Wednesday's evening practice ended in somewhat spectacular fashion, with Coach Mora ending practice early and kicking the entire team off the field after lighting them up with a loud tirade, obviously unhappy with the focus and discipline. In the period just prior, there were a couple of tussles between players, and there was also a little bit of showboating going on, with Darius Bell flipping a caught touchdown to a defensive player. At one point, the entire offense ran onto the field after scoring a touchdown, and it was clear that coaching staff wasn't happy, after focusing parts of the week on maintaining sideline discipline in anticipation of actual games.
Prior to Mora ending practice, it was actually one of the nicer practices in San Bernardino, temperature-wise. Simon Goines made his way out of the training room and went through warmups before heading over the trainer's tent. He looked a little shaky on his feet during warmups, so it looks like he's still feeling some effects of the heat. Will Oliver also made his return, and participated to much the same extent as Goines.
The starting offensive line was the same as the morning, but there was a pretty consistent rotation of Brett Downey, Alexandru Ceachir, and Ben Wysocki at the guard spots. Torian White had a very nice day, providing what has been lacking on the right side most of camp: a credible pass blocking presence. He was able to contain Jordan Zumwalt at times, which has been difficult to do this camp.
Fabian Moreau took snaps as a defensive back today, after spending the entirety of camp with the offense. Mora talks about it post practice, but physically, he looks like he can play the position, as he moves pretty well. He doesn't really look comfortable out there yet, considering he's only played corner a few times in high school. He got burned pretty badly a couple of times, and both Jordon James and Steven Manfro gave him welcome-to-the-defense jukes during 11 on 11 that left him on his back.
The defensive front seven was very strong today, stripping a number of balls, and looking like a force, once again, in the back field. Cassius Marsh drew double teams a couple of times from the left side, and he and Datone Jones probably had their best practices this fall, frequently spinning past the offensive line to get into the backfield. Johnathan Franklin was guilty of another fumbler, being stripped by Dalton Hilliard.
Zumwalt might have had the most impact of any player on the defense during camp. Aside from White, no one has shown much ability to block him, and if the team were going live on quarterbacks, he'd probably have double digit sacks at this point.
The team did go partially live at one point, or at least heavy thud, with Abbott showing that he hasn't lost his tackling ability. He had one play where he knocked Manfro to the ground after he rattled off a long gain, and generally played pretty well in run support.
The linebackers and running backs spent a portion of the practice in one on one blocking and passing drills, and it was pretty fun to watch. Damien Holmes and Luke Gane got into it at one point after Gane knocked Holmes' helmet off. On the next series for Holmes, he put a beautiful spin move on Malcolm Jones, and got to the quarterback in about two seconds.
Franklin looks like a very effective blocker at this point, but Jones does not block particularly well, especially not for a guy of his size. He stands a little too straight, and doesn't dig in as much as he should. Jordon James is another guy who has improved his blocking considerably in the last year.
Brett Hundley had another off day, especially during team drills. In 7 on 7, he was better, but he overthrew a lot of balls during 11 on 11. He threw a pretty ugly interception during red zone drills to Aaron Hester in the corner of the end zone, missing Jerry Johnson by a few feet.
Richard Brehaut, after having a very rough start to camp, has put it together a bit more down the stretch, and seems like the likely candidate for the No. 2 job. Kevin Prince has been inaccurate the past couple of days, throwing balls into receivers' feet more than a few times.
Kenneth Clark, the committed defensive tackle, and Jacob Seydel, the offensive tackle from Riverside College, were once again at practice. Seydel was wearing a UCLA t-shirt and looked very comfortable hanging with the team.
Mora Ends Practice Early
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