We're well into the throes of training camp and everyone's ready for some real action. Mario Williams got upset on Tuesday and became ferocious. The temperature and intensity are heating up for the whole squad. You see face mask here, a harder-than-expected hit there. It's all part of practicing in the steam of the Houston summer.
The defense continues to shine (and should be ahead of the offense this time of year). Fred Bennett is starting to make some plays and just might be a factor this season. Jamar Fletcher has more than made his presence felt. The cornerback group is a bit better than you may have thought. We knew that linebacker was the deepest position group coming into camp and it's confirmed when you see the play of Danny Clark, Shawn Barber and Charlie Anderson.
Matt Schaub is still progressing and Sage Rosenfels is really starting to sparkle. Bradlee Van Pelt has no practice squad eligibility, so he's facing an uphill battle. But he better be ready if one of the top two go down.
Sunday was a blast as rain forced the public practice inside, but Gary Kubiak let a ton of people into the bubble at the Methodist Training Center. Don't expect that to happen too often. It was four deep in some spots on the sideline.
I get calls from every market in the league to be on radio shows and give my take on this team. I tell them about the increased speed at practice, the more competitive culture. It's too early to see how much better the offense will be or how improved the pass rush will be. But the team should be better than last year. There is much more depth than ever before. What it all translates into record-wise remains to be seen.
On Amobi Okoye: He had some issues dealing with the heat when the rain and cloud cover finally gave way to some true Texas heat and humidity. But overall he looks pretty good. Brian Sexton, the voice of the Jags, was telling me how Marcus Stroud looked a bit lost his rookie year. DTs can be that way. We may have to be patient. Sexton reports that Jacksonville is still going to be nasty on defense and run the heck out of the ball. The big question is whether they can really throw it when they need to.
I had the voice of the Titans, Mike Keith, on the show and he raved about Vince Young's receivers (Cougar Biren Ealy among them). He said Eric Moulds looks slower, but can still catch. Keith thinks folks around the league are too tough on the WR situation in Nashville and that the Titans will surprise some people. As far as the backfield, they are holding their breath on Chris Brown staying healthy and think Lendale White may be ready for prime time. If White can stay away from the buffet table, the loss of Travis Henry might be tolerable.
Can we start Sunday?
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