Offensive lineman Paul Duncan, who had season-ending hip surgery yesterday, was at practice on crutches. After wearing just shorts and shoulder pads on Tuesday, new kicker David Ruffer was in full pads on Wednesday.
James Aldridge and Kyle McCarthy replaced their handshake with a hug today while David Bruton and David Grimes and Jonas Gray and Robert Blanton continue to give complicated handshakes. The stretching period was relatively quiet aside from Eric Maust and superfan Keith Penrod discussing the merits of Halloween, Charlie Weis joking with the linebackers and Weis discussing X's and O's with wide receivers coach Rob Ianello.
Grimes was at practice for the second straight day after being listed as doubtful. The senior receiver did not go through all of the form running, but there are a lot of guys that don't do all of the form running and look fine on Saturdays, for example Armando Allen.
Grimes did not seem slowed at all during the receiver drills and went through all of them, including the gauntlet. Weis was on his golf cart today and at one point stopped to see the receivers go through the four-cones drill where Grimes also looked good.
Deion Walker dropped a pass before going through the gauntlet and the next guy in line, John Goodman, caught it before Ianello yelled, ‘Go, Goody, go!!!" Goodman ran through the gauntlet before Walker got a second chance.
The quarterbacks spent the first part of practice working on ball security. One quarterback would take a drop while two others hit him with pads and a third rushed him. Jimmy Clausen did a good job of hanging on to the ball while avoiding the rusher, even breaking out a spin move on one rep.
Asaph Schwapp worked out with the tight ends today. Tight ends coach Bernie Parmalee was taking some extra time to show the fullback the proper steps to get in a position to block. After one demonstration Parmalee, who at times seems to believe that he could still play, said, "That felt good too."
The running backs, minus Schwapp, worked on ball security and their form on pass blocking.
The offensive line worked on combination blocking against different fronts. Offensive line coach John Latina did not like what he saw out of right guard Chris Stewart and made him do the drill three times. Latina was pleased with the effort of left tackle Mike Turkovich, but still had him go twice. To me, it seems like ever since the bye week the second group has been getting more work.
The defensive backs practiced their backpedals and breaks before working on tackling and recovering fumbles. Sergio Brown brings a lot of energy to the secondary with all of his yelling and screaming and seems to get everybody else going.
The linebackers worked on taking downhill angles while the defensive linemen did agility drills over bags before using their arms against offensive linemen.