A few nuggets from another day of offseason practices:
-- We saw our first scrap of OTAs -- Jeremy Maclin vs. Jason Babin. The two engaged in some vigorous pushing and shoving, drawing in a crowd of teammates after a pass play, though it didn't appear that any punches were thrown. Riley Cooper, Mike Vick and several D-linemen were in the mix (Vick appeared to be trying to break up the scrum).
Maclin had made a catch in front of Nnamdi Asomugha on the play, and absorbed more solid contact from Asomugha than normally goes in these no-pads practices (the hit looked accidental). Babin then chased after Maclin at the end of a play (as the D line is coached to do) and there was contact as the play ended and Maclin slowed down and turned around. Maclin responded with a shove and some angry words and had to be pulled away.
“It’s one of those things where (you) play hard, go hard, sometimes a little bumps and bruises. The good thing about us is, it’s done, it’s over, it’s out here. That’s it,” Babin said. "We’re coached to turn, run and try to strip the ball out. I think honestly his aggressions were more toward the DB. I think he was upset that the DB might have, whatcha call it, pass interference. I don’t think he was mad at me. I think it was more so the DB. It’s football, you know. I’m glad to see him aggressive.”
(For anyone wondering how Babin caught up to Maclin, there's no tackling at OTAs so plays are just whistled dead a few strides after a receiver makes a catch and the defense closes in. The D line is taught to follow and typically tries to slap the ball loose; the offense doesn't always appreciate it when it comes awhile after the whistle).
-- DeSean Jackson had the play of the day, blowing past Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nate Allen and reaching low to grab a pretty bomb from Vick. Even Kurt Coleman gave Jackson props after the catch. Vick and Duce Staley exhanged an enthusiastic low hand slap.
-- Jackson will not be at the voluntary practices next week due to a family matter he has to attend to, the team said Friday.
-- Riley Cooper, who we wrote about today, got plenty of reps in practice today. He had a nice catch in front of a closing Jaiquawn Jarrett, snatching a pass that was a bit high and behind him. With Jackson out he might have even more opportunities next week.
-- DRC continues to look great in coverage -- as he did last summer. No pads or tackling here, just speed and athleticism, right up his alley.
-- Darryl Tapp and Asomugha combined for a slick interception. Tapp, fighting younger linemen for a roster spot, dropped into coverage and tipped a Vick pass into the air. Asomugha dove in for the pick, making a sweet catch just before the ball hit the ground. "Nnamdi! Nnamdi!" teammates chanted.
-- Still no reps in 7 on 7 or 11 on 11 for QB Trent Edwards.
-- WR Ron Johnson, a USC alum who was on the practice squad most of last year, has impressed early but missed a couple tough but makeable catches today.