With most players and coaches taking a more relaxed approach to practice in lieu of the upcoming Spring Game, there was not a great deal of noteworthy action. However, Nathan Costa continued to impress spectators. On one play he flicked a perfect deep ball to Brian Paysinger who caught it and would have scored with ease. Costa's deep ball is very catchable as he puts enough air under it to give the receiver enough time to get under it. He also has the ability to throw a frozen rope to the sidelines as well. It is apparent though that he is still a little behind Leaf for the second slot at QB, likely based on playing experience.
One drill that was really interesting was when Coach Pflugrad had WR's Rory Cavaille, Drew Davis, and Ryan McVaine catching balls out of a pitching machine. They would take a few quick steps and cut around a cone in order to catch the ball, stepping toward the ball as it comes. The part that made it interesting was Coach Pflugrad would hold up a number as soon as the players were about to make their cut around the cone and they would have to look and say the number out loud before they could turn around and catch the ball. The drill emphasized concentration and it was apparent that Drew Davis is learning quite well as Spring progresses as his performance is becoming better and better.
The plays that stood out during the day were during the short scrimmage sessions that took place during the practice. Marvin Johnson displayed his instincts as he used his body to break up a sure completion to Brian Paysinger. Walter Thurmond III also had a pick of Justin Roper that got the entire defense jumping up and down with excitement. Ed Dickson dropped probably his first pass all Spring. He has great hands and rarely drops a pass. Alston displayed his impressive lateral movement as he shifted and cut on a dime past linebackers and corners on one play.
Perhaps the play of the day was a Dennis Dixon tackle of A.J. Tuitele to conclude the scrimmage. Dixon displayed great technique on the tackle. The team huddled up and displayed a lot of excitement for what has been a great Spring with only one major injury and unfortunate injury to Ryan DePalo.
The Oregon Football team finishes Spring drills today with the Annual Spring Game at 2pm in Autzen Stadium. All donations go to Food for Lane County.