Open Practice Notes, Aug. 19

Several hundred information starved Stanford fans got their fill of Cardinal football in fall camp's first open practice on Wednesday...

A pleasant summer afternoon saw the Stanford football team go through a variety of drills before the offense and defense squared off. The Bootleg was on hand for the 2.5-hour practice and filed away some observations.

-While Andrew Luck looked solid as always, Alex Loukas seemed to get the most reps at the quarterback position. Although he missed on a few throws, Loukas was solid for the most part and showed his mobility in escaping the pocket on a few occasions.

-Josh Nunes, Darren Daniel, Robbie Picazo and Brett Nottingham also got varying numbers of reps, and I thought Nunes looked the best out of that group. He did throw a wobbly pass or two and didn't have great velocity on his throws, but was accurate and found an open man on several occasions.

Running Backs

-Usua Amanam got several touches in the open practice and made the most of those opportunities. He caught every pass thrown his way out of the backfield and showed good speed and excellent elusiveness. Amanam did struggle in pass protection drills, winding up on his backside a few times, but he certainly looks like he could be a valuable weapon in the offense.

-In limited reps, Anthony Wilkerson was impressive. He showed nice speed to get around the corner on one run and kept his legs churning to move the pile forward on several others. Jeremy Stewart and Stepfan Taylor also had some nice runs, while Tyler Gaffney didn't participate in the practice, although he was on the sidelines watching and looked fine.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

-It was announced that Griff Whalen earned a scholarship a few weeks back and he showed why today. Although he did drop one pass, Whalen showed good hands and made a nice cut that shook linebacker Blake Lueders. He might not be spectacular, but Whalen was more than solid on the practice field today.

-As could be expected per glowing reports from Coach Harbaugh, Doug Baldwin had a nice day, getting open and making several catches.

-Jamal Patterson made the catch of the day, grabbing a ball over Harold Bernard, but also dropped a pair of passes.

-Levine Toilolo dropped one pass, but showed great balance heading downfield and evading would-be tacklers on a reception.

Offensive/Defensive Linemen

-It's always easier to evaluate the skill positions in a scrimmage/practice type environment, but a few players did stand out. Derek Hall got the majority of the playing time at the right tackle position with the starting unit and did a nice job. He also more than held his own during the Oklahoma drill.

-Cameron Fleming got some action with the reserves and also played well. He did get beaten on one play by Trent Murphy, but kept his man in from of him for the most part.

-Walk on freshman defensive tackle David Parry stood out in the Oklahoma drills, beating his man more often than not.


-With Corey Gatewood playing offense and Richard Sherman not practicing, the secondary rotation saw a few unfamiliar faces. Barry Browning ran with the first team and seemed to hold his own, although Doug Baldwin did get the better of him on one play. Harold Bernard slid from his safety spot to a corner position while Terrence Brown and Bademosi also saw ample time at the corner spots. Bademosi broke up a pass and generally looked solid, and while Brown seemed to hold his own, he did commit pass interference against Ryan Whalen.

Special Teams

-Although Coach Harbaugh has yet to officially name a starting punter, if today's practice was any indication, Daniel Zychlinski all but has the job wrapped up. He hit several booming, spiraling drives that traveled 50 yards in the air with excellent hang time. David Green, on the other hand, shanked several punts and seemed to struggle.

Other tidbits
-A few position notes: While Loukas played offense, Owen Marecic was on defense for the practice. Harold Bernard slid over to cornerback, while Darren Daniel and Keanu Nelson saw time returning punts. (Nelson played offense today.) -Although the hitting was somewhat sparse, both Delano Howell (on Keanu Nelson) and Myles Mugututuia (on Anthony Wilkerson) got in sizeable licks.

-Harold Bernard and A.J. Tarpley made the only two interceptions of the practice, Tarpley from his linebacker spot and Bernard from the cornerback position.

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