With Randy Hand a bit banged up, Phil Trautwein moved to the first team offense at left tackle for the 11 on 11 action today. The move allowed true freshman Simon Codrington to move up to the backup left tackle slot. The regular backup at left tackle, Jason Watkins, was in The Pit … With Kyle Jackson still relegated to second team most of the day Tony Joiner played a lot of first team this afternoon instead of Deshawn Carter ... When the defense went to a dime set (six defensive backs), Reggie Lewis and Reggie Nelson were both on the team as the fifth and sixth DBs … I didn't notice Joe Cohen for a good bit of defensive drills. In his place was Brian Royal, a walk on linebacker who played second team defensive end … Avery Atkins saw a lot of time with the first group as Dee Webb was taking some time off. Webb has a cold.
They practiced a pass rush drill in front of the media which consisted of the offensive front and backfield along with the front seven on defense. They took about 10-15 minutes just practicing pass rushes and protections.
Plays of the Practice:
Pass-skel: John Curtis made another big play today in the drill. He has made about four this week ... Josh Portis hit Chad Jackson on a seam route for about 30 yards in the air ... Chris leak hit David Nelson who made an inside adjustment on a deep go route for a huge gainer.
11 on 11: Daryl Gresham forced a fumble from Kenneth Tookes after a short catch and run ... Vernell Brown keeps on keeping on. He made a nice breakup of a Leak pass to Gavin Dickey ... Ray McDonald batted the ball away on a short pass to Tate Casey ... Deshawn Carter did a great job on Dallas Baker, keeping him from finishing his route and getting to the ball on a fly pattern ... Terrance Holmes was in Chad Jackson's hip pocket and [probably committed felony assault] but Jackson came down with the ball anyway, 30 yards down the field.
Play of the Practice: Reggie Nelson made a big time jump of a Josh Portis pass in the slot area and took it to the house. The crowd cheered the play.
Reggie Nelson snags one
Player of the Practice:
Chris Leak hit a few more deep balls than he has in the first days of practice and he showed some wheels on a couple of plays he took off running. He had a good practice, not great, but wins it by default today.
Solid as a Rock:
Reggie Nelson's move for an interception was a damn good one and deserved the ovation and appreciation from the staff … Phil Trautwein is doing what he has to do to be there in case someone goes down. He was in at left tackle in the last drills of the day while Randy Hand got a rest … I haven't been blown away by John Curtis but he has made a handful of big plays that have to catch someone's eye that is in charge. He has good size (6-2, 196) to contribute at this level.
Freshman of Influence:
David Nelson had a couple of nice grabs. His size and speed have to make this staff want to put him on the field when the starters need a break.
What I liked:
Attention to detail on the pass rush drills ... The fact that Reggie Nelson and Avery Atkins continue to get a ton of work ... The ball is slowly getting thrown deeper down the field more often …Too many deep threats not to utilize them that way.
What I Didn't Like:
Branden Daniel showed up to practice with his hand wrapped and immediately went to "The Pit," where he spent the entire spring. He was joined over there by Eddie Haupt (disk) and Jason Watkins fro the offensive line.