The fourth week of the 2009 San Jose State Spring Practice concluded with the first full-pad scrimmage of the sessions. It was an intense and hard-hitting affair and overall SJSU head coach Dick Tomey was happy with he workout. "We did some good plays on both sides of the ball," he said. The biggest thing was we had about 100 plays, including kicking plays. Last year we had no chance to have that kind of scrimmage because we just didn't have enough lineman.
|Junior quarterback Jordan La Secla was a positive on offense during Saturday's scrimmage, head coach Dick Tomey said.|
Injuries were still a concern and many of the first-team players sat out the scrimmage, including almost the entire defensive front. Senior defensive tackles Adonis Davis and Carl Ihenacho didn't suit up, and sophomore defensive tackle Pablo Garcia didn't participate.
On the offensive side senior running back Patrick Perry and sophomore RB Brandon Rutley also missed the action. "The offense was a little slow getting started," Tomey said. "We're looking for guys that can compete so I was very pleased we got through (the scrimmage) without a of people getting banged up. That will really help us next week."
The quarterback position is the scene of a major battle for the No. 1 spot between Kyle Reed, Jordan La Secla, Chad Bozzo, and Myles Eden. Reed took the first snaps and looked crisp and scrambled well. He checked down when necessary and sometimes connected with his third and fourth options. Le Secla appeared to be a bit hesitant with some decisions, but Tomey liked what he saw. "Jordan was a positive, he made some really good throws," he said. "He had a couple (passes) dropped but he was a real positive."
|Freshman running back Marcos Garces was mentioned after practice by San Jose State head coach Dick Tomey|
Even missing Perry and Rutley the running back corps is deep. "The running of Chris Reese was a positive," Tomey said. "Marcos Garces did some nice things running the ball."
Last week, the offense was having it's way with the defense. Holes big enough to drive a truck through made it easy for the back to get good yardage. In Spring Practice it's usually the defense that comes out on top because the offense hasn't had time to sync its timing. However, Saturday saw a much improved defensive effort. "I thought we were much improved over last week," Tomey said.
However, there are concerns remaining with the defense. "We're undisciplined in many ways," Tomey said. "We had a couple calls go against us and the guys lost their poise. We can't do that. Open field tackling continues to be a problem."
On offense, Tomey said that downfield blocking is still a problem for the line, and pass protection needs work. "We busted too many pass protections, there was too much pressure," he said. "All those things are typical of Spring Practice. We really won't know until we look at the tape."
|Sophomore cornerback Alex Germany break up a pass during the San Jose State Spring Practice Scrimmage. He eventually came down with the ball for an interception|
This Dick Tomey-coached San Jose State team may see the most players drafted into the NFL in its five-year history. Defensive end Jarron Gilbert looks to be a first round selection, and Coye Francis and Christopher Owens look to go in the high-middle rounds. Does SJSU have the personnel to replace such talent? "Replacing someone like Jarron is difficult because he is such an imposing physical speciman," Tomey said. "Peyton Thompson and Alex Germany have done an outstanding job at corner. Pablo Garcia has been our best inside player.
Tomey was quick to remind that Jarron excelled his senior season. "You have to remember that at this time last year Jarron, in the minds of the NFL people, was not even a prospect," he said. "He came a long way his last year. Coach Salave'a did a great job of coaching him." Joe Salave'a is the defensive line coach who had a nine year NFL career.
Another player who stood out was placekicker Tyler Cope. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound sophomore boomed a 46-yard field goal, and went 5-6 on the day. "Cope did a terrific job," Tomey said.
The final session of Spring Practice is scheduled to be a fan-friendly event on Saturday, April 25. Coach Tomey will have a microphone attached that will allow fans to hear how he coaches during a practice. There will also be a Bar-B-Que at the event and all are welcome. Practice is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. Afterward the event will shift to Municipal Stadium as Spartan baseball takes on Fresno State. Coach Tomey is scheduled to throw out the first pitch, and other special events are planned. Check with the SJSU Athletic Office for any changes.
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Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You may contact Don with any questions, comments, or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org