Dorrell Video & Tuesday Notes

More players sit out practice Tuesday, mostly for precautionary reasons. The quarterback competition continues to take on a new slant, as it has for the last few days. The defense has a good day, and one linebacker particularly has the best play and hit of the morning. Head Coach Karl Dorrell also comments after practice...

Projected starting OLs Robert Chai and Chris Joseph sat out practice Tuesday morning. Head Coach Karl Dorrell said it was a matter of them getting rest, both having had off-season knee surgeries.

Ryan Moya, the sophomore tight end, sat out again due to his hamstring injury.

Defensive end Bruce Davis sat with a groin injury.

Rodney Van, who injured his neck yesterday, sat out practice.

Nikola Dragovic was dressed, but only participated in a limited basis.

Cornerback Matt Slater was in a red, no-hit jersey, with a should injury.

Safety Dennis Keyes was absent from practice. Dorrell attributed it to a personal matter, but Keyes was back on campus by mid-day.

With Chai and Joseph out, Nathaniel Skaggs and P.J. Irvin filled in at center and guard with the 1s.

Bret Lockett, the sophomore safety, slid into the starting free safety spot with Keyes gone, and played very well.

With Van out, Michael Norris worked with the 1s, and walk-on cornerback Chris Meadows was getting reps with the 2s.

Freshman running back Jeremy McGee showed some nice burst going through a hole and busting it outside on a run.

In the 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s, quarterback Ben Olson continued to struggle for the third straight day. Dorrell comments in his post-practice video interview that the quarterbacks could be overwhelmed by so much playbook installation, but Olson is clearly struggling more than Patrick Cowan. Olson, in the throwing drills looks fine, but isn't getting much done in the scrimmages. Even when he's getting the ball off, he doesn't seem to be throwing it with confidence.

Cowan had a decent day, highlighted by a nice roll-out and a 25-yard come-backer to Matt Willis.

If, right now, the decision had to be made who would start at quarterback, it'd be a surprise if it weren't Cowan.

While the offensive struggled in its passing game, it looked fine running the ball. But still, the defense owned the day. Defensive end Justin Hickman looked swift in sacking the quarterback twice. Kenneth Lombard sack Olson. Aaron Whittington, who looks to be winning the starting weakside linebacker spot, had the play of the day, knifing through the line on a hand-off to pop Chris Markey in the backfield.

Read the in-depth report on Tuesday morning's practice by Jeff Davis (smilingjeffrey).

Dorrell's Post-Practice Comments -- Watch Video

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