Thursday practice recap

It was a sharp practice this afternoon as the intensity and energy level seemed to pick up a notch with the players in full pads.

An early drill on Brian Kennedy Field featured one nice play by Keary Colbert and Keary was terrific with his moves in a receiver/corner route drill to start the practice when his moves were so sharp.

The linemen squared off for a pass rush drill that was dominated by the d-line, in part because we still have several members of the o-line nursing minor injuries. Norm Katnik, Lenny Vandermade and Jacob Rogers are all expected back soon and it will sure feel good to see all of them in action. Fred Matua handled Shaun Cody on one pass rush and then Shaun came right back to beat Fred to the bag. Omar Nazel beat Nate Steinbacher easily and then to prove it wasn't a fluke he lined up and did it again. LaJuan Ramsey beat Kalil with a quick first step. In the scrimmage situation to end practice, Sam Baker had a good showing (he's physical) while Drew Radovich continues to impress with his technique. I also like what I see from Ryan Kalil.

The punt team got a lot of work with Greig Carlson returning the kicks from Tom Malone. The first two kicks were OK, good by most standards but relatively average for Malone, while the final three were the booming type that we have come to expect from him. On one kick the ball went so far over Carlson's head that he didn't even turn to try and get it (the drill wasn't live so Mike Williams, who was standing 20 yards behind Carlson, made the catch on the ball).

The highlight of the day was an extended scrimmage situation to end the practice. Pete Carroll took a spot at the top of Dedeaux Field to watch the action which started with Matt Leinart hitting Colbert along the right sideline in front of Buchanan. Ramsey had a quick hit on Chauncey Washington but Chauncey would come back later to provide a highlight play of his own. Leinart went to the sideline to have his left hand looked at, he later re-entered the practice for a few plays and seemed to be OK. Matt Cassel came in and took the majority of snaps. Shaun Cody was on the field and had a sack of Cassel right away but Matt came back and threw the next pass to Mike Williams. The ball was a little high but Mike put his big left paw up in the air and came down with it for a beautiful one-handed catch that drew oohs and aahs from the crowd.

A trick play was sniffed out by Brandon Ting and he held the play up long enough for Kevin Arbet to make the tackle at the line of scrimmage. Omar Nazel had a sack and then on the next play he tipped a pass at the line and it was clear that the o-line was having a hard time with the first team d-line.

Reggie Bush had a nice run that got started when he hurdled Ramsey at the line of scrimmage and went for 12 yards. Chauncey followed that with a big run off the right side where he got into the secondary and delivered a blow as Forrest Mozart tried to make a tackle and Chauncey bounced off and went into the end zone.

Mike Williams made another special catch when Cassel threw a pass along the sideline with Ryan Ting in good coverage position but Williams just went up and grabbed the ball for himself. Ryan Kileen made a 34 yard field goal.

John David Booty came on at quarterback and had a tough stretch of plays. He had one pass that was tipped by Kevin Arbet before being picked by Brandon Ting and then a few plays later he tried to hit Dom Byrd but Desmond Reed made a real nice play to reach out and intercept the pass before returning it 65 yards for a touchdown. Brandon Hance entered and completed a pass to Kurt Katnik who showed nice hands in catching the ball and then Hance lofted a pass toward the end zone which Steve Smith came down with for a touchdown. It was a very nice play by Smith.

Leinart came back in as the offense prepared for some goal line drills. Hershel Dennis scored on the first play with a quick run up the middle and then Chauncey Washington added another score later with a hard run.

Matt Grootegoed is a hitting machine and he put a couple guys on their backs in 7 on 7 drills.....Greig Carlson had a nice catch in the flat on a pass from Booty which he turned upfield for a nice gain.....Among the notables in attendance were Duane Bickett, Paul McDonald, Randy Estes and Eugene Germany.


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