From Twentyman and O’Hara:
Watchful eye: After stretching and going through a special teams period early in practice, the players split into individual positional work. Waiting for the linebackers at their part of the field was former four-time Pro Bowl linebacker and special assistant to the chairman and president & CEO Chris Spielman, who kept a close eye on the group throughout the individual period. – Tim Twentyman
Two for the D: The defense generally had the upper hand in the seven-on-seven drills at the end of practice. On two straight plays, the defense kept the receiver out of the end zone – first on a catch over the middle, then on a catch on a cut to the left sideline on the next play. – Mike O’Hara
One for Harris: Like Mike said, It was an impressive goal line 7-on-7 period for the defense to end practice. Third-year safety Will Harris picked off quarterback Jared Goff in the back of the end zone on the first rep and returned it 100-plus yards for a defensive score. The first-team defense won their first three reps forcing incomplete passes on all three. The second team forced an incompletion on their first rep. It wasn’t until the fifth rep that the offense was able to find the end zone. – Tim Twentyman
Balling out: The offensive linemen used a big ball on a pass-protection drill. In fact, it was a heavy medicine ball that they held at arm’s length while backpedaling the way they would against a pass rush. It looked exhausting. – Mike O’Hara
Impressive day: One position group I’ll have a pretty close eye on this week is wide receiver. There’s expected to be a lot of competition in that room for playing time and roster spots.
The receiver who impressed me the most Tuesday was second-year pass catcher Quintez Cephus. He was terrific in the 1-on-1 period against the cornerbacks, showing a quick twitch and ability to separate. He made a diving toe-tap catch in the corner of the end zone from quarterback Tim Boyle to end a mid-practice 7-on-7 period. The offense ran through some two-point conversion plays at the end of practice and Cephus made a grab in the end zone in that period as well. Cephus had a really solid day to start minicamp. – Tim Twentyman
Me: Justin Rogers liked what he saw of him too: Last week, after OTAs, I noted how much Victor Boldin was standing out. He still had a good practice, but man, Quintez Cephus was the guy that kept catching my eye all day today. Really strong practice for the second-year receiver.
Coaching point: Every detail, big or small, means something to head coach Dan Campbell. That includes winning reps in practice, which he stressed in his press conference Tuesday.
“Every time you’re put in that situation, you’re trying to win,” he said. “That’s what we’re really trying to inject into these guys. You have to find a way to win on both sides of the ball.” – Mike O’Hara
Practice report: Rookie linebacker Derrick Barnes and cornerback Jerry Jacobs didn’t take part in practice Tuesday. Barnes looks to be working through an undisclosed injury as he was spotted with trainers off to the side. I also didn’t see defensive end Austin Bryant anywhere. – Tim Twentyman