Monday Morning Practice

Two-a-day practices begin -- with some worrisome injury news to the defensive line. The offensive line depth chart takes shape, and Drew Olson looks good again...

It was the first day of two-a-day practices Monday morning, and while the practice went well, there was some distressing injury news.

Karl Dorrell announced after practice that projected starting defensive end Kyle Morgan and freshman defensive end Brigham Harwell will each have arthroscopic surgery today on their knees.

Karl Dorrell said they could be back and playing within three to four weeks, if everything goes well.

So there is a distinct chance they both could be out for the opener Sept. 4th against Oklahoma State.

C.J. Niusulu again sat our this morning's practice due to concussive symptoms, but is expected to practice this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

Others who sat out due to concussive symptoms: Marcus Everett, J.J. Hair and Manuel White.

Eyoseph Efseaff didn't participate because of a mild groin injury, and Dorrell described him as day-to-day, and expects him back in the next day or so.

Keith Carter was fully dressed out, and participated in parts of practice. Matt Raney sat out practice and the two will alternate practices they participate in.

On the field, Drew Olson again had a great practice.

Back-up quarterback David Koral is getting more familiar and looking better, making some very good throws this morning.

True freshman Pat Cowan, while there no way he could play this season, has looked considerably better in the last couple of practices throwing the ball, spinning it well and having decent arm strength.

Overall, it was a very good practice, with both the offense and defense having good moments.

On defense, Bruce Davis is now working with the ones at defense end, as is walk-on defensive tackle Robert Garcia (at least until Niusulu returns). Williams Snead appears to be permanently moved to defensive end, and didn't waste much time in making an impact, making a few plays with the second string.

The depth chart for the offensive line is looking like this:

WST: Ed Blanton, Chris Joseph, Tony Lee
WSG: Eyoseph Efseaff, Robert Cleary, P.J. Irvin, Aaron Meyer
C: Mike McCloskey, Robert Chai, Nathaniel Skaggs
SSG: Steven Vieira, Shannon Tevaga, Scott Glicksberg
SST: Paul Mociler, Brian Abraham, Marc Villafuerte

Michael Norris, a freshman cornerback, worked out as a wide receiver for a few periods this morning.

Both Nnamdi Ohaeri and Marcus Cassel, the two front runners for the open cornerback position, are playing well, with probably a slight edge to Cassel.

Wide receiver coach Dino Babers might be taking over the honor of the staff's most fiery coach.

We'll have more details of this morning's practice in the report this evening.

Karl Dorrell's post-practice comments:

"It was a good practice. We're pleased with where we are, both offensively and defensively. We have a lot of stuff in. This is just our first two-a-day, and we already have more than half of our information on both sides of the ball in already. So we're in pretty good shape. We just need to clean up some minor issues here and there and get real good with the details, and boy, we're going to be okay. I like what the team is doing right now."

Compared to last year, how far ahead are you?

""We were probably into just the first couple of days of installation at this time. We're about at least halfway through our book right now. We're off to a really good start."

Can you comment about the injuries?

"We have a couple of things from an injury situation. The concussive guys, they'll be day to day. Both Harwell and Morgan, from the MRIs, have had a little bit of cartilage tear in there, but it's not significant. We think it's something that they both could be back within three to four weeks. We think that it's best to go ahead and do it now, as a last-minute decision. So they both have an opportunity to get back by the first game. That really helps you lose some depth, for a while."

How much does this throw a monkey wrench into everything?

"You know, not much. The procedures we think are not going to be significant. They'll be back out here, not practicing, but back in the fold and knowing what to do fairly quickly. That's a part of camp. We're hopeful that there isn't anything significant in either one of those guys. We don't think it is. The doctor really can't tell until he actually goes in there."

Does it set them back further since they're both new guys?

"I would say more for Brigham than for Kyle. Kyle was here in spring and has grown and understands our defense. Brigham has not been here. It will put more pressure on him to learn our defense, at a lot faster pace."

So there is a possibility they might not be ready for the first game?

"There is a possibility, but we're optimistic. It's a three-week injury, and those guys will try to get themselves back and ready to go, and get back for Oklahoma State."

So this is getting more reps for Bruce Davis?

"He's getting the same number of reps, just the guys behind him are getting more reps. So the guys who haven't had much experience are getting more reps, and that's a good thing. Guys get a chance to prove themselves, and maybe someone else will emerge out of the group because of this situation."

Was it something pre-existing with either of them, or something that happened in the first week of practice?

"It was something that I think happened in the first week of camp. Who knows how it happened. Those things happen. It's football. We're just pleased that it's not anything real significant."

Is there anyone among the concussive guys whose injury is more serious?

"Probably J.J. Hair. He had a collision yesterday afternoon. And they thought he had a little higher degree of concussion. So we're doing the precautionary steps."

What is the time frame for Keith Carter?

"We have to gradually get him back into the pace. He didn't do the work like everybody else did this summer. He's hasn't practiced in a year and a half. We can't just tell him, ‘Okay, your back, go full bore like everybody else.' It's baby steps for him."

The move of Snead to defensive end, was that because of the injuries?

"We did that to experiement. He's such a great athlete, and he has a great body. We're going to utilize a lot of guys on the defensive line. And there are going to be some situation guys, like a special third-down rusher. We're going to see if he has that kind of ability for us."

Bruin Report Online Top Stories