1. Fullback Darrel Young tested his strained left hamstring, doing some light running and walking on a treadmill. He said trainers wanted to make sure he could “walk normal.”
“The biggest thing is to make sure I don’t walk with a limp and get caught being like that and the muscle gets used to that,” Young said, “and I pull the muscle again.”
The good news for Young is that the limp was gone Thursday. He also said that this is the first day the hamstring has felt good since he hurt it Monday.
It’s the same hamstring that he injured last year.
“It’s not as bad as last year,” Young said.
2. Coach Mike Shanahan said he still hasn’t heard from defensive end Kentwan Balmer, who had an unexcused absence from practice Wednesday. Balmer cleared out his hotel room. Just know that he has a history of skipping camp. He did so in San Francisco in 2010 and it led to the Niners trading him to Seattle. It’s hard to imagine at this point that he’ll return to camp. We’ll know more Thursday afternoon when Mike Shanahan addresses the media, but my hunch is that Balmer is done here. He hadn’t stood out in training camp and probably would not make the roster.
3. Left tackle Trent Williams has been the most impressive player in training camp, winning the great majority if his one-on-one battles with linebacker Brian Orakpo. No one else has come close to beating Williams in these drills.
“Just a competitor, man,” Williams said. “One on one, mano a mano, all eyes on you and it’s just you and him. You don’t worry about nothing else but that particular snap and rep. I compete and I hate losing.”
Sometimes he punctuates his wins by shoving the player to the ground (not Orakpo; this is reserved for lesser types).
Williams said he does this when, “I feel like I got a point to prove.”
Have said it before, but Williams is in terrific shape.
“I’m trying to be the best,” he said. “Not just better… I want to be dominant.”
4. Defensive end Stephen Bowen likes that the entire front seven returned from last season.
“When you see teams like the Steelers, they keep the same D-line and outside linebackers and inside linebackers for years,” Bowen said. “That’s how you become great. You keep bringing new guys in and it’s hard to have chemistry.”
Bowen’s summer was much better this year than last, when his twin sons were born almost four months premature and one of them died. The surviving son, Stephen III, is doing fine. Bowen wasn’t sure how much his son now weighs, but said “he’s getting big. My wife sent me a video the other day of him crawling up the stairs for the first time.”
5. Talked to corner Josh Wilson for my email report about playing different coverages. Here’s what he had to say about playing press and jamming receivers: “If you do the same thing every time the receiver doesn’t have to think about what’s going to happen. You got a quick jam sometimes. Quick jams are one hands. Jump jams are two hands. In mirror technique you back off. Sometimes you stay sturdy and get y our hands on but it’s not a quick fire. You have to mix it up like the receivers mix up their release.”
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6. OK, will have more in my practice report, but receiver Anthony Armstrong injured his right shoulder in practice and will have an X-ray. Receiver Lance Lewis (groin) will miss one to two weeks with a groin injury. Safety DeJon Gomes will miss one to two days with a sore shoulder. Tackle James Lee sat out with inflammation in his knee.