It was another fairly up tempo practice, but there was a little bit of flagging energy toward the end, which you could probably expect after the practice speed this week. Mike Johnson addressed it in the post scrimmage video, explaining it as the team not yet being able to go at that tempo for that many days in a row.
Still, the slow end of practice was more up tempo than anything prior to this week, so we'll take it.
Jim Mora took in about fifteen minutes of practice, and spent most of the time speaking with the support staff, including Mike Linn.
The team is spending a ton of time on wide receiver drills in practice. During individual drills, the wide receivers practiced route running on comebackers, running precisely around what I'll inexpertly call a giant hula hoop and catching a close range pass. Taylor Embree had a bit of a tough time with the close range passes, dropping a couple.
Later, tight ends, receivers, and running backs practiced several different kinds of routes, as the quarterbacks threw to them. Anthony Barr, for one, seems to catch the ball a little too much with his body, and had a couple of balls bounce off of him. In general, it was actually a pretty poor day for catching the ball. Ricky Marvray, Devin Lucien, Nelson Rosario, and Joe Fauria all dropped fairly easy passes. Fauria had one of his poor concentration days, dropping a number of easy passes.
Watching Brett Hundley during the same drill, it's clear that his footwork is a work in progress. Marques Tuiasosopo spent the majority of the drill practicing drops with Hundley and showing him the proper footwork, and you could see some improvement from play to play. But there is certainly a marked level of inconsistency there, which is expected in a freshman.
The quarterbacks and tight ends worked on a timing drill during individuals, practicing pre snap motion and getting set. Not riveting stuff, but I hadn't seen it practiced much outside of team drills.
Prince had a good day throwing the ball, and at a couple of points it looked like Tui was telling Hundley to watch Prince's footwork. Brehaut was a little rougher, throwing high with one bad interception during 7 on 7.
Mike Johnson was very vocal in practice. Even with the flagging energy, he was yelling for the team to run between plays and between drills.
Andrew Abbott made a tremendous interception during 7 on 7, catching a pass one handed, back handed while also putting excellent coverage on Jerry Johnson. It was quietly spectacular.
Joe Tresey was not present for the back half of practice, attending to what Johnson termed a family matter. Jim Mastro was again not at practice, but he will be back to coach the team before the bowl.
UCLA spokesman Nick Ammazzalorso gave us the official word that Demetrice Martin has been hired at UCLA. Old news, but it's confirmed.
John Young went down at one point with a left knee injury.
Also, practice tomorrow has been cancelled for a team function, but they'll be back at it again on Friday.
Practice Notes, Johnson Quotes
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