Tuesday Practice Report

The offensive line starts to make strides toward cohesion, Jerry Neuheisel has a pretty nice day at quarterback, and the linebackers have difficulty during pass coverage drills...

Although the temperature was moderately cooler than it has been, with the sun beating down on the field around noon, it felt like one of the hotter days of camp so far. As Tracy has said, though, the team seems to be getting used to it. Today, Ian Taubler was the only new player taken out for heat related issues, and he managed to make it through the majority of practice before succumbing. After the first 45 minutes or so, Coach Mora had the team take off their shoulder pads for the remainder of the practice, which probably helped.

The starting offensive line today was Xavier Su'a-Filo, Ben Wysocki, Jake Brendel, Brett Downey, and Torian White from left to right, and that unit actually looked fairly credible today. Although he could afford to play a bit lower, Downey looks better at guard than he did at tackle, and actually pulled pretty effectively a couple of times.

Behind those guys, Carl Hulick filled in at left guard, Kody Innes filled in at center, and Conor McDermott filled in at right tackle. Tre Hale tried to practice again, and once again was taken off pretty shortly after practice started.

Seali'i Epenesa once again took the first string reps at nose tackle, with Brandon Willis taking the second string reps. Both players have had very good camps thus far, so it seems like there is going to be some genuine competition at the position. With Mora confirming yesterday that the team wouldn't be huddling much on offense, odds are the defense is going to be on the field quite a bit, so having two legitimate nose tackles is going to be important.

Owamagbe Odighizuwa continues to have an impressive camp, mauling Damien Thigpen behind the line of scrimmage on a swing during the first period of 11 on 11. The complaint with Owa the past couple of years was that he was behind in terms of technique and timing, but he's improved considerably in both regards. His jump on that play was pretty eye opening.

Devin Lucien sat out practice with what Mora said might be a very minor concussion. It didn't sound serious. Jeff Baca, Greg Capella, Simon Goines, Colby Cyburt, Alberto Cid, Will Oliver, and Alexandru Ceachir all continued to sit out.

David Allen had a fantastic block of Ishmael Adams to spring Jordon James for a touchdown during goal line periods. He started the block behind the line of scrimmage at about the 5 yard line and managed to push Adams all the way to the corner of the end zone before letting up.

James has had a really nice camp, and finally it seems likely that he won't be used strictly for one or two reverses per game. He and Damien Thigpen have really climbed their way up the tailback ladder since the beginning of the spring.

During 1 on 1's, Steven Manfro completely juked Abbott on a play, getting open by about 15 yards with one cut. With James getting more time at tailback, Manfro looks to be getting more time at receiver.

Ricky Marvray is slowly getting his wheels back, running past Randall Goforth during 1 on 1's for an easy TD.

On the other side of the field, the linebackers matched up against the running backs in their own passing game 1 on 1's, and the results were decidedly ugly for the defense. Only Aaron Wallace and Kenny Orjioke consistently looked OK in coverage, with the rest struggling to put a body on the running backs at the line of scrimmage. It's not a tremendously fair drill for the linebackers, because it'll rarely be the case that they are one on one in any situation.

On the quarterback front, Brett Hundley had another solid, if unspectacular day, checking down into shorter passes pretty frequently during 11 on 11. Richard Brehaut, Kevin Prince, and Jerry Neuheisel all got reps during 11 on 11, and they looked pretty spread out between the three, with Brehaut maybe getting an extra series.

Neuheisel was probably the second best quarterback on the day, having one impressive stretch where he threaded the ball into receivers on four or five straight passes during 11 on 11. His ball still tends to loop a little bit on longer throws, but his arm strength seems improved from the spring.

Taubler, prior to going down with the heat issue, made three nice catches over the middle, showing off his hands, especially on a Prince ball that was high and behind him.

Fabian Moreau hasn't gotten a ton of touches during camp, but had one play today where he showed an impressive burst, making one cut behind the line of scrimmage and then just running off tackle and right by the entire secondary.

Hundley had the best throw of the day, hitting Shaquelle Evans perfectly on the sideline over Abbott's outstretched hands during the 7 on 7. Each of the quarterbacks got a series of 7 on 7, and Neuheisel looked overall the best during that period.

Ellis McCarthy continues to get acclimated, and once again showed up to practice in full pads, participating in walk throughs.

Riverside College offensive tackle Jacob Seydel took in practice.


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