I made special interest in observing the O line and our top two picks. I have to say that the practice went very well and DeCasto and Adams were very impressive. These two performed way above average on the day and had excellent feet, lateral movement, great drive, and held their blocks to the end of the play.
On the 3 on 3 blocking drills, sometimes 4 on three. This is where you have 3 offensive and 3 or 4 defense and the coach is behind the offensive line directing the defense on the scheme or stunt they will run on the offensive linemen. Of course, the Offensive lineman have no idea where the d is going.
had excellent feet and was able to move to the second level (linebacker area) and pick up his block and drive with very good balance. On the" combo blocks" he engaged and helped the guard at the line of scrimmage and then immediately was able to shed to move to the second level. Also on the "combo blocks" he quickly shedded the combo and was able to pick up a blitzing linebacker to the outside or inside. On the outside LB rush he didnt loose his balance at all. This is surprising for how massive he is. When he was engaged on his one on one blocks, I didnt see him loose containment at all. He was able to read block very well and use his angles with great balance. This was very impressive.
When they went to some "live" action:
They were using Carter alot on his side and Carter was trying alot of different moves, outside to inside moves, outside bull rush, outside speed rush, etc and Adams didnt get beat at all. I have to say they rotated some guys around on LT and most of the other guys struggled with these moves. Carter made Essex look silly on a couple of these moves, especially the outside to inside move. Basically this moves gets the LT moving his fastest for the speed rush moving most of his weight to his left foot while suffling wide trying to keep the LB to the outside, and then the LB uses his left hand to shove the LT and continue this shift on his left foot while the LB moves to the inside causing a severe balance problem for the LT. Adams did excellent on this drill and he didnt loose balance at all.
They also did some screen drills inside the red zone and they altered to each side and to the middle. The only mistake I saw Adams make that really stood out was a missed block on a standing dummy where he ran completely by it. Kugler immediately was on this and made adams run back to the line of srimmage and then run back downfield to block the dummy (LB) and sprint back to the line.
One certain play required Adams to make a hook block to contain the edge for a sweep play. He did this on Keisel and basically manhandled him and drove him inside. Which, in turn tied up the rest of the DL for pursuit to the outside and the RB had the entire outside on the run with the reciever blocking the corner.
On the 3 on 3 blocking drills, sometimes 4 on three. This is where you have 3 offensive and 3 or 4 defense and the coach is behind the offensive line directing the defense on the scheme or stunt they will run on the offensive linemen. Of course the Offensive lineman have no idea where the d is going.
Decastro is excellent at "read blocks" this is where he basically reads the direction of the defender and assists him in that direction. But DeCastro REALLY assists him with DRIVE, DRIVE, DRIVE. He is excellent in "combo blocking" and then shedding to block one on one. When he latches on he latches on, and continues the drive until the play is done. He is very agile and moves well in his trap blocks in these drills. Recognizes blitzes quickly and able to shed his combo block quickly to pick up the stunt or blitz. Excellent at getting to the next level (linebacker area) to pick up his block in this area. Again, when engaging in a block whether its the line of scrimmage or moving at a decent speed in the second level he engages with good balance and drives the defender, and he also turns his back to allow the RB to read the block.
Some screen plays / drills that were run he was able to do these with ease at times, where you saw other linemen struggle, especially with blocking downfield. One particular play, screen to the outside, Decastro engaged initally with the combo block on the line of scrimmage, shed the block to run 15 yards to the the outside and pick up a CB to drive him to the side lines. The CB couldnt dodge him or get him to move so he was off balance, etc. This caused the RB to basically walk into the endzone. Excellent play.
Have to say folks that we should be excited about this offensive line this year.
Starks and Colon were on the other field doing some basic conditioning and exercises.
Haley has alot of interaction with the offense and the all of the players including the receivers and how they were running routes and reading the DB’s. Have to say with alot of the other camps that I attended in previous years I didnt see BA doing this much at all. The main person BA communicated with was Ben. Haley is in constant communication with all of the players, not just Ben. From what we saw, Haley was VERY enthusiastic and encouraging to the players. We were able to get his autograph and we told him it was great to have him on board and be in Pittsburgh. He told us that is was great to be back and is looking forward to helping the team and cant wait for the season.
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