Head coach Brandon Staley said his goal was to make clear the parameters of the session while ensuring a smooth operation. He liked the pace at which his players executed.
"I felt like that was a highlight for me in practice — not just the way we competed, but how we competed; fierce but fair, and making sure that we respect each other as competitors," Staley said.
"Being brand new, I don't want to take anything for granted. We wanted to make sure that we defined it well for our players so that they could go out and play well. I was excited about how we practiced today."
Veteran tight end Jared Cook is in the midst of his 13th NFL training camp. He said this practice went well, but also acknowledged areas where he and the offense as a whole can improve.
"It was good to throw on the shells and be able to thud-up a little bit," Cook said.
Cook was complementary of quarterback Justin Herbert, including the way he's picking up a new offense and his ability to push the ball down the field.
"He's just good at identifying stuff," Cook added. "I think [C] Corey Linsley has been a huge help to him, just kind of helping him with MIKE points and identifying defenses. He's done a great job of catching on and moving forward."
When asked if he thought the defense was ahead of the offense so far, Staley said if you were to put together a cut-up of plays from camp, you could probably make the case either way. What's important to Staley is physicality. Both sides of the ball delivered that on Monday.
"We want to be a line-of-scrimmage team," Staley said. "To stand the test of time in the NFL, you have to have a physical component to your football team. That's about the essence of football; blocking, tackling and takeaways, on both sides of the ball. I think we kind of kicked that off...That's what we expect."
Odds and Ends
- Wide receiver Tyron Johnson was held out of Monday's practice with a foot/ankle injury, but Staley said it was "nothing long-term to be worried about."
- Staley had high praise for rookie offensive tackle Rashawn Slater: "From a mental standpoint, this guy is about as sharp as you could hope for on the offensive line," Staley said. "Mature beyond his years. Physically, you see the movement, you see the strength. Now, he has to translate his game to blocking [OLB] Joey Bosa and understand that there's a big game within a game in blocking different players and understanding how to use your skillsets against somebody else."
- Veteran defensive tackle Linval Joseph said Staley is one of the best coaches he's had in 12 years: "I feel like it's more than just football with him," Joseph said. "He's a family man. He loves football. He wants the best for his players and he just wants you to be an overall good person."
- Joseph said defensive tackle Jerry Tillery "has taken it to another level" and "is doing the things that you have to do to be a great" entering his third NFL season. "He's asking more questions," Joseph said. "I think he's hungry. I think he's ready to take that next step to be an elite rusher."
- Seventh-round pick Mark Webb continues to impress in the secondary. Webb has made plays throughout the early part of camp, including an interception on Monday. "I think he has flashed that he belongs on the NFL field," Staley said. "If you just look at him, he looks like he belongs on the NFL field. We're trying to train him at three different positions. He's handled it mentally. We're putting a lot on him because we expect a lot from him. It's not easy, but he's shown the aptitude to handle it athletically and mentally. He's at the beginning, but he's shown some resilience here. We expect him to continue to improve."
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