Fall Practice 2006: Passing Game In Gear Early

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Christian Olsen and the passing game seem to be clicking early.

If my recollection is accurate, the passing game on day two of the past five of six fall training camps have generally not included the description “crisp”. What I recall from the second practice of 2005 was dropped passes, balls consistently thrown behind receivers, or 10 miles over their heads. Now I’m not suggesting Saturday’s practice was Cindy Crawford level perfection, but it was pretty good for a second day effort.

“I think it’s a little bit different this year and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we have a lot of chemistry,” says tight end Tom Santi . “This is the best summer we’ve had in terms of attendance at pass skills, seven-on-sevens, and really getting everybody down in sync, getting everybody’s timing down, learning how [Christian] Olsen throws the ball and how we run our routes.”

Fontel Mines and Deyon Williams started last year’s camp working toward becoming college football receivers. It’s clear this season they are working on perfecting their craft. All three tight ends, Santi, John Phillips , and Jonathan Stupar were effective and the backs had a solid day catching screens and flairs. Catching the option tosses is another story but we’ll save that discussion for another day.

“We worked real hard in the summer on our timing and getting together with the new quarterbacks,” Mines explained. “The running backs came out to seven-on-sevens, the freshman came in when they could come in, and it was a great team effort and everybody’s just devoted to winning.”

There was the requisite number of overthrows and balls thrown behind receivers, but for the most