August 13, 2011 – 7:45 PM
Aside from the return of Antonio Gates, Larry English, Stephen Cooper and others, Saturday’s practice focused on third down defense.
“We have a major emphasis on our third down situations. We’re going to continue with some two-minute and some red zone situations tomorrow, but third down will get a big bulk of our time,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “The last team period was a bulk of first-down run and play-action pass, but the middle of practice we spent a lot of time on third down.
“We’re a very good offensive team on third down. We have a lot of weapons. We can create problems for our defense and I think that will help our defense grow and get better fast.”
General Manager A.J. Smith watches the linebackers during the individual period of Saturday's practice as Larry English participates in his first drills since December.
English was "anxious" to return, but agreed with the team that he wouldn't do so until he could stay on the field and avoid a back-and-forth between practice and rehab.
Stephen Cooper signed a one-year contract in the morning and practiced in full pads Saturday afternoon.
TE Antonio Gates also returned for the first time in more than a week. His repetitions will be limited for the duration of preseason, Turner said.
WR Laurent Robinson had an active day Saturday, as did Malcom Floyd and several other pass-catchers.
CB Shareece Wright, face obscured by a pass, also returned to practice but couldn't quite corral this one.
RB Mike Tolbert makes a cut as SS Bob Sanders gets in position for a stop.
Stay true and keep pounding,
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