Flacco continues to improve; North return men are impressive
A steady rain didn't mean Thursday's Senior Bowl practices were a wash, as scouts got to see how players handled the wet conditions and also saw valuable special teams action.
Updated: January 24, 2008, 9:44 PM ETBy Scouts Inc.
MOBILE, Ala. -- Thursday is "get out of town" day at the Senior Bowl for most NFL general managers, coaches and scouts -- and for good reason. The practices are shorter, less physical and special teams driven. A steady rain, which began overnight Thursday and isn't forecast to stop until early Friday morning, only adds to the ghost-town feeling in Mobile. To the credit of the coaching staffs, though, they ran productive practices and the players had no choice but to respond.
One advantage to a rainy day of practice is the chance to evaluate the quarterbacks' ability to throw in wet conditions. Of the six signal-callers on hand, Delaware's Joe Flacco and USC's John David Booty were the most efficient. In fact, Flacco has improved every day since his tough start on Monday. After struggling with the center exchange that afternoon, Flacco has shown no problems handling the quarterback-center exchange -- in his defense he did spend the majority of his time at Delaware working out of the shotgun. Flacco is deceptively mobile, throws well on the run and has the strongest arm of the signal-callers in Mobile this week. Don't be surprised if he is one of the stars in Saturday's game or if he comes off the draft board as early as the second round. In injury news, USC TE Fred Davis (ankle), East Carolina RB Chris Johnson (shoulder), West Virginia FB Owen Schmitt (knee), Michigan S Jamar Adams (Achilles) and Michigan OLB Shawn Crable (back) are the latest additions to an unusually long list of players bitten by the injury bug. Schmitt is out for Saturday's game. There's no word yet on the availability of the others, but if there is any chance of re-injury the player will be strongly advised by his representation -- and wisely so -- to sit this one out.
Dan Anderson for ESPN.comJoe Flacco is keeping up with the big boys after a slow start in Mobile.
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MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
The top college seniors gather every January in Mobile, Ala., to prove themselves in front of NFL scouts, coaches and teams at the Senior Bowl. Follow their progress as ESPN.com provides complete coverage of the first major stop on the road to the 2008 NFL draft.
• Low: Smith's tragic past helping shape his future
• McShay: Martz not helping Woodson
• Low: Benedict's long road to Mobile
• Low: Schmitt making noise
• Low: Notes from Mobile
• Low: Brennan looking to rebound
• Low: It's a USC reunion in Mobile
• McShay: Breaking down the USC nine
• McShay: Players to watch this week
• Erik Ainge
• John David Booty
• Colt Brennan
• Joe Flacco
• Chad Henne
• Andre' Woodson
• McShay: Who helped/hurt themselves most • Position-by-position wrapup • Monday practice buzz
• Tuesday practice buzz
• Wednesday practice buzz
• Thursday practice buzz
• Senior Bowl North roster
• Senior Bowl South roster
• Monday's chat wrap
• Tuesday's chat wrap
• Wednesday's chat wrap
• Thursday's chat wrap
• Scouts Inc. breaks down the Senior Bowl crop
Complete 2008 NFL draft coverage