Spring Ball Day 8

It was a shorts and shoulder pads practice for the Trojans today as the defense continued to perform well by putting constant pressure on the offense. There were several big plays by the offense but for the most part it was a day for the defense.

One early drill that has featured a lot of intensity this spring is when the linebackers come together with the running backs and tight ends for various blocking and coverage drills. Rocky Seto does a great job with a lot of vocal energy to get his group fired up and hitting hard in these contact drills. Seto will have a player go through a drill over again if he sees something he doesn't like and it makes for some very good battles. Thomas Williams and Lee Webb met on one block while Lofa Tatupu and Hershel Dennis came together on another play where the defender did a good job to deliver the contact. In the coverage drills we saw Desmond Reed elude Matt Grootegoed while David Kirtman put a nice move on to get away from Collin Ashton.

On Brian Kennedy Field a drill was held that featured one of the big hits of the day. Matt Leinart rolled right and hit William Buchanan over the middle only to have Darnell Bing come up and lay a huge blow. To his credit William hung onto the ball and that wasnt the only time today that Buchanan made a tough catch while being hit. Dennis put together a couple nice runs with the first one featuring a stiff arm on Justin Wyatt which allowed Patch to pick up extra yardage. On the next play Hershel followed a nice block from Sam Baker and Travis Watkins for good yardage.

The team moved to the center of Howard Jones Field for a series of drills. Leinart had nice completions to Chris McFoy and Greig Carlson, in fact this might have been the best day we've seen this spring from Greig. He made a tough catch on a pass from John David Booty as well and then followed that up a few plays later with a reception from Brandon Hance. Carlson has terrific hands and runs great routes, the kind of receiver who can succeed in the Chow offense. Booty also completed a deep touchdown pass to Reggie Bush against coverage from Eric Wright. Buchanan caught another pass in traffic. Hershel cut behind a block from Baker for a long gain where he showed some good moves.

It wasn't all good news for the offense. Lawrence Jackson came in for a sack when he beat Baker. Booty had a pass tipped at the line. Leinart completed a short pass to McFoy who was instantly met with a helmet in the chest by Grootegoed. Ryan Ting had a nice hit on Steve Smith after another short completion. Dallas Sartz had an interception of a pass that bounced in the air off the hands of Buchanan after he was drilled hard by Leach. Dallas also had coverage on a swing pass to Bush where it looked like Reggie heard the closing footsteps of Sartz and Bush heard the razzing from defensive players after the play for dropping the ball.

Among those in attendance today were Petros Papadakis, Austin Usher, Averell Spicer, Luke Laolagi, Michael Stuart and Chilo Rachal.

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