8/28 (Tuesday) Morning Practice Notes

The second team offense shows flashes of brilliance but will the punting issue ever be resolved? Mark recounts his observations on these important issues from Tuesday morning's workout.

Tuesday's AM practice featured both the exhilaration and frustration that Stanford fans have grown used to over the years.

The better moments if the morning came from the second team offense. Chris Lewis is showing the flash and brilliance that many expected from him all along. The redshirt sophomore showed distinct patience, exhibited by several scrambles for significant gains he had in 11-on-11 drills. On one instance after not finding an open receiver, he promptly ran straight up the middle for a big gain, sliding feet first to avoid a hit. "Never done that before," the 1999 High School Player of the Year said. "I usually just dive right in there." Lewis later fired a beautiful rope to Caleb Bowman, where the speedy #3 rolled on the ground to make a not-so-pretty grab. Judging by the drops that he would occasionally have last year, Cardinal fans should be nonetheless pleased by the result.

Then there was of course, the punting. Exasperated Stanford fans are dying for a consistent punter (Oh Doug Robison where art thou?). However don't hold your breath. With Mike Sgroi doing placekicking and kickoffs today, it was Eric Johnson and Greg Davis again doing the kicking. The local media attendees were fittingly not impressed. "I guess their goal is to score on every possession," said one anonymous scribe, after another 30-yard duck quickly fell earthward. Flash back to the 2000 Rose Bowl: Wisconsin averaged 44 yards on 8 punts which consistently pinned the Cardinal back deep in its own territory. Special teams are a key winning games (You gotta kick the football to win the football game as Dan Reeves would say), and once again it look like the Cardinal will be handicapped by a poor punting unit.

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