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Saturday, coach Mike Zimmer praised left tackle Matt Kalil’s work in practice, calling it perhaps the best work he’s seen from Kalil since the coach arrived in 2014. Earlier today, Zimmer expanded on why he thinks Kalil is making satisfactory...

Mike Zimmer seems sold on early results of tweaking Matt Kalil's technique

Saturday, coach Mike Zimmer praised left tackle Matt Kalil’s work in practice, calling it perhaps the best work he’s seen from Kalil since the coach arrived in 2014. Earlier today, Zimmer expanded on why he thinks Kalil is making satisfactory...

Mike Zimmer seems sold on early results of tweaking Matt Kalil's technique

Saturday, coach Mike Zimmer praised left tackle Matt Kalil’s work in practice, calling it perhaps the best work he’s seen from Kalil since the coach arrived in 2014. Earlier today, Zimmer expanded on why he thinks Kalil is making satisfactory progress, at least in the coaching staff’s opinion.

“We’ve changed his techniques some,” Zimmer said. “I don’t want to get too complicated.”

And he didn’t get too complicated. But he did describe in some detail how new offensive line coach Tony Sparano spotted what he considered a significant flaw in Kalil’s pass protection sets.

“[Kalil] was turning [outside] too soon,” Zimmer said. “A lot.”

And now?

“He’s staying square [now], is the best way of saying it,” Zimmer said. “He’s doing a good a better job with that.”

Zimmer described the importance of timing the proper turning of the shoulders. Turning too soon opens up the possibility of getting beat inside, which has been one of Kalil’s weaknesses.

“It’s a lot about timing when when they punch and which hand they punch with first, and a lot of those things,” Zimmer said.

It also helps Kalil that he has to face Everson Griffen’s speed rush every day in practice. Griffen is ahead of Kalil at this point, but it also should be noted that Kalil is still working on new techniques. This is practice, after all.

“It helps going against Everson,” Kalil said after this morning’s walk-through. “Speed kills.”

Zimmer called the Griffen-Kalil battle so far, “A good matchup overall. Those guys get a lot of work in.”

This afternoon, the pads go on for the first time. So the battle is really only beginning.

Other highlights from today’s press conferences from Zimmer and Teddy Bridgewater …

—Zimmer said cornerback Keith Baxter is in the hospital. He wouldn’t elaborate. Baxter hasn’t practiced since Friday.

—Zimmer doesn’t have officials whistle plays dead in practice when it appears the quarterback might have been sacked. Asked if doing so would  help the QBs get used to timing on the deep throws, he said, “I think Teddy understands that part of it. And there have been some times when there have been some quick [five-step drops] and let it go. … The post he threw to Jarius [Wright for a deep-ball completion Saturday], I think he might have avoided that [sack].”

—Bridgewater said knowing he can’t be sacked — or really even touched — in practice doesn’t distort his sense of timing on the deep balls. He said, “It’s all about playing in rhythm. As long as you’re playing in rhythm, what’s going on around you doesn’t even matter. You hit that fifth step, the ball should be out. You hit that seventh stop, the ball should be out. Having that clock in your head factors out the pass rush.”

—Asked how much time it takes to find that rhythm in practice, Bridgewater said, “It doesn’t take time. I feel like as long as you’re playing in rhythm, you can trust what’s happening. Sometimes you want to see things happening. But in this league, when you’re seeing things happening, you’re late. You have to anticipate those throws and trust that your guy is going to be in the right place at the right time.”

—Zimmer on former third-round draft pick Scott Crichton’s move from end to tackle. “I’ve been impressed by him. … That’s kind of what we envisioned when we drafted him, a guy who might be a swing guy and slide inside. That’s his best opportunity to make the team.”

—A good rule of thumb on training camp praise from coaches is to pay more attention to the unsolicited words of praise from coaches. Zimmer had this to say about second-year linebacker Edmond Robinson: “The guy who has been impressive to me is Edmond Robinson. He’s a big guy who can run. He’s physical, he learns, he’s a good kid. I think he keeps improving all the time. I think he’s got a chance to be a good football player. I think he’ll show up a lot in these preseason games.”

—Besides Baxter, the only other player not at this morning’s walk-through was linebacker Jason Whittingham. Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson didn’t participate in the walk-through as he continues to rest an injury suffered on Friday.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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