With players in full pads for the first time since last season, the focus was on the running game. The offense and defense took turns winning plays, and Shurmur complimented the effort. Running backs Trent Richardson and Montario Hardesty were noticed most often.
Richardson, the No. 3 pick in the draft, got the first carry in the first 11-on-11 run drill and was thrown to the ground by veteran defensive tackle Brian Schaefering. Later he found a hole and made a good move to get through it. He then took a screen pass and made several defenders miss downfield.
“I get to do what I do best,” Richardson of playing in pads. “I get to bounce off guys, get to try to run guys over, break tackles. When I get in full pads, it’s a whole nother me.”
Hardesty was shoved to the background by the drafting of Richardson. But he was a second-round pick in 2010 before dealing with a series of injuries the last two seasons. He appears healthy.
“That’s as good as I’ve seen Montario look,” Shurmur said.
Hardesty flashed his quickness on multiple runs, including back-to-back plays where he burst through the hole.
Other notes and observations:
Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden acknowledged struggling Friday in the first full-squad practice, but felt he threw better Saturday and today.
He was intercepted by safety Eric Hagg on a seam route intended for receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, but assistant coach Nolan Cromwell blamed the route. Massaquoi drifted to the outside, allowing Hagg space to make a nice play.
** Despite the hiccup, Massaquoi is off to a great start in camp. He’s healthy and has been especially efficient catching balls in traffic.
** Defensive back James Dockery made a nice interception on a jump ball with receiver Travis Benjamin. Colt McCoy threw the pass.
** Defensive tackles Ahtyba Rubin and Phil Taylor, tight end Evan Moore, receiver Carlton Mitchell and fullback Eddie Williams didn’t practice again. Rookie cornerback Trevin Wade returned after missing a day.
** Weeden made a nice throw on a corner route, but tight end Alex Smith dropped it.
** A good-sized crowd watched the second practice open to the public.
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