| An inside look at more of the action on Day 4|
Skelly drill |
The Beavs worked exclusively on running plays with an emphasis on blocking technique. Bruiser Ryan McCants had a couple of strong runs on Tuesday. For the second day in a row, the offense won the battle in the first skelly session albeit by a slight margin. There were numerous attempts to pop the ball out of McCants' hands during the drill, but none found success. Alex Linnenkohl seemed to want his first team center position back -- at least he played that way.
The first three plays were thrill rides for fans of offensive football. The offense completed back-to-back passes with the receivers making some diving grabs. The first team linebackers on Tuesday looked to be Keaton Kristick, Bryant Cornell and Keith Pankey and Pankey was all over Howard Croom on the second play. Yet somehow Lyle Moevao found Croom, placing it only where he could make the catch. Defensive coaches didn't have any complaints on Pankey, it was just one of those perfectly executed plays that no defense can stop. The Second team offense was led by Justin Engstrom as the No. 3 quarterback got some nice work in. The second team defense got the better against their offensive counterparts -- safety Austin Hall made a good break on a long pass attempt and defended it well.
Skelly drill (mixed 1s and 2s)
- The coaches mixed things up here, rotating freely on the first and second teams. McCants was wide open down the sideline on one play, but Pankey smartly batted it away. McCants may be a power runner but he is really fast, with long strides. Later, Hall tried to wall off a McCants run, but ended up bouncing off the running back. McCants turned in some strong running on Tuesday. WR James Rodgers made a beauty of a catch, turning well over 180 degrees in mid air and coming down with the pigskin.
The offense was slightly off with some dropped passes. The staff jumped in and took some extra time coaching them up in the process. Both defense and offense had their share of good plays.
Greg Laybourn adds another pick to his tally, reading Moevao really well on one pass attempt. Sammie Stroughter hauled in a long bomb and was escorted by James Rodgers on the way to the end zone. Rodgers himself had another sweet run for what would have been a sure TD. Not to be outdone by his older brother, Jacquizz Rodgers gets in on the action and had a couple of jaw droppers, one of which he somehow went untouched through the length of the defense. If you want to know how fast he is, James Dockery and Cameron Collins could probably tell you after that play. Safety Al Afalava made a great diving breakup on a pass intended for Damola Adeniji.
Two minute drills
The first team offense went at it smoothly, finding pay dirt two straight times. The second team had communication issues at times. Coach Danny Langsdorf expressed some displeasure, but got things in order. The second team o-line seemed to be made up of different parts for different drills throughout Tuesday as coaches take a look at different personnel and different combinations in order to see what works and what needs work.
Play of the Day
Howard Croom's catch in the skelly. A nice route and perfect execution by both Moevao and Croom. Hard, if not impossible, to defend against a play like that.
Play of the Day
A very even battle turned in both offense and defense on Tuesday. The second team defense seems to have the better of the second team offense which you might expect -- it's customary for the defense to be ahead of an offense early in a fall camp. Engstrom took majority of the second team reps today -- with plans to redshirt Ryan Katz, the Beaver coaches want to get the No. 3 quarterback his reps in. No. 2 Sean Canfield threw short passes on Tuesday, as he continues to ease into things at the coach's behest coming off labrum surgery. The offensive line seemed to be familiar with reports on their progress this offseason -- many have expressed a worry that they some members were dinged up this spring and Tavita Thompson is out until Week 8. On Tuesday, it looked like they wanted to make a point. There was some ram-like hitting going on at times in the trenches on Tuesday. Great stuff.
The junior running back is going to miss some practice time in the immediate future, but the injury also might not be as serious as it first appeared to onlookers, said Mike Riley.
"Preliminary reports are a bruised knee -- and that would be good," said Riley. "It was the same knee, and I think that scared him. They'll do more tests."
Jacquizz Rodgers will now see his practice turns increase on the second unit behind starter Ryan McCants.
On the upside, if the first few days of camp are any indication, when Quizz gets the ball, something is going to happen.
Still, if the Beavs lose Francis for any length of time, it's a hit.
But they've also seen what Francis can do, and there's no reason the coaches would try and rush him back until he's ready.
STARTING DEFENSIVE TACKLE Pernnell Booth sat out Tuesday's session to rest a balky ankle, the same one that kept him out of spring ball.
You can listen to Riley's post-practice comments on Booth, Francis, and much more, here:
THE FIRST team o-line in opening offensive drills on Tuesday saw a couple changes from the day before, with Marcus Henderson assuming his center role. He had missed the previous day with flu-like systems.
Mike Remmers also saw time with the 1s, taking the place of Wilder McAndrews from Monday.
The first team o-line on Tuesday: RT Remmers, RG Adam Speer, C Henderson, LG Gregg Peat and LT Andy Levitre.
The second team consisted of a few mix and match units, with Alex Linnenkohl occupying the center spot for the day's entirety.
IT WAS ALSO refreshing to see Jeremy Perry participate in the drills after not participating fully in the camp's early going.
Perry continues to heal up from from knee and ankle woes and the staff wants to do what they can to ensure he doesn't suffer a setback.
At the same time, football is football, as Francis' injury attests. Players and coaches can only do all they can to prevent injuries, but they're going to happen.
OT Brent McNeil returned Tuesday, looking none the worse for wear after an asthma attack the day before.
THE DEFENSE SPENT some time Tuesday running interception drills. The stops corps, as they have been since the first day, were very boisterous and seeming to have a lot of fun out there.
WR Damola Adeniji followed up a tremendous Thursday with a great one handed catch during the drill. The junior walk-on, who has thrilled onlookers in spring ball and fall camps past since arriving at OSU, picked up nicely from where he left off the previous day.
IN THE PUNTING GAME, Ryan Allen couldn't seem to get it going today. But say hello to Sean Sehnem.
I don't recall him stand out to such a degree before, but boy, did he let some boomers out on Tuesday.
Sehnem had one punt that appeared to travel appx. 60 yards -- and with significant hang time to boot.
Overall, the punting looks to be progressing steadily on a daily basis after an uneven start the first two days.
Kicker Justin Kahut was smooth and steady again, making all of his field goal attempts including a 47-yarder that sailed through the uprights with plenty of extra distance to spare.
In special teams drills, the emphasis was on kickoff defense.
Brandon Hardin seems to be the guy most consistently down the field first almost every time, but he did make some errors on Friday -- the coaches were on it, and he corrected them the very next time.
Coaches' praise went to Lance Mitchell for his work on special teams on Tuesday, the safety had a nice outing indeed.
IT WAS THE hottest day of practice so far at Oregon State -- it felt like sitting in an oven at times.
With full contact the order of the day, Riley and crew treated the players to a Popsicle break, and everyone enjoyed a cool convection including the coaches.
But a football coach never stops coaching and in the best traditions of the job, Riley kept on reminding his players not to drop the sticks on the field.