Among the highlights of the day was the continued strong performance by Matt Leinart, a one handed TD catch from Lee Webb, an interception by Thomas Williams and a long field goal to end the day by Ryan Killeen.
The running backs and linebackers had a pass blocking drill and the highlight was Desmond Reed doing a terrific job to stop Dallas Sartz in his tracks. Desmond is a dynamic player and he's starting to make an impact.
A run drill was held on Brian Kennedy Field which featured a solid performance from the defense although the offense did bust a couple nice plays. Reggie Bush got things started by getting outside for a 8 yard gain. Andre Woodert tried to go up the middle but Mike Patterson was there to hold the play to no gain after he beat Tiny Malu. Bush got to the outside again and kicked it into high gear for a long gain. Shaun Cody and Patterson combined for a stop and then Matt Grootegoed strung a play out toward the sideline before coming up to make a solid tackle on Reed with his helmet firmly in the chest of Desmond. Hershel had a nice run behind a block from Sam Baker and Kurt Katnik.
Next up was a 7 on 7 passing drill that began with John David Booty hitting Steve Smith for a short gain with a quick tackle from Brandon Ting. Leinart did a good job to look off Darnell Bing and came back to hit Lewis with a 15 yard gain. The defense had a coverage sack on the next play. A few plays later Leinart threw one of the prettiest passes you will ever see when he dropped a fade pass deep to Bush who simply ran under the ball for a touchdown even though it looked like the pass was going to be overthrown. Eric Wright had good coverage against Bush but Matt had the perfect touch on the ball. Leinart continued his good play with a strike upfield on a rope to Lee Webb who didn't have his head turned around until the last minute when the ball hit him square in the chest and he hung on before evading Bing and heading into the end zone. The team went wild and after the practice Webb had a smile on his face as he said "that was better than a Mike Williams catch".
Brandon Hance got some work and he hit Fred Davis who made a nice catch in traffic. Another quick toss from Hance to Reed was complete as Desmond showed good hands, Thomas Williams came up and lost his helmet as he made the big hit but Reed hung on to the ball. Hance hit Smith for a touchdown on a short pass as Steve was able to weave his way into the end zone. The drill ended with Leinart throwing an interception to Matt Grootegoed.
The 1st team offense and 1st team defense came together and Leinart got things going with a completion to Smith for 23 yards. A few plays later Matt tried to hit Davis with a quick pass but Lofa Tatupu did a good job to read the play and bat the ball down. Leinart showed one of the reasons why he is so efficient as he threw the ball away on the next play due to good coverage, not many quarterbacks are patient enough in spring ball just to throw it away if the play isn't there but Leinart knows what Chow wants in that situation and it's better to throw it away and live to play another play. On the next play Groots blitzed only to be picked up by Hershel and Matt hit Davis for a completion.
John David Booty came on and was immediately picked by Greg Farr on a pass over the middle. Booty had a pass tipped at the line by Patterson who beat Travis Draper. Groots had a sack on Booty and then John David ended his rotation by hitting Nick Vanderboom for a short gain.
Groots stopped a Dennis run for a short gain before Leinart hit Webb for another completion and suddenly Lee was having a big day as a pass catcher. Lawrence Jackson, who looked good in drills earlier in the day, had a sack on Leinart. The 2nd unit offense came on and Patterson had another sack as Mike was simply too quick. Booty dropped back and tried to hit Vanderboom but Thomas Williams made a wonderful interception and showed his speed with a nice long runback. It was an impressive play by the redshirt freshman linebacker who is ready to be a part of the rotation.
Leinart completed a pass to Greig Carlson who was driven out of bounds by John Walker. Leinart hit Smith a few plays later and he took a solid hit from Dallas Sartz to hold the play to a short gain. The final play of the practice was a 45 yard field goal by Killeen.
Among the recruits in attendance were Jimmy Clausen (soph quarterback at Oaks Christian HS along with about 6 of his teammates), OL Charles Brown, WR Gavin Ketchum and San Bernardino Valley College LB Robert Napier. We also saw Jacob Rogers, Norm Katnik, Eric Torres, Eugene Germany, Thomas Herring, Sam Anno and Mike Singletary.