2015 East-West Shrine Game: Wednesday’s East Team Practice Report
By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell
The third practice for the East team in the East-West Shrine was held in St. Petersburg, Fla. under cloudy skies with temperatures in the 60s. The East team is being coached by former 49ers head coach and Chicago Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary. Singletary had the players practicing full pads.
There has been one wide receiver who has really stood every practice, and that is William & Mary�s Tre� McBride. He continued that with another impressive session on Wednesday. McBride destroyed the cornerbacks in the one-on-ones. He got it started by getting separation on an out route for a nice gain. He burned Florida Atlantic safety Damian Parms on a deep post for a long reception.
This week, none of the defensive backs have been able to run with McBride consistently, as he is quick receiver who uses smooth route-running to get open. McBride (6-0, 205) has enough size as well. Of all the players at the East-West Shrine, McBride has maybe done the most to help himself.
Two defenders have stood out in the secondary for the East squad: Georgia cornerback Damian Swann and Texas State cornerback Craig Mager. Mager does a nice job of running routes and staying with receivers.
Swann has been a gritty and instinctive defender. Swann had a rare interception in the one-on-ones when he had tight coverage and snatched a bobbled ball. He came close to another pass breakup in the team scrimmage, but Michigan State wide receiver Keith Mumphrey was able to catch the deflection. Swann has had a solid week and looks like he has the potential to be a quality backup and special teams contributor in the NFL.
Another cornerback who played well on Wednesday was Tennessee�s Justin Coleman. Coleman provided the blemish on McBride�s week during the team scrimmage. McBride caught a short cross and as he started to run with the ball, Coleman smacked the ball out for a fumble. Coleman did well in the one-on-ones and showed better on Wednesday than he had earlier in the week.
LSU running back Kenny Hilliard has ran well all week. He read some holes well for good gains in the run scrimmage on Wednesday. He also showed well in pass protection, including an impressive win over Georgia linebacker Amarlo Herrera on a blitz. Hilliard could be a day-three steal similar to former teammate Alfred Blue.
Kentucky defensive end Za�Darius Smith had a good practice on Wednesday. He did well in the run play one-on-ones. Smith shed Miami guard Jonathan Feliciano for one victory. In the rematch, Smith stood up Feliciano and bull rushed him behind the line of scrimmage. Smith also did well in the pass rushing one-on-ones and the team scrimmage. He looks like he has solidified a day-three grade.
Louisville offensive tackle Jamon Brown (6-6, 328) has generated interest from teams, but be didn�t have a great showing in the one-on-ones. Brown was beat by Miami defensive end Anthony Chickillo on a bull rush and a rip move to the inside. Brown has size and some athleticism, but he needs to refine his technique, as he reaches too much and has to improve on his ability to bend at the knees.
In the team scrimmage, LSU defensive end Jermauria Rasco made a nice play to recognize a screen and fly down the line to hug running back Terrence McGee right after he caught the ball. That earned shouts of praise from the coaching staff.
Michigan linebacker Jake Ryan had a number of good run fills in Wednesday�s practice. There is no doubt that Ryan can be a solid contributor in defending the ground game, but he�s a developmental project in pass coverage.
Similarly, Georgia linebacker Amarlo Herrera snuffed a run that was a misdirection pitch. Herrera defends the run well, but has to get better in coverage.
WalterFootball.com will have more recaps from the East-West Shrine practices along with a run-down of the post-practice team interviews. Follow @walterfootball for updates.
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