8/19 (Sunday) Practice Notes

In the second day of practices, YCF got to the rail for a good look at our prospects. Notes include Kyle Matter & Chris Lewis, the tight ends, Amon Gordon, DBs, and the all-important kicking game.

Since it was Sunday, the players received a break.  Instead of two practices, there was *only* a single two-hour practice (compared to two-a-days).  

These first few practices are full of energy, mistakes, and big plays. Probably the most interesting part of the practice was stretching.  Keeping those players quiet during stretches seems to be as impossible as determining which way B the Hulk is leaning, according to the visor he is wearing....

Kyle "Mind over" Matter looked pretty impressive.  His passes were usually on the money and had a nice touch.  None of the quarterbacks ever really "aired it out," so I can't really judge his arm strength.

Chris Lewis looked more poised than ever in the pocket.  He threw a picture perfect pass across the middle to Brett Pierce in coverage (who in turn made a picture perfect catch).  Darin Naatjes (If I remember correctly, I believe that Nacho took one all the way) and Alex Smith also had their fair share of receptions.  It appeared to me that the bulk of the passes in the 7-on-7's were going to the tight ends and backs.  I think that this is very good news. It's high time that the coaches use some of the immense athletic talent at TE.

Another interesting note about the offense:

The McCullum brothers really stood out today.  Maybe a little sibling rivalry will bring out the best in both of them?  Both Jamien and Justin had several grabs for medium gains.  However, for the second day in a row, Justin was rebuked by the coaches for not running hard enough after making a reception.  Freshman ignorance/laziness?  Coaches picking on the newcomers?   Or a little of both?  

Ryan Fernandez showed some gusto while covering Teyo Johnson.  Johnson ran a short pattern under Fernandez and appeared to have an easy reception.  But Ryan quicky stepped in and was able to jar the ball loose.  That must take some force...

Colin Branch also made an excellent defensive play when he was able to strip Alex Smith ten yards down the field.

Amon Gordon is getting a lot of reps right now, and he is definitely putting them to good use.  On one play, he "stuffed" (remember that they were not in full pads) Kerry Carter in the backfield.  Later, he deflected a pass as if he were in the secondary.

Mike Biselli is back in his First Team Pac-10 shape.  Most of his kickoffs were into the end zone.  Nearly half of them were at least five feet deep. Michael Sgori's kicks were between five to ten yards shorter.  Eric Johnson's punts were between 35 and 40 yards and seemed to have the most hang time out of all the punters.

Casey Moore did not have reps in the 7-on-7's or the full squad scrimmage, even when the first team was on the field.  I seriously doubt that it was due to injury.  I think that the staff is just trying to keep him fresh. Eran Landry and Jared Newberry split most of the reps.  Both stood out in the passing game.  I was also impressed by Newberry's work ethic during the wind sprints at the end.  He was always leading the pack of LB's/FB's/QB's/K's.

Brian Taylor came up a little gimpy during the 7-on-7's, but was able to continue on without delay.  A further note, one of the defensive backs was injured (Torrence?) and had to sit out awhile.

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