“Toyota! Toyota!” Wentz shouted.
“Silver! Silver!” Midfielder Cole Holcombe saved.
In the second play, wide receiver Terry McLaurin dropped a tricky grab near the left sideline. The next play, Wentz got him back short for a few yards.
“Even! Gizmo!” Wentz shouted.
After nice gains for rookie tight end Cole Turner, Wentz knocked rookie wide receiver Jahan Dotson down the left sideline and then threw his feet onto a crossing path. Over the course of four days, Wentz’s regular throws included impressive hits and inexplicable notifications.
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She was now in third and tenth place. Wentz directed a defensive save to Darron Payne on an offside, but the play continued, and when Wentz slipped back to the tight end for five yards, first attacking assistant Jim Hostler shouted, “That was the first! It was the third and the fifth!” The defense disagreed vocally.
In fourth, Wentz slipped back into Reyes, who managed to make enough for the first time. In practice, Wentz often caught the ball for several seconds, and in a regular season game it seems unlikely that he would have gotten his readings to Reyes. Overall, Wentz looked his best when making quick decisions.
Twice then, by three seconds on the clock, Wentz threw a 20-yard point to Dotson over middle—and the rookie rose to catch him in the end zone. The crime ended in a one-day fall.
After a press conference announcing his retirement, defensive end Ryan Kerrigan watched training. Players, coaches and staff often came close to congratulate him on his 11-year career, and at the post-training gathering, coach Ron Rivera honored the all-time franchise captain (95.5).
Not many players participated in Saturday’s training. Rivera described it as a day off for veteran defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, defensive end Montez Swett, left goalkeeper Andrew Norwell and tackled left by Charles Leno Jr.
Running back Antonio Gibson (hamstring) made his first solo training but stayed out of group training. The same goes for the center Chase Rollier (Sliver), which was activated from the list of the physically unable on Thursday.
Curtis Samuel’s wide receiver was restricted again out of “extreme caution,” Rivera said. Right goalkeeper Trae Turner was not involved. Swinging handling Cornelius Lucas also sat down. It is still on the list of non-football related diseases.
Among the players who have worked on the side court are John Bates, Salama Jeremy Reeves, corner backs DeJoanne Neal and defensive back Troy Epke. Bates wore and weeped sleeves at the bottom of their left legs.
Already lacking in the offensive lines
With so many attacking airline men out, the leaders’ first two lines looked completely different. The first team unit, left to right, was Sadiq Charles, Nolan Loeffenberg, Keith Ismail, Wes Schweizer and Sam Cosme. The second unit included two players – left tackle Alex Akengbolu and right tackle Rashod Hill – whom the team signed in the morning.
The team released Beau Benzschawel, a veteran of the coaching staff, to make way. Hill, a six-year-old veteran who has mostly played with the Minnesota Vikings, and Akingbulu, an undeveloped free agent from Fresno State, seem likely to be temporary.
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In the coming days, among the unit’s most pressing questions – other than health – will be who the right guard is and what Rollier looks like on his return. After he fractured his fibula in October, doctors performed extensive surgery, placing plates in the bone and reattaching the ligaments.
“There are new hardware in my ankle that I will never fully feel again, so I have to adjust it,” said Rollier.
Fourth fight back
With the top three linebackers boosting – Gibson, Makisic and Brian Robinson Jr. – three players are vying for a potential fourth spot on the roster: Jonathan Williams, Reggie Bonaphon and Garrett Patterson.
Whether a team maintains four consecutive defenses depends on a variety of factors, the most important of which are special teams.
Special teams coordinator Nate Kazor “carries a lot of weight when he brings the key players together, and if he’s a starting player, that can be a factor in that,” quarterback coach Randy Jordan said of keeping four players. (The team retained four in 2020 and three in 2021.)
You might prefer Patterson’s teams. Last year, when he was third in a row on the depth chart, he took 71 shots with special teams. But what if the player who could be the greatest asset of the specials isn’t the one with the most running back potential?
On Saturday, Williams entered the two-minute training session with the first team because Jordan wanted to know his reaction. Delighted with the result, Jordan praised Williams’ clean road and fast grip.