The NFL preseason gets underway this weekend with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio when the Bills face the Giants. For the other 30 teams in the league, it’s practice as usual. Here is what we have learned in the past few days in training camps around the NFL about your favorite WVUPros.
- The “quarterback battle” that was one of the hot topics during the offseason between Geno Smith and Michael Vick for the New York Jets appears to be a non-starter. The team is in their second week of practices, and at no point has a competition between the Mountaineer and Hokie materialized. On most days, Smith gets about seventy-five percent (or more) of the first-team reps. On Thursday, Smith got ALL of the first-team reps.
In his rookie season, Smith was behind Mark Sanchez on the depth chart for most of the preseason until Sanchez’s injury. Smith says getting the majority of the reps with the starters has helped him develop.
“As many reps as you can get will help out, and I’m a living testament to that,” Smith said. “I can just see the growth in myself and in the guys around me due to that.”
- Charles Sims continues to have a good camp with the Bucs where he is expected to backup Doug Martin.
Charles Sims creating a lot of buzz..Can play on all 3 downs. Slashing, slippery runner inside the tackles & plenty of juice to get outside.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) July 31, 2014
- Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey caught some long passes from Sam Bradford during Thursday night’s practice. Bailey caught a pass 40 yards downfield in stride on what would have likely been a touchdown. Austin caught one long pass with the offense backed up to the 1-yard line and caught another on a deep comeback, where the ball was thrown high, and Austin had to jump to catch it.
- Terence Garvin’s versatility has him practicing at inside and outside linebacker positions for the Steelers as well as on special teams. He played in 15 games last season, starting one. In practices thus far, he has lined up with the second-team defense and has played well.
- Ellis Lankster picked off a Michael Vick pass in Jets’ practice on Thursday.
- Ryan Mundy continues to lead the charge for the Bears as they rebuild at safety. He’s primarily a free-safety, but has lined up at both positions since joining the team during the offseason when he signed a 2-year deal.
“I’m feeling really good,” Mundy said after Thursday’s practice. “We’re a work in progress, coming out here day after day knowing that we won’t be perfect. We are striving toward perfection though and trying to get to where we need to be. That’s what it’s all about.”
- J.T. Thomas is still out at Jaguars practice with a hamstring injury suffered last weekend.