Thursday practice update

Today's veterans' practice was fairly non-descript. There was lots of individual unit practice today: Dixon and Leaf working on their option pitches to each other as they ran, wide receiver's catching a ball then immediately getting hit by pads to work on their "flinch" instincts, TE blocking, big man footwork, the usual unit drills.

-Matthew Harper, #20, is fairly raw and got beat a few times, but his quickness after getting beat was outstanding. Twice I saw him slip and hit the ground on a one-on-one WR vs DB drill, and he actually caught back up to the WR.

- Coach Gary Crowton repeated to the wide receivers, "Get as much yardage as you can get, or get as little as you have to."

- Jaison Williams is not necessarily a "natural" receiver. That is not to say that he's not going to excel at WR, he's very capable of shining. He has to try harder to make a catch than a guy like James Finley who simply catches the ball with ease. However JWill (Williams) has such a natural advantage in his size/speed/strength combo over most receivers in the Pac-10, that he can overcome any weaknesses he may have by using his outstanding physical abilities effectively.

-Willie Glasper looked like the second best corner back on the field today, Jackie Bates being No.1. Glasper appeared to be very quick. Bates was playing more physical than one might think he could with his smaller stature.

-Jerome Boyd is bigger than last year, yes, but he's still not your typical linebacker in size. He does have great speed, and with more time and workouts, Boyd could be a good one if he keeps filling out. It will be interesting to see if he can handle a running back like Steven Jackson or Jonathan Stewart one-on-one in an open field tackle.

-Blair Phillips is BIG and FAST. I can't wait to see his improvements from last year during gametime. He's your prototypical MLB, the kind Oregon hasn't seen in awhile.

-Finally, right as I left, Jonathan Stewart busted an awesome run. He bowled over two guys, then Jairus Byrd runs up to tackle him (albeit not full-on because they weren't in full pads), and Stewart lowers his shoulder and sends Byrd flying out of bounds. The offense erupted on the sideline. Classic Snoop.

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