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Practice Report: Notes & observations from OTA No. 2

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Here’s what caught my eye from the practice field at OTA No. 2:

* During the individual practice period I made a beeline over to the outside linebackers group, where new coach Charlie Bullen was putting his players through drills. There was a big focus on hand placement and winning with the correct inside/outside arm, depending on alignment. The drills stressed the importance of the edge players getting their hands inside, which allows them to control the chest of the offensive lineman and win the leverage battle.

* Kayvon Thibodeaux and Brian Burns were working with each other in these drills, and it is amazing seeing how similar their body types are when they stand next to each other. Thibodeaux is a little thicker in the upper body, which is probably why he is listed at 258, while Burns is at 250.

* I then made my way over to the offensive linemen, who were working together on combo blocks in the run game. The drills featured two players, either a center and guard or guard and tackle, working together to block two defenders. One defender was on the first level with the second playing a linebacker/second-level role. The defenders would present different movements, which forced the offensive linemen to work together in different ways to get both players blocked. It trained the mental part of the game for the offensive linemen to know how to pass off one player to each other, and the physical chemistry necessary to execute it on the field.

* Later in practice, Devin Singletary joined the offensive line group and they worked together on how to pick up different blitzes. There’s a lot of teaching going on from both the mental and physical parts of the position with the offensive line group right now.

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