The Irish donned full gear as they took to Meyo Field at the Loftus Sports Complex. The list of players who were not dressed in full pads included offensive linemen Taylor Dever and Trevor Robinson, receiver George West, linebackers Anthony McDonald and Darius Fleming along with defensive lineman Kerry Neal.
Golden Tate was back with the football team as he is every Monday, but I did not see running back James Aldridge, receiver Deion Walker or center Dan Wenger during the 20 minutes when members of the media were allowed in.
As the team stretched, quarterback Jimmy Clausen and cornerback Robert Blanton engaged in some light trash talk. Clausen shouted to Blanton, "R.J." and when the defensive back looked at the quarterback, Clausen simply shook his head.
Quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus stopped by to talk with Clausen and Dayne Crist about a drill to help them move in the pocket.
When the team broke from stretching, I followed the offense to the west side of the complex. The quarterbacks did nothing more than get their arms loose and some light throwing.
The running backs and tight ends worked on ball security while running over bags. It seems like a good match when tight ends coach Bernie Parmalee and running backs coach Tony Alford are together. Parmalee is loud with his reassuring comments while Alford stands silent unless something bad happens.
Parmalee offered the running backs a salute as he took his unit to the other side of the field to work on catching the ball and putting it away.
Alford put his group through footwork drills which all have a focus on hanging onto the ball. Outside of Armando Allen, Robert Hughes has the quickest feet of the running backs when going in and out of cones and between the spaces of a flattened ladder.
It seemed like Alford was telling Jonas Gray about the importance of stringing consecutive good practices together when Gray promptly stepped on the ladder messing up the drill for those behind him. Gray did not need his coach to tell him to get back in line and ultimately, Alford made the entire group go again.
But Gray and his teammates redeemed themselves when they went to work on the gauntlet. At first, Alford had each back go through the gauntlet and then make a cut when they got out of it, but later he had the backs go through it and turn around come through it again right away.
All of the backs looked good when they went through the gauntlet and Alford even said, "Nice job, Jonas Gray."
Frank Verducci had the offensive linemen hitting the one-man sled before lining them up to go over assignments individually on different plays. Michael Golic worked with the first-teamers with Wenger out.
Michael Floyd and Duval Kamara, who were slowed by injuries last week, looked fine as they worked out today. Both receivers were sharp getting in and out of their cuts and Floyd has returned to being the loudest man in the building every time he goes through a rep.