It’s been a nice couple of practices for Terrance Mitchell missing the majority of practices due to his university being on the quarter system. Mitchell has normally been lining up on the right side at corner, but he took some snaps on the left side in the nickel.
In the 7-on-7 period, Jamar Newsome tried to run a crossing route on him out of man coverage and Mitchell played it perfectly. He was able to avoid the pick of Tim Benford, who started his route right at him. Mitchell never lost sight of where Newsome was going and once they both arrived in the middle of the field, Mitchell was in ideal position to knock the ball away. It was the type of play that a rookie corner normally does not make because he gets distracted by the receiver trying to rub him out.
Safety Ahmad Dixon is a very aggressive player in the way he attacks the ball. He is one of those players that would rather be in the pile than standing around watching his teammates. Where Dixon is going to have to improve is when you tackle in this league or play in coverage, the angle you take to the ball is almost more important than making the play itself.
Dixon is doing a nice job of seeing these routes develop like he did during the 7-on-7 period against Devin Street. On the play, Street came out of the left slot inside and stopped right in the middle of the field. Dixon was not fooled on the play, but if he would have taken a more direct angle instead of rounding it off, he might have had a chance on the play. It is a correctable mistake but one that he needs to take care of as he learns how to play coverage in this league.
Even before the draft, I admired the play of Davon Coleman out of Arizona State and the flexibility that he brings to a defensive scheme. The first thing that a linemen is taught is that if you cannot get to the quarterback, find ways to get your hands up quickly.
Coleman has really done a nice job, no matter where he has played, of attacking the blocker and becoming a disruptive player. He’s been playing as the three-technique and working on a rush against Ronald Leary. Coleman was able to get to the outside of Leary quickly, but on the way up the field, he was able to read that Caleb Hanie was in the middle of a three step drop and shot his hands in the air. As the ball left Hanie’s hand, it deflected off Coleman and was knocked off target for Devin Street on the slant.
The ball fluttered toward Terrance Mitchell who was in coverage on Street. The result of the play was a pick-six for the defense as a result of a heads up play by a young defensive linemen trying to win a spot on a 53 man roster.
Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Pro Football Analyst/Professional Scout