10/25 Football Practice Notes

I caught the last half of Thursday's practice with two items on my mind: injuries and the play of Chris Lewis. The answers I got on that day were some good, some bad. Read on for all the latest scoop on Stanford football, with a focus on the defensive side.

Here are a few quick notes from what I saw of practice...

  • Injuries are still top of mind with most Booties, and I think the news is generally encouraging. The one starter who is questionable/doubtful (to steal from the NFL's terminology) and who didn't take snaps was Marcus Hoover. Louis Hobson got most of the snaps at defensive end, though it was interesting to see Will Svitek get some work with the first team defense late in practice. Saw Scott Scharff as well. Despite Hoover's position on the sidelines, he's expected to go on Saturday. The other banged up players (Coy Wire, Matt Friedricks, Anthony Gabriel, Trey Freeman and Ruben Carter) all took reps on Thursday. When you recognize that Hoover was held out as a caution, you can be optimistic about the improving health of these other guys. Gabriel is doing well with his rubber cast, and could be out of it soon. Coy was described to me as "bruised" in his shoulder/rotator cuff, with no tear or damage. Won't require any surgery this season or post-Pasadena. Trey Freeman was the one guy who got significantly less reps. Matt Leonard is still out - no pads yet, but no more cane.
  • Another unexpected injury note is that Mark Anderson is just a day or two away from casting off his crutches. He was walking more or less without their aid on Thursday.
  • I briefly saw Tank Williams fill in at LB, following up his play from Eugene this past week. Likely in anticipation of needing him there again, should one or more of the walking wounded linebackers go down. Spent the overwhelming majority of his time at safety, though. He really breaks well on throws, and should continue to rack up the INTs.
  • Ruben Carter is just fine. Made the defensive play of the day with a beautiful interception in the right at the sideline, near the goalline. Ruben had fantastic position against his receiver (Grant Mason, I believe), and made a leaping, diving grab as it came down off a high-arcing throw. It's also worth getting out to practices just to see some of these guys victory dances, by the way. You won't ever seen them in the games, without a 15-yard flag and immediate benching from the Sheriff...
  • On both the first and second team defense, I saw some very tight coverage from the DBs downfield. Very aggressive. I like it.
  • Jason White was hurt late in practice, but it's unclear if it will affect his play on Saturday or not.
  • Many Booties are concerned about a banged up Coy Wire, and how he can bring down DeShaun Foster, or how he can handle those stiff arms. I'm confident after Thursday's practice. Without saying more, just watch on Saturday...
  • The onside kick in Eugene was a thing of magnificent beauty, and it doesn't come without practice. Special teams was working on a variety of plays again on Thursday. The execution is far from flawless, but I like to see the time devoted.
  • The down note of the day was the accuracy of Chris Lewis. Missed an open Luke Powell on consecutive plays 15-20 yards downfield, and had difficulties on others. As with any practice notes, you have to take the good and the bad with a grain of salt - most players are up and down on different days. Still, this was not a good day for Chris.
  • Randy Fasani was in pads, but spent the practice working with the trainer on his knee. The Sheriff says 4-6 weeks, but "High Freqency" RF is aiming for significantly less. He's in good spirits, in spite of continued rotten luck. Don't bet against seeing him for Big Game.
  • For those who are wondering, Ryan Eklund is the #2 behind CL.
  • Teyo was gripping the ball with both arms after every catch. He's aiming to avoid a repeat fumble, as expected from such a perfectionist.
  • This Saturday will bring several high profile recruits to the game. A certain green comic book character, a certain QB and a certain "local" DL of frequent discussion on the BootBoard - to name a few...

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