows a quick, compact stroke for a big guy," Gruden said before stating the company line. "I like all three quarterbacks. I thought they showed promise, they are quick to learn. I thought David Greene did some good things as well."
Gruden was being kind to Greene who was off the mark the entire day. He didn't seem to know when a player would zig rather than zag and was consistently off with his timing. He also didn't throw a very good deep ball.
On another interesting note, Gruden called former Jets' offensive coordinator Paul Hackett "the best quarterback coach in my lifetime."
Wait until the New York Post gets wind of that comment.
Monte Kiffin was very active coaching the defense and had some changes in store. Marcus Spears, a player who spent most of his time at defensive end for LSU, played at linebacker on Monday. Spears wasn't great in pass recognition but seemed agile in defending the run, shooting gaps.
Matt Jones may have been the best player on the field and his versatility is intriguing. He was unbelievable as a receiver although he did get yelled at once for running the wrong route. Considering the one hour session he got the night before, his performance was outstanding.
Travis Daniels has an excellent session. He garnered the only pick of the session and displayed the ability to get deep to help out his cohorts. He also read the receptions well and worked hard to cut off the field that receivers had to run.
Logan Mankins, gaining momentum in recent weeks amongst scouts, suffered through a difficult day Monday. Slow in getting out of his stance and beaten thoroughly a couple of times, the Fresno State product did not display the tenacity that caught the eye of scouts in recent weeks.
Safety prospect James Butler had a hesitation to his game and did not appear confident on the field. Butler, out of Georgia Tech, was slow in providing help over the top and even lackluster in some of pursuit of the ball carrier. It appeared that he was not as focused as he could have been in this ever important start to the week