1 What we learned
Things were looking good for the defense during the first two organized team activities open the media. Then, on Thursday, Hau’oli Kikaha wasn’t spotted on the field. It was later learned that the 2015 second-round pick suffered a torn ACL. It was expected Kikaha was going to start at defensive end opposite Cam Jordan. Now, that position is up in the air. If the team wants to improve from being one of the worst defenses in the league, it is going to need to find someone to step up. This position becomes an even bigger spot to keep an eye on now.
2 TRENDING NOW If nothing else, the way the defense operates is going to be different from last season with Dennis Allen now entering his first full season as defensive coordinator. Don’t expect the things to look the same. This group is going to be more multiple, which means it will often look different from series to series, if not snap to snap. There will be different defensive fronts and different combinations in the secondary. Sometimes, four defensive linemen will be down on the line. Sometimes it will be three. Three-safety sets also appear to be coming back.
3 FINAL THOUGHTS One of the players who stood out in all three sessions was second-round pick Michael Thomas. The wide recieiver is a physical player who knows how to use his body to get open in the end zone. That showed up Thursday when he went up and over cornerback P.J. Williams to pull in a touchdown pass. Fellow second-round pick Vonn Bell also looked good. The safety picked off a pass from Garrett Grayson at the goal line during Thursday’s practice. First-round pick Sheldon Rankins was active in the pass rush throughout OTAs.