Good morning! ☕
The pads came on at practice yesterday and the session was open to the media, so we got some interesting notes to go through today.
I’m going to start using the Quick Throw section to go over camp notes as we did last year, and then give some thoughts on each bit. It’s a slightly different format today, so let me know if it works.
It’s important not to overreact too early. We are one padded practice into camp and we are still over a week away from gameday.
Let’s get into it.
There’s only one place to start today. Mekhi Becton. According to multiple reports, he was beaten at least 3 times for would-be sacks. Carl Lawson got him twice, and rookie Will McDonald got him once. Saleh then confirmed he was removed as he’s on a pitch count as he works his way back from multiple years on the sideline.
Thoughts: None of that should come as a surprise and there are three reasons for that.
Becton hasn’t played in two years, he is absolutely going to have some rust, especially when the pads come on.
He needs to trust his knee to plant and slide. It takes time and Saleh referenced this after practice in his press conference.
He’s always struggled against speed. Going back to Louisville. When Lawson first got here, he beat him like a drum. Players who are quick off the snap and who have elite bend will give Becton issues because of his height. It’s no coincidence that the two players who got him are Lawson and McDonald, the two players with the bend off the edge.
I’m not going to panic just yet, but I also don’t think he’s ever going to be an elite pass-protector. I’ve said that numerous times before, as someone said to me after practice yesterday, he’s always been better at moving forward than backward. He has the potential to be an elite run blocker, but a pass protector? I’m not so sure.
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