Practice Report: QBs Look Good

The team put on shoulder pads, and it didn't stop the quarterbacks from continuing to look impressive. The Bruins third practice still had a few hampered by little injuries, but they're set to camp at Cal State Fullerton tomorrow...

With the third day of practice being the final one on Spaulding Field for eight days, the players were pretty enthused during Friday's late-morning session in shoulder pads.

Before they even began to stretch, the running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs were out doing drills. One particular drill was the receivers going against each other, with one playing defensive back and doing everything in his power to keep the other receiver from getting from one cone to the other. Easily the most amusing matchup was Jacque Lazarus and Ryan Smith, who engaged in a very spirited, physical skirmish. During the early drills, both Drew Olson and Matt Moore looked very effective. In fact, Moore and Olson matched each other throw for throw, both doing well. Junior Taylor made a couple of really nice catches, including a one-handed grab on a fade, while Craig Bragg continues to catch everything in the neighborhood.

The receivers then went against the defensive backs, and freshman Matt Slater made a couple of diving catches against Mil'Von James and Jebiaus Brown.

Next came 7-on-7, and the play of the afternoon was an Olson toss to Maurice Drew, who continues to show he has excellent hands out of the backfield. Olson threw to Drew in the flat, and as Drew turned up field, Keith Short broke on an angle at Drew for a seemingly sure tackle, but Drew dropped the shoulder and knocked Short on his back, turned up field, and weathered a full-speed Eric McNeal hit, and finished out his run.

Other notable plays were Marcedes Lewis catching a pass between Jarrad Page and Matt Clark on an excellent throw from Moore, a Tyler Ebell juke of Brandon Chillar, a deep pass from Olson to Ryan Smith, where Smith beat Short, and a diving pass defense by Dennis Link.

Following 7-on-7, the Bruins moved to a full scrimmage.

Matt Moore ran with the first offense, with Shane Lehmann starting at right guard and Ryan Smith running with the first offense. With Ryan Boschetti and Rodney Leisle continuing to be held out of heavy action, C.J. Niusulu and Asi Faoa started at the two tackles.

Moore looked very fluid in his running of the offense, throwing a nice fade to Craig Bragg, a bullet to Lewis and a nice throw to Garret Lepisto.

Olson came in and on his first play, threw a rollout to Ryan Smith, who got behind Ben Emanuel for a long completion, and also looked very good in the drills.

Defensively, Justin London had a nice pop on Manuel White, decleating White after he grabbed a deflected ball from Blane Kezerian. Not to be outdone, Brandon Chillar followed it with his own decleater of Tyler Ebell on the next play. Also, the Ball Brothers combined on a "sack" of Olson.

The scrimmage concluded with Olson hitting Lewis for 15 yards after the pocket collapsed.

Both Olson and Moore stood out in the scrimmage, while John Sciarra wasn't as sharp.

Several of the freshmen looked good, including Drew, Kevin Brown (who ran a few series with the first defense) and Junior Lemau'u, who more than held his own against Steve Vieira and Alex Potasi. Matt Slater had a couple of nice catches himself, and Dennis Keyes and Mil'Von James were effective when given the chance.

Thomas Patton sat out most of the scrimmage, after a high ankle sprain, but Head Coach karl Dorrell said it was nothing major, while Junior Taylor sat out the entire scrimmage because of a minor thigh injury.

Recruits of note were committed offensive linemen Brian Abraham, as well as lineman Chris Joseph from Santa Ynez.

Quotes from Karl Dorrell:

-- "We're using the old Rams facility. We're staying in the same residential facility they used. The concern I have about Fullerton is that from the residential facility to the practice field the players have to cross a busy street. But accomodations should be great."

-- "We have one more day of shells, and then full pads on Sunday."

-- "I'm really pleased with where the quarterbacks are right now. The three guys that are all sophomores have done some very good things that have opened my eyes, in terms of understanding the protections and going through the read progression, and hitting the open people. That's key, hitting the open people. They've done a pretty good job. I'm pleased with that position. I think it's going to be harder than we thought, making a decision about the starter, unless there's a guy who comes to forefront."

-- "Platooning at quarterback is an option. It's not your first option, you wouldn't want to go to that. But they've all done some good things, and now maybe with the pads being on we'll see the differences between them, in more game-like setting as opposed to being in shorts. So we'll tell probably in the next eight days."

-- "I think John Sciarra has done a pretty good job. I think he's obviously put in the work to put himself in consideration. I'm happy with those three, with where they are. We haven't done anything highly competitive in terms of full-speed scrimmage situations, but that will probably be the way that we'll evaluate the most, putting them in game-like situations. Right now, what they've done the last three days, I'm very impressed."

-- "Maurice Drew has definitely opened some eyes. He's strong and he's low to the ground. He's picking up our system fairly well. So I think he's making a run to show that he could maybe play for us. But we'll be able to tell in the next eight days, in pads, in game-like situations. But right now he's been very impressive."

-- "I assume by the time we do our first two-a-day, which is Monday, Ryan Boschetti will be ready to go. We're just gradually getting him to go, bringing him in slowly. Then, he'll practice and we'll keep spoon-feeding him until he can do a whole practice. We have some time to evaluate his situation."

-- "Junior Taylor just has a thigh issue. It's not a big thing right now. We didn't want to push him right now to the point where he might miss major time. He could have practiced the last couple of days. It's not that important right now when we have another two weeks to go in camp."

-- "Ryan Smith is definitely making a push. Someone has to come to the front of the line whenever you lose a guy like we did before camp. Ryan has stepped up and said, ‘I'm your guy.' I'm very encouraged with what he's done so far, and hopefully he can stay healthy and keep doing what he's doing. There's no problem as of yet with his ankle. He does a pretty good job of taking care of his body. There will be a fatigue issue at some point and that's when we have to continue to keep watching him. When he starts getting tender we'll have to back off of him and let him rest a little more. We'd love to have him for the season."

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