A couple of quick, lasting impressions from organized team activities.

We didn’t talk much about Nate Stupar or Craig Robertson the last few weeks, but both players flashed at different times. Stupar nearly intercepted Garrett Grayson during the second open practice and had a few nice blitzes. He also flashed a few times on Thursday and broke up a pass. It’s a very small sample, but it looks like the linebacker group is going to be much more athletic this season.

Michael Thomas continues to look good. He had a great red-zone touchdown on a pass in the front corner of the end zone over P.J. Williams. He’s been running with the first team. He’s on the right track.

The defense is going to look a lot different this season. There have been new and interesting wrinkles during each practice. There are a lot of different personnel groupings and alignments being used across the board. It will be interesting to see how things look during minicamp when we get a longer view of things.

The competition deeper down the depth chart is going to be interesting to keep an eye on. R.J. Harris seems to be running pretty close to the front of that pack, but a few other players have flashed at different times.

The interior pass rush is going to be better. How much better remains to be seen, as well as the consistency, but Nick Fairley and Sheldon Rankins are going to bring something that lacked last season.

Grayson looks better than he did last season. There are still some ups and downs. Again, the sample size is limited, but he’s progressing. Will it be enough to knock off Luke McCown? There’s still a lot of ground to cover.

Erik Harris has been a pleasant surprise. The competition at safety is going to be tough to knock off, but he’s caught the eye several times and is getting a good amount of burn with the first-team defense. It’s too soon to know if he’ll make the team but don’t sleep on him.