Costa in the slot

Practice is getting to the point that it is starting to be a bit routine. The players and coaches are starting to get into a groove, but there is always something new to see. While still donning the red No. 7 jersey, reserve quarterback Nic Costa got some reps in the slot.

For months, it's been speculated that Nic Costa's sheer athleticism would get him a place on the field, and while his occasional stints in the slot position aren't a definitive indication of his future role, it allowed for some versatility in offensive sets.

During the course of the evening practice, Costa lined in the slot four times. He was often utilized in decoy roles, and on one occasion the defense bought a fake handoff to him that Mike Bell utilized for a nice gain up the middle.

In 7-on-7 drills, Costa caught a four-yard reception from quarterback Kris Heavner.

Heavner still delivered most of the passes, garnering perhaps 60 percent of the reps while Ryan O'Hara stood behind center for the remainder. In 7-on-7 situations, Heavner completed 6-of-8 passes for 29 yards and an interception to Lamon Means on a sideline route.

O'Hara was 4-6 for 30 yards in 7-on-7 drills.

During team drills Heavner improved to 6-for-11 for 86 yards, highlighted by a 40 yard reception to Mike Jefferson on the last play of the night. That proved to be a gauntlet series. If the defense could hold the offense to three-and-out, it would benefit from less running. But the offense got the better end of the deal as Heavner completed the deep pass on the first play.

It proved to be the only deep completion for Heavner on the night. He missed open receivers on two previous occasions.

O'Hara was 3-for-3 for 27 yards in team drills, and was mostly relegated to handoff duties.

On the ground, Gilbert Harris had the run of the night, a 64-yard touchdown scamper off left tackle. Mike Bell scampered for 22 yards down the right sideline for his highlight carry of the evening.


*During three-step drop passing drills, receivers who dropped passes were forced to do pushups.

*Arizona added another quarterback. Brian Giovando walked-on from Scottsdale Community College. His father coaches the SCC football team.

*Sydric Steptoe made a nifty one-handed grab during sideline drills.

*Jon Parada had a wrap on his right knee and avoided contact drills.


Paul Phillip on the defense: "We're swarming right now. We're working on the little things. We're headed in the right direction. Coach Stoops brought a new attitude. We're faster and stronger. This is a new start."

Mike Stoops on inside linebacker Dane Krogstad: "Krogstad impresses me every day."

On the state of the defense: "The defense is showing signs of being a strong group."

Arizona will hit with full pads for Friday's session.

"It won't be much different," Stoops said. "We practice pretty hard anyway."

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