James MacPherson's Monday Notes
For all these quarterbacks there were some passes that were off and many hit the ground but it was Day One and that is expected from Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, Running Backs playing together for the first time. For these guys this was the first time practicing on the field in pads for the first time in weeks as well. So these comments will be made with that in mind.
Derek Carr - In today's drills Carr looked like he was the most accurate and had strongest arm as a passer. He looked pretty good dropping back from under center. He consistently put the ball in nice catchable spots and on time for his receivers on all of the routes. Completed the 12 yard out route and bang post on time. He also looks to be a good leader on the field as well whenever he is in with the entire offensive team. Would like to see him put some more touch on the shorter routes as he threw some bullets to the running backs and tight ends. He tattooed a tight end who spotted up only 5 yards over the ball. Need to see his pocket presence a little more this week which was a question mark this season and in the USC game.
David Fales - Fales showed some good accuracy on timing on all of his throws. He showed good quick feet on his pass drops driving away from center and getting the ball out of quickly. However he doesn't look like he's transferring his weight and using his legs in his throws. He appeared to be struggling with his grip as well and pushing the ball which floated a little bit. It was noticeable on the 12 yard out and Bang posts that were just a little low. He underthrew several deep balls and had a difficult time driving the ball deep. On film, he appeared to be able to drive the ball better. Would like to see if he is able to this that during the week. Having said that, he still showed he can make accurate throws on the intermediate and short routes. He also showed some good leadership skills and being vocal on the when it was his turn in team periods and getting guys lined up.
Jimmy Garappolo - My first time really getting to watch Jimmy and he looked impressive and like he belonged on the field. In terms of arm strength and accuracy, he would be a close second behind Derrek Carr. He threw every route they had him throw and did so accurately. He looked good dropping back from under center as well and throwing on time. He threw the 12 yard out and bang post right out of the receivers break. He seemed to be a little on the quiet side and would like to see him be a little more vocal on the field. When he sits in the pocket, he does have a bad habit of holding the ball in one hand exposing it to rushing defenders. He also pats the ball before he throws it which takes a half second longer to get the ball out.
North Team (missed 1-on-1 period due to transit from South practice)
Tajh Boyd - He appeared to have the best presence as a leader on the field. During pass drops he looked little uncomfortable and getting used to taking a snap and dropping back from under center. I imagine he will get more comfortable as the week progresses. During 7-on-7, he checked down a lot of passes to running backs with chances and open receivers down field. For example, he had a tight end over the middle on a dig versus two deep coverage and also one-on-one coverage outside on go routes. Would like to see his arm strength as well as accuracy on deep throws down field against some better corners and tighter one-on-one coverage. He still showed he has a low release especially for a shorter quarterback, and would like to see him be able to adjust his arm angle higher as well to drop the ball over the top of defenders. He did have an impressive submarine side arm pass around a defensive end to hit a wide receiver outside on a quick screen. Will be able to see some more accuracy tomorrow during routes on air and one-on-one routes.
Stephen Morris - He showed some good smooth feet on his drop. However, he appeared to be throwing off balance at times and not completely transferring his weight into his throws, which was a problem for him this year. This could be from his ankle injury still bothering him from the season. At times he also looked like he was having trouble gripping the football today and looked a little bit like he was pushing the football. As a result a couple of curls and comeback passes sailed high and well out of bounds and he also missed an easy flat route poorly thrown behind the fullback releasing in the flat on a naked boot. However during some live fire in Team, he really displayed a lot of poise in the pocket, hanging in and completing a couple of passes. While he is poised, would also like to see a little more urgency at well at this level especially after some errant throws.
Logan Thomas - When he passes the football and it comes out clean he can smoke it. He throws a pretty ball when he gets it out. However, there are some throws the ball flutters gets away from him and sails high and incomplete. He also looks a little slow and lumbering dropping back and getting away from under center. I'm also not sure he has a good grasp of coverages. During 7-on-7, he threw a nice sail route today on the money in man to man coverage. Then the next snap he came back and missed an easy curl flat read against cover 3 and checked it down too quickly to the tight end over the ball with tight coverage. Accuracy stills seems to be a concern, but will be able to see some more accuracy tomorrow during routes on air and one-on-one routes.