Rookie linebacker Aaron Curry was the story today, as he showed the crowd of a few thousand in attendance what we’ve been earlier reporting during offseason workouts – that he is capable of rushing the passer.
With the team in full pads today, Curry twice used a quick rip move to blaze past running back Justin Forsett in blitz pick-up drills today. Yes, I know were talking about Justin Forsett and not Walter Jones. However, Curry’s footwork and speed up the field still was impressive, and he looked just as good going against rookie tight end Cameron Morrah.
Remember, the knock on Curry coming out of the draft was NFL team didn’t know if he could rush the passé because they hadn’t seen him do it while at Wake Forest. However, Curry again reiterated he didn’t get a chance to rush the passer much in college because the team didn’t call for him to do it, instead using his ability in pass coverage to create big plays by intercepting the ball and running them back for scores. Remember, Curry took back three interceptions for touchdowns during his college career.
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“When I’m rushing the passer it’s no-holds barred,” Curry said. “There’s no rules, and I’m relentless when I’m going to get the quarterback, so there’s no telling how it happened.”
Curry said he feels like he’s in good condition. He’s lost 12 pounds since off-season workouts and is down to 247, and said he’d like to play at that weight during the year.
Curry also said he doesn’t know how much he’ll play on Saturday against San Diego, but will be ready when called on.
“That’s what I’m here for – to play,” Curry said. “I want to play. But I also understand if the coaches don’t feel like I’m ready yet, if I’m not up to speed yet, they have a decision themselves to make.”
Again after practice Curry was carrying some of the veterans gear, which he understands is part of the job as a rookie, even though he’s now the highest paid player on the team.
“My thing is to do whatever it takes to gain the respect of the vets,” he said. “Which means you’re practicing hard, playing hard, studying the film, putting the extra time in and carrying the helmets.”
Curry also said after his regular, position group meetings he’s been spending an extra hour and a half with linebackers coach Zerick Rollins by himself going over the playbook
“I’m feeling pretty comfortable,” Curry said. “One thing about playing defense, especially being a linebacker, is you can’t go wrong just playing fast and hitting something.”
Listen to a snippet of the conversation with Curry here.
Things got a little feisty at practice, as receiver Michael Bumpus and cornerback Josh Wilson got into it during team drills as Bumpus was blocking Wilson on a running play, and the two players went to the ground and had to be separated.
Apparenty Wilson hadn’t forgotten about the play, as he later drilled Bumpus during one-on-one pass drills after Bumpus caught a short pass.
Wilson also had a pick in team drills on an overthrown pass by Matt Hasselbeck intended for Deion Branch.
Other plays of note include reserve linebacker Lance Laury stepping up and making a nice hit on a run play up the middle during team drills.
Logan Payne made a nice up-and-out move against Wilson during one-on-one drills, but later dropped a pass over the middle on a crossing route.
The offense again struggled today, with defenders coming unblocked at different times when the defense blitzed.
The offense and defense switched colors today, with the offense wearing white and the defense wearing blue.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh came out of practice about midway through with an ankle issue that doesn’t appear serious.
Courtney Taylor (knee), Will Herring (groin), Marcus Trufant (back), Walter Jones (back), Chris Spencer (ankle) and Grey Ruegamer (elbow) also sat out practice.
Deon Grant (groin) and Lofa Tatupu (fatigue) suited up but did not practice.
That’s all for now.